Reaping What Has Been Sown

Friday, March 17, 2006
Moody's dealt the New York Times a stiff blow today, threatening to cut its credit rating due to "weak cash flow, high financial leverage, and declining margins". Moody's also cited an item called "event risk".

I suppose possible indictment of the publisher and editor under Title 18 Section 793 of the US Code might be considered risky. NYT closed at $26.57 - down .52 from opening and only .49 above the 52-week low. Monday should prove even more interesting as shareholders consider the implications of "event risk".

I wonder if there have ever been any lawsuits by one class of shareholders against another? The Sulzberger's have certainly earned one.

6 comments:

brylun said...

I wonder how much harm the TimesSelect program has caused.

Personally, I think TimesSelect greatly reduces the public exposure of leftist opinion writers like Maureen Dowd, Paul Krugman, Bob Herbert, etc. It's like eating their young in the sense that they are sacrificing broader exposure and influence for a miniscule income stream from those who are already lost to the far left.

But the real problem is the deviation from "All That's Fit to Print" to "Whatever Serves the Left's Poltical Agenda." They've really harmed their reputation.

Fox News continues to grow. You think MSM would get the lesson in a business sense.

Jamie Irons said...

Rick,

I think what finally did it for me was that reporter's lame "justification" for publishing the points of vulnerability of our soldiers' and Marines' body armor.

I simply can't read the NYT any more. I even cancelled my crossword subsciption.

Jamie Irons

MeaninglessHotAir said...

Fox News continues to grow. You think MSM would get the lesson in a business sense.

To me this story is an object lesson in how capitalism sometimes fails us. It fails us because, in the short and medium term, it is individual owners who are in charge, they are answerable to nobody, and they frequently make what can only be termed "dumb" decisions based on reasons which are entirely different from, or even entirely antithetical to, what other people, i.e., the market, want.

I continue to believe that it is possible to tweak the system to make executives more accountable with a net gain for everybody--shareholders, employees, customers. The essence is sunshine and disinfectant. The current owners of the NYT have crawled under their rocks for too long.

In the long run, the market will always win of course, but the way the NYT is going these days they will have us all killed in the long run.

Rick Ballard said...

MHA,

GM and Ford have been zombies for a long time too. It's not just the family quasi puplic companies. The NYT once had a hell of a 'mark'. Pinch has ruined it.

What really irritates me is that the financial press does not look at the media companies as closely as they should. Everyone knows about GM and Ford's pension problems but no one writes about the fact that the NYT is carrying the same type of weight. The Times union contracts are one reason they went national and willingly gave up market share in NY - too much of a benefit package and no way to cut without cutting back on actual production. So they farm the 'national' paper to non-union regional printers. It's actually not a new idea at all. The WSJ has been doing it for a very long time, as has USA Today.

TimesSelect is a joke - I'd really like to see the renewal rate or independant subscription rate. It can't be all that glowing.

terrye said...

I wonder how many people are like me. I run screaming at the sight of a journalist, even on Fox anymore.

I used to watch every day. It has been weeks since I had the news on. I think they have just worn us out, and with us their welcome.

Syl said...

The New York Times doesn't care what their readers want. They're leaders, not followers.

Or so they think.