What Would I Change?
So now the hedge funds pushing New York Times Company management own about as much
as the Sulzberger family. I don’t know whether they’ll win their effort
to elect directors to the board, but I do think this has reached a
critical mass and that the family and management will be forced to make
strategic changes. So I’m curious: what would you change? The hedge
funds are urging the company to divest some assets and concentrate on
the Times, investing in digital. What do you suggest? (And please
refrain from the obvious Times-bashing. There’s plenty of opportunity
for that in the post below about the McCain scandal. This is about the
business of news and media.)
I’d spin off The NY Times (paper and online) into a separate company and bring in new management to run it. I’d liquidate the rest of the assets, possibly including About.com.
I’d make the NY Times all about their audience. Let the people who read the paper have a much larger role in the content that gets published, both online and offline.
The best thing about the NY Times is their readers. The only way they can fix their problems is by leveraging them as the other half of their newsroom.
> I’d like to acknowledge my friend Dave Morgan for helping me frame my thoughts on this.