Yesterday, 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.