The New York Times Company, under pressure from investors because of its stagnant stock performance, announced Thursday that it would raise its quarterly dividend by 31 percent. [The New York Times Wall Street Journal Gawker]
All the young graduates at top journalism schools have stars in their eyes when they think about working for New York Times upon graduation. However, the reality of the newspaper business is that the money comes from an entirely different set of businesses.
Unsexy? Indeed. The Verticals. The Verticals is where the money comes from. And Newspapers have been losing their verticals lately to online.
I have written extensively about the newspaper industry. The NYT itself has started moving online, albeit less aggressively than its peers like Dow Jones, Gannett, and McClatchy. Bottomline, the Newspapers need to Roll-Up online vertical businesses aggressively.
Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal article about Morgan Stanley portfolio manager Hassan Elmasry showed just how persistent a thorn he’s been in the New York Times’ side for the past couple of years. Since June 2005, Elmasry—whose fund owns a chunk of NYT stock—has been sending letters to NYT Co. chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr., outlining his stern disapproval of how the Times is conducting its business (a lot of it relating to the Sulzberger family’s control over the company) and requesting to meet with Pinch. It took ages of lobbying before Sulzberger agreed to let Elmasry come and lay it all out, which he finally did before the board last month. And it was a shit-show.
I suggest Mr. Elmasry and Mr. Sulzberger read these pieces, since this public-private partnership idea is entirely unnecessary. I also recommend reading my analysis of some of the verticals, which yield incredibly high online CPM rates, and can be extremely viable businesses if managed properly. Here’s CNN Money. We have reviewed Yahoo, MSN, Marketwatch and AOL’s Personal Finance offerings in the earlier posts from the Web 3.0 perspective.
Web 3.0 is where the NYT needs to be. Not on welfare!
This segment is a part in the series : NYT