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Don't Sell the Times... Yet

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 14, 2009 8:15 AM CDT
Don't Sell the Times ... Yet
In this July 22, 2008 file photo, traffic passes in front of The New York Times building in New York.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, file)

(Newser) – The New York Times' ruling Ochs-Sulzberger family has a “habit of buying high and selling low,” writes John Gapper of the Financial Times. The clan sold the paper’s old Times Square building at a bargain price and bought back shares near their zenith. Now Arthur Sulzberger Jr., "the daffy fourth-generation family member who is publisher of the paper and chairs the company," may sell the Times, which would be perhaps the family's dumbest move yet.

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“They would be crazy to cap their run of poorly timed transactions by selling in the trough of the recession,” Gapper argues. The potential buyers now circling—Carlos Slim and David Geffen—aren't ideal. Geffen’s business sense is questionable, and Slim “wields power too much like William Randolph Hearst for comfort.” The family should bide its time, clean up the balance sheet, then sell high to the right buyer. “That would be a fine legacy.” (Read more New York Times stories.)

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