Last night, the New York Times got the scoop that Caroline Kennedy, daughter of JFK and Jackie O, had thrown her hat in the ring to fill Hillary Clinton's Senate seat once she becomes Secretary of State. How'd that happen? Well, we couldn't help but wonder if it has something to do with the close friendship between the married Kennedy and the recently single Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr.
It should not be such a surprise that the New York Times is planning unprecedentedly brutal cuts to its editorial staff for 2009. After all, the newspaper has the most heavily-staffed newsroom in the country, with some 1,200 employees. Advertising revenues have declined at double-digit rates. And—after the recent economic swoon—the business won't be rebounding any time soon. But here's the funny thing about the rumor we're hearing:
Since the start of this decade, stock of the company that holds the New York Times has fallen by 72%. The latest tumble came yesterday, when an analyst for Lehman Brothers said the newspaper group was still more expensive than its peers and advised it to stop paying out so much to shareholders. Well that might at last shake up the stoic Sulzberger family, which controls the Times and depends on those dividend payouts. Times watchers have long speculated on the rivalry between hapless publisher Arthur 'Pinch' Sulzberger and his cousin, this man. If now's not the time for Michael Golden to make his bid to restore the family's fortunes, then when?