The New York Times (NYT) just secured some breathing room, in the form of a $250 million loan from Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim. This will help postpone the company’s cash crisis, but it won’t help NYTCo transform into a sustainable long-term business.
Moreover, as the cash from the loan goes out the door to pay for the company’s operations, pensions, debts, interest-service payments, and other obligations, the loan will increasingly become yet another liability. So it’s time NYTCo’s shareholders received from NYTCo management something resembling a long-term survival plan.
So how about it, Janet and Arthur?
You’re the CEO and controlling shareholder of one of the world’s most important newspaper companies. All around you, formerly hallowed competitors are crashing down like ducks shot out of the sky. Your shareholders have watched their shares drop from $45 to $6 in five years, and they haven’t exactly breathed a great sigh of relief after hearing about Mr. Slim.
So far, your long-term plan for the company has been agonizingly vague:
- preserve journalistic excellence,
- trim costs,
- transition the business to digital.
As evidenced by your demolished stock price and fire-sale loan from the lender of last resort (Mr. Slim), this plan hasn’t gotten the job done. So it’s time to get specific.
So, Arthur and Janet, what, exactly, is your plan to once again make the New York Times Company into a thriving, growing enterprise? Your shareholders, employees, and readers deserve to hear it.