Tags: Michael Bloomberg | New York Times | Arthur Sulzberger Jr.

Report: Michael Bloomberg Tried To Purchase The New York Times

By    |   Friday, 23 Jan 2015 11:25 AM

Rumors have circulated for years about Michael Bloomberg's desire to purchase The New York Times, but a new report confirms that in the final days of his mayoral term, he actually tried to buy it.

Sources tell New York Magazine that Bloomberg approached Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the Times' chairman and publisher, to express his interest, but Sulzberger turned him down.

A spokesman for Sulzberger said he "can't remember the last time [Sulzberger] spoke with Bloomberg."

And an adviser to Bloomberg also denied the rumors, saying: "Mike has muttered a lot about the Times to a lot of people."

Speculation about a potential sale of the paper were fueled in 2013 after both The Boston Globe and The Washington Post were sold to new owners, but the Times definitively asserted it was not for sale.

"Will our family seek to sell the Times? The answer to that is no. The Times is not for sale, and the trustees of the Ochs-Sulzberger Trust and the rest of the family are united in our commitment to work together with the company's board, senior management and employees to lead The New York Times forward into our global and digital future," said a statement issued by Sulzberger Jr. in August 2013, reported The New York Times.

He did confirm that Michael Golden, the company's vice chairman, had talked to Washington Post Company chairman Donald E. Graham about the sale of the Post to Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com.

However, both Golden and Sulzberger agreed that the papers were headed in different directions.

"I don't think our deal has any implications whatever for The New York Times Company. The Post and the Times are completely different businesses, as different as, say, The Post and The Wall Street Journal. The Times is quite profitable and should be for a long time," Golden told the Times shortly after the sale of the Post.

Sulzberger emphatically told The Daily Beast in August 2013: "The Times is. Not. For. Sale," according to the paper's own report.

Today's report has rippled throughout media circles, as well as on Wall Street as shares of the company's stock had spiked 2.94 percent to $13.32 by mid-morning, according to The Street.com.

Currently, the largest holder of publicly traded shares in The New York Times Co. is Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, who recently spent nearly $101.1 million to acquire 15.9 million shares for about $6.36 each, roughly half the stock's current price, the paper reported earlier this month.

His total stake in the company is 16.8 percent, but it remains under the control of the Sulzberger family, which owns a majority of the non-publicly traded shares through a trust.

Slim, who has a net worth of $72 billion, holds the number two slot on Forbes list of the world's wealthiest people.

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Rumors have circulated for years about Michael Bloomberg's desire to purchase The New York Times, but a new report confirms that in the final days of his mayoral term, he actually tried to buy it.
Michael Bloomberg, New York Times, Arthur Sulzberger Jr.
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2015-25-23
Friday, 23 Jan 2015 11:25 AM
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