The New York Times Cash Crunch

Ryan Tate · 12/10/08 04:57AM

Though apologist analyst were apparently out in force, and though the firm bragged about selling $1 million in Barack Obama knicknacks (whee!), there was no hiding the New York Times Company's financial distress at a bank's media conference in New York Tuesday. The most alarming report in the wake of the event: Word that the Times will try to renegotiate at least some of its more than $1 billion in debt and is preparing to do without much of a $400 million credit line expiring in May.

Google heir born? Sergey Brin spotted at maternity ward

Owen Thomas · 11/20/08 06:20PM

What to expect when you're expecting a billionaire? A tipster reports seeing Google cofounder Sergey Brin running into a hospital, orange Crocs and all. Here's what that means: His wife, Anne Wojcicki, is nine months pregnant with the couple's first child — who will be born into a fortune still worth $10 billion or more, even with Google shares plummeting. The spot where Brin was sighted, El Camino Hospital, has one of the Bay Area's best childbirth practices, and is close to Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. When we last saw Wojcicki, she was on Oprah talking about 23andMe, her genetics-testing startup, with the TV host herself begging Wojcicki to give birth already. It's possible that Brin was just there to tour the hospital, a common practice before birth, but his haste suggested otherwise, our tipster claims:

What Will Times Scion Do In Gotham?

Ryan Tate · 11/20/08 12:24AM

After two years as a reporter at the Portland Oregonian, Arthur Gregg Sulzberger III will return to New York to work at his family's Times, Portland alternative paper Williamette Week is reporting. Sulzberger wouldn't comment for the paper, but his return to New York appears at first glance unrelated to staff cuts at the Oregonian. So what's the 28-year-old son of Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. (pictured) up to? In all likelihood, trying to help to stabilize not only a faltering newspaper company but a ruptured family.

Ivanka Trump Exasperates Yet Another Writer

Ryan Tate · 11/04/08 05:27AM

What is it about Ivanka Trump that rankles journalists so? She had the Times' Ruth La Ferla all but calling her a harlot last December, and today on the Portfolio website she is irritating an openly exasperated Lloyd Grove. Theory: She's got (nearly) the looks of Paris Hilton and the mouth of a flack. Hilton is obnoxious but palatable to the media, since she acts out and constantly gives regrettable quotes. Trump was summa cum laude at Wharton (undergraduate), which makes it a touch harder to hate her for her privileged life. Grove seems to be trying, at least:

Junked Times Emerging From Fog Of Denial

Ryan Tate · 10/24/08 05:19AM

After Moody's threatened to downgrade the New York Times Company's debt to junk status Thursday, Standard & Poors went ahead and actually made such a move, bringing to reality a development foretold fully two months ago by Bloomberg. The Times Company is only now considering reducing its outsized dividend to shareholders, including most prominently to the Sulzberger family that controls the company. Having failed one test, involving credit, the Sulzbergers now face another, involving their hold on arguably the most important journalism franchise in the country.

Times Heir: 'Sarah Palin Can Suck A D—k'

Ryan Tate · 10/06/08 05:58AM

Will the Times end up like the Wall Street Journal, sold off by disgruntled, money-grubbing family members? To find out, New York investigated the fifth generation of the Times' controlling Sulzberger family. The good news, for those who want to see the Times stay in family hands, is that none of these young men and women (some shown in this handy PDF chart) would talk smack about their poorly-managed company to a reporter, in contrast to the Bancrofts who sold off the Journal. All family kids are being indoctrinated at special "orientation sessions," camps and annual business meetings, starting at age 10. Everyone stays connected on Facebook, including an 87-year-old Sulzberger grandmother. The bad news: No one knows if this unity will hold together when the company cuts unsustainably high stock dividend. Also, the family twentysomethings seem at least as unlikely to ever run the company as acid-dropping Pinch Sulzberger did 35 years ago. Here, for example, is what Judith Sulzberger's young grandson Alex Cohen recently wrote on his Facebook:

Mena Trott's future millions to fund daughter's therapy sessions

Owen Thomas · 07/31/08 01:40PM

In June, Six Apart's Mena Trott told a CBS reporter, on camera, that she thought her baby was ugly. "Babies that age are kind of meh," she said. "I mean, Penelope has always been cute in our eyes, but looking back at pictures we think 'this is cute?' Not throw-up ugly, but definitely not as cute as now." Her comments did not air, but she inexplicably posted them on her blog, where Penelope — who is actually very cute, as the above still shows — will surely read them years from now. Her husband Ben, who cofounded the blog-software maker, made it on TV with an appropriately fatherly statement: "We just actually feel that she is that cute." Ben, who's pretty cute himself, has always been the shyer one in the Trott family. But we're starting to think he might have the makings of a better spokesperson than the loose-lipped Mena. Ben's TV appearance:Click to view

Times Fawns Over Own Insider's Book — Again

Ryan Tate · 07/11/08 12:40AM

Times editors can't stop lavishing praise on books linked to their corporate overlords — and one corporate overlord can't seem to keep her family members from enjoying the fruits of this self-dealing. Times board member Lynn Dolnick yet again has an immediate family member whose book is featured in her newspaper, and yet again there is no disclosure of the connection to the board or to publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr., who is Dolnick's cousin. And this time, the newspaper really went to town. A book by Dolnick's husband Edward about Dutch art forger Han van Meegeren got an early review ("engaging"), an "editor's choice" recommendation, a special plug on page A4, and a friendly write up on the Paper Cuts blog ("delightful book"). And the Times is not likely to be making any apologies for the situation, judging from its handling of Lynn Dolnick's last nepotism controversy.

The Complete Raffaello Follieri Roundup

Hamilton Nolan · 06/25/08 04:34PM

We can remember the innocent time just two weeks ago when we were urging innocent actress Anne Hathaway to dump her loser boyfriend, the swindling young con man Raffaello Follieri. How things have progressed since then! The Follieri coverage is almost too much to keep track of; after the jump, a handy link roundup of everything you need to know, up to right this minute:

The Follieri Crime Family

Hamilton Nolan · 06/24/08 02:34PM

Raffaello Follieri always looked the part of the Italian aristocrat. Impeccably dressed and permanently tanned—like a more attractive version of Zach Braff—he arrived in New York as a dashing young business tycoon with inside connections to the Vatican and a plan to use those connections to make millions. In short order he landed stunning actress Anne Hathaway as a girlfriend and drew attention from some of the most powerful financial figures in America. His father was Pasquale Follieri, an Italian businessman and his son's partner in the Follieri Group, an shady concern that promised investors big returns from real estate dealings with the Catholic Church. But that's not all that Pasquale was; just two years after he helped establish his son in New York, he would be a convicted financial criminal, in an eerie foreshadowing of Raffaello's own fate:

Happy anniversary! Jerry Yang finishes first year as CEO, barely

Nicholas Carlson · 06/18/08 11:00AM

Yahoo cofounder Jerry Yang became the company's CEO one year ago today. Highlights include spending the first 100 days pondering the company's "sacred cows," a reorg or two, February layoffs, and of course, failed merger negotiations with Microsoft. On the bright side, Yang and his wife Akiko Yamazaki had a second daughter recently — as good an excuse as any for Yang to "spend more time with his family." (Photo by Yodel Anecdotal)

New daddy Jeff Weiner takes a hit

Owen Thomas · 06/09/08 01:20PM

Jeff Weiner, head of Yahoo's network division, recently became a father, and he's taking some time off. Mazel tov, Jeff, and well deserved! Nothing surprising about a new dad spending time with his child. What's got us interested is the way his underlings are buzzing about his paternity leave, which he extended from two weeks to a month — a move which may have prompted the cancellation of a planned press dinner, says AllThingsD's Kara Swisher. It's atypical for the hard-charging, micromanaging Weiner to spend so much time detached from work, says one, who wonders if it's a sign Weiner has a foot out the door. Another Yahoo thinks Weiner is just indulging in the joys of fatherhood. Heard any other whispers about Weiner? Send them in. (Photo by Yodel Anecdotal)

Quick, Ballmer, make your offer while Yang's busy caring for his newborn daughter

Nicholas Carlson · 04/29/08 11:00AM

Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang Yang's wife, Akiko Yamazaki, gave birth to the couple's second daughter this week. BoomTown's Kara Swisher reported the news, citing sources close to the company, and then warned Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to "give Yang a break and back off, at least for today." For Yamazaki's sake, we hope Ballmer ignores this advice and takes an upped offer to Yahoo shareholders today, while Yang's too busy in the maternity ward to fend it off. Without a job, Jerry will have no excuse to ignore the 4 a.m. wailing.

Alessandra Stanley Reviews Last Night's Speech Thing

Pareene · 01/29/08 10:24AM

The Times let embittered and oft-inaccurate tv critic Alessandra Stanley write about something a little more weighty than Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles in today's paper. She gets to review the President's "State of the Union" speech, which happens on TV, yes, but it doesn't involve explosions and there are not really commercial breaks. Thankfully it's often transcribed and distributed beforehand, so Stanley doesn't have to sort of half-remember bits of dialog she wasn't actually paying attention to. But only the real journalists get to write about the bullshit in the speech itself, so Stanley instead babbles some sub-sportswriter-by-way-of-David Broder nonsense about "Dynasties" playing themselves out in some grand Wagnerian opera just behind the scenes (and also in front of the scenes, on stages and behind podiums and such). Because the Bushes and the Kennedys and the Clintons were all sorta there, in Washington, DC, where all of them spend most of their time.

Six Apart founders' heir presumptive

Owen Thomas · 10/10/07 05:48PM

Who is Penelope Trott? According to a Twitter sent by Six Apart executive Anil Dash, a close confidante of Ben and Mena Trott, the founders of the blog-software company, she's made him "smile all day." We can only guess that Penelope is the name of the Trotts' long-expected offspring. If so, congratulations. We await the day when Mena and Ben bring their daughter to work and declare, "Some day, all of this will be yours. Well, except for the parts we sold off to our venture capitalists."