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?
Today's New York Times Company annual shareholder meeting is expected to be, in the words of the Times itself, a "contentious" affair. What with "dissident investors" like Morgan Stanley's Hassan Elmasry calling for the Sulzberger family to change the dual stock-structure that allows them to control the paper, the stakes have never been higher - even though nothing is likely to change. But how will family head Albert Sulzberger Jr., address the controversy? Gawker has obtained a copy of his opening remarks.