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NYT Co. Shareholders Meeting: Was ‘Pinch’ ‘Strong’ Or ‘Chastened’?

pinchometer.jpgFallout from yesterday’s fiery annual New York Times Co. shareholders meeting — you know when the Times itself refers to their “growing displeasure” with management that it was a doozy:

Shareholders of The New York Times Company gave voice yesterday to their growing displeasure with the company’s management and financial performance by withholding votes representing 42 percent of the Class A shares at the annual meeting.

The Times, though, made sure to point out Arthur Sulzberger Jr.‘s fortitude in the face of angry shareholders:

At yesterday’s meeting, Mr. Sulzberger put on a strong face. Surrounded by the other 12 directors, top management and family members, including his father, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, he defended his tenure and the company’s strategy of developing its fast-growing digital properties.

The New York Post, though, had a different take:

A chastened Sulzberger acknowledged the investor unrest at yesterday’s annual meeting, where the damning “withhold” vote was tallied.

Still, the Post was probably a bit premature with its Pinchometer KO’d graphic. Too soon, too soon. So says Portfolio‘s Gabe Sherman:

The Sulzberger family has no reason to relinquish control of the Times Company–ever. Their manifest stewardship of the paper was guaranteed when the Times Company went public in 1969 with a dual-class stock structure. The Class-B shares held by the Ochs-Sulzberger family ensure their control of the Times Company board, no matter what shareholders say. Elmasry most certainly knows this, despite his public fuming to push the Sulzbergers from power.

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