Billionaire Slim could come to NYT’s rescue

American publishing house The New York Times is in talks with investor Carlos Slim for possible investments to ease the leading US daily...

Written by Press Trust Of India | New York | Published:January 19, 2009 11:26 pm

American publishing house The New York Times is in talks with investor Carlos Slim for possible investments to ease the leading US daily from some of the financial pressure it is going through,a media report says.

“The New York Times Co is in discussions with Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim about investing in the newspaper publisher to help ease its financial problems,” the Wall Street Journal said.

Under the options being discussed,Slim would hold preferred stock — an investment that NYT would consider as loan.

“Under this scenario,the Times Co would issue Slim preferred stock,which carries no voting right but pays an annual dividend,in return for his investment. The investment would be similar to a loan,” WSJ said.

However,WSJ said,”The talks are ongoing and may yet fall apart…” Of late,massive revenue decline due to the global economic downturn has resulted in the erosion of the media houses’ advertising base,forcing major US newspapers,including the New York Times,to look for cost-cutting measures.

Last month,the New York Times had said that both print and online-advertising revenue declined in November.

The company’s total revenue fell 13.9 per cent in November compared with the same month a year ago,while its advertising revenue decreased by 20.9 per cent. The American publisher,which is reeling under financial pressure,has also considered the option of selling its stake in the Boston Red Sox baseball team,for raising cash.

Executives of the Times Company have repeatedly said that they were open to selling the stake,but only on the right terms. Magazine advertising pages in the US fell by 11.7 per cent in 2008,as revenues from the auto industry and pharmaceuticals,on which these news journals relied,posted steeper decline.

Earlier in December,the New York Times Company had said it would borrow as much as USD 225 million against its property in mid-town Manhattan.

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