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Posts Tagged ‘Carlos Slim’

Carlos Slim Increases Stake in The New York Times

Carlos Slim has once again wrapped his big arms of money around The New York Times and given the paper a tender squeeze. According to Bloomberg News, Slim has upped his shares from 850,000 to 11.9 million. He now owns eight percent of Class A shares.

The purchase boosted the Times’ stock up to $6.75. The 13 percent increase is the most the paper’s stock has climbed in about two years.

This is Slim’s second stake increase in a little over a month; in late August he upped his Class A ownership to seven percent. Slim — who is a Yankees fan, so we extend our condolences — keeps insisting that he doesn’t want to control the company one day, but if he keeps this pace up he might not have a choice.

Carlos Slim Increases Stake in The New York Times

Carlos Slim, the richest person in the world, has increased his stake in the The New York Times Company, upping his ownership of Class A shares to 7.2 percent, up from 6.9 percent. Ad Age reports that increasing investments when the market is down is typical behavior for Slim; he even upped his stake in Saks Inc. the same day. You can do that kind of thing when you’re the richest guy on the planet.

The buy — about 553,000 shares at $6.83 to $7.09 — deepens Slim’s and the Times’ relationship, which goes back to late 2009, when Slim lent the struggling company $250 million (again, something you can do when you use $100 bills for napkins).

In July, the Times returned the favor by announcing they were repaying the debt early, so Slim upping his stake is just him — once again — showing his confidence in the paper.

The New York Times Repays Debt to Carlos Slim

Maybe things aren’t so bad for The New York Times after all. Today the Times said it is repaying its $250 million debt to Carlos Slim, three and a half years early. Slim lent the money to the paper a few years ago when things were especially bleak for the Times.

According to memo from Janet L. Robinson and Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the paper was able to pay the debt back so quickly because of a series of moves (like selling most of its stake in the Boston Red Sox) that have given the Times new life:

Our ability to pay down this debt at this time is directly linked to the decisive steps we have taken to improve our financial flexibility over the past two years. We remain focused as we move to the next phases of our business plans and as the uncertain global economy and the ongoing volatility in our industry continue. But today we take pride in this moment.

Mexican Mogul Carlos Slim Might Bring Sanborns To New York

Business magnate Carlos Slim is considering bringing his retail chain, Sanborns, to Manhattan. Reuters reports that the store “where shoppers can buy anything from underwear to a plate of spicy chilaquiles, a traditional dish, or even pay their phone bills” will potentially mark the latest in Slim’s stateside ventures.

Slim’s holding company, Grupo Carso, hopes that a Manhattan location will appeal not only to the area’s Hispanic population, but reach out to a wider audience as well. Slim already owns a stake in Saks and about 6.9 percent of The New York Times‘ Class A shares.

So far, no date or potential locations for the store have been set.

Critics Respond To Times‘ Pay Wall Plans

425825719_3bf95d6e86.jpgHow long have we been living under the looming shadow that is the threat of a New York Times‘ pay wall? The answer most likely is since TimesSelect’s fall in 2007, after the paper’s first attempt at getting online readers to pay for content.

Since then, publisher Arthur Sulzberger has made vague promises, culminating in today’s announcement of a plan to launch a metered pay model on NYTimes.com next year. It makes sense: last year saw the Times‘ hemorrhaging money (losing $35 million in the third quarter alone), and speculation that the paper wouldn’t make it to 2010.

Thankfully, Carlos Slim stepped in last year, but it still remains to be seen how the Grey Lady will make it back into the black. While alienating some readers, the metered system of content-charging that Sulzberger is planning may actually be the best compromise between giving away your product for free and going on almost total lock-down mode like the The Wall Street Journal. Under this plan, The New York Times will eventually allow you to read only a certain number of articles per month before asking you to subscribe, much like Variety or The Financial Times (although some have pointed out that the FT‘s model is looking more and more like the Journal‘s).

But even before today’s not completely unexpected announcement, media critics were chomping at the bit to react to the Times‘ possible pay plans. After the jump, a look at what some of them are saying.

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Report: NYT To Start Charging For Web Content

nyt logo.jpgOver the weekend, Gabriel Sherman at New York magazine reported that The New York Times is finally close to unveiling a plan to charge readers for access to its Web site.

Sources tell Sherman that the Times could announced their model — which will be similar to that employed by The Financial Times — by the end of the month, although it won’t be implemented until sometime in the spring. Currently, the FT‘s pay wall allows registered readers to read 10 stories per month before prompting them to sign up for a tiered subscription model.

The Times has been promising to announce plans of a pay wall of some sort since the summer, but execs have been dragging their feet because of disagreement among leaders of the newsroom, Sherman said:

“In favor of a paid model were [executive editor Bill Keller] and managing editor Jill Abramson. [Digital chief Martin Nisenholtz] and former deputy managing editor Jon Landman, who was until recently in charge of nytimes.com, advocated for a free site.”

Although keeping the site free would draw more readers than a restricted pay site, media companies would be remiss if they didn’t try to monetize their online content in order to create a new stream of revenue. Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, who invested in the Times last year, might also be behind the pay wall push. The New York Post reported today that Slim made an appearance on CNBC on Friday stating that he was in favor of dumping the free Web content model.

But despite the swirling rumors, the Times is staying mum. Keller declined to comment to New York‘s Daily Intel blog and spokesperson Diane McNulty said: “We’ll announce a decision when we believe that we have crafted the best possible business approach. No details till then.”

New York Times Ready to Charge Online Readers –Daily Intel

‘Slim’ Times optionNew York Post

Previously: Times Keller: Within Weeks Of Decision On Pay Wall

Slim, Murdoch Don’t Regret Newspaper Investments|YouTube Direct|Zuckerman’s $150M Printing Press Investment|Newspaper Box Dance Parties

Wall Street Journal: Rupert Murdoch and Carlos Slim told a Wall Street Journal conference that they don’t regret their investments in newspapers.

BayNewser: YouTube Direct, a new method for news organizations like The Huffington Post, NPR and Politico to manage video submissions by readers, launched today.

New York Times: New York Daily News owner Mortimer B. Zuckerman has invested $150 million into expanding his paper’s printing plant in Jersey City.

FishbowlLA: Two artists are turning abandoned newspaper boxes in New York into mini dance parties.

Arthur & Janet Explain NYT‘s $1B Debt In Memo To Staffers

times logo.pngYesterday, New York Times staffers received a memo in their e-mail inboxes from publisher Arthur Sulzberger and CEO Janet Robinson. The memo is the second in a promised series that will keep the Times‘s internal workings more transparent for its staff.

In light of yesterday’s announcement that the Times had sold classical music station WQXR as part of a $45 million deal, the memo focused on the paper’s debt situation. The money from the WQXR deal will go towards paying down the $1 billion in debt that the New York Times Co. is currently carrying, the memo said.

“Going forward, we plan to use the proceeds from divestitures, such as WQXR and the potential sale of our interest in the Boston Red Sox, to bring our debt level down even more,” Sulzberger and Robinson said. “This is what we did in 2007 when we sold our Broadcast Media Group.”

The memo also outlined the details of a recent $250 million loan from two of Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim‘s banks, including Slim’s possible role in the company moving forward.

“He has not asked for nor been offered a Board seat and does not have a history of activism in the companies in which he invests,” the memo explained. “This transaction in no way changes the control of the Company since that continues to reside in the Class B shares held by the Ochs-Sulzberger Trust.”

In their first memo of this kind to staff last month, Sulzberger and Robinson talked about the Boston Globe and reminded everyone that The Atlantic‘s Michael Hirschorn had predicted that the paper would be dead by May.

A copy of the memo, obtained by TheAwl.com, is after the jump.

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The Bloodcopy Blog Controversy|New Yorker‘s Unique Cover|Shuttered East West To Relaunch|AOL’s Shields Departs|Newspaper Association’s Montly Mag Goes Digital

AgencySpy: The Bloodcopy blog controversy that arose this weekend turned out to be a campaign by Gawker Media and ad agency Campfire for HBO‘s “True Blood.”

UnBeige: The latest New Yorker has a cover picture “painted” on an iPhone. (And a profile of NYT investor Carlos Slim)

Folio: Shuttered magazine East West, which targets Asian Americans, is going to be relaunched.

All Things Digital: AOL‘s People Networks president Joanna Shields is leaving the company.

New York Times: The Newspaper Association of America’s monthly pub, Presstime is becoming online only.

More Signs of the Times: NYT Suspends Dividend, MPA Loses More Members

thenewyorktimes1.jpgThere are weeks when it feels as though the demise of print suddenly accelerates and this might be one of them.

After more than a year of refusing to cut its dividend — it finally did so back in November — the New York Times Co. has decided to do away with it altogether, though the term they are using is “suspend.” In a month long period that has seen the Times borrowing $260 million from Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, and selling a portion of its new building, this is just further evidence of the paper’s financial struggles. One wonders at what point a seven dollar a month online subscription fee stops seeming sacrilegious.

Meanwhile, more magazine companies have announced they are abandoning the MPA ship.

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