I see a rumor that the New York Times will be for sale in 2013. I think it would be nuts for politically dependent billionaires (i.e., most billionaires) to evaluate buying the NYT solely based on net present value of cash flow. Do you think Carlos Slim regrets the money he spent bailing out the NYT in 2008? The Mexican telecom monopolist bought himself years of being not considered terribly newsworthy, while Americans who want to reduce the profits Slim makes on calls to and from illegal aliens were recurrently demonized. And any connection between Slim’s bailout and the NYT’s virulence against immigration skeptics is simply Not News. Money well spent.
Slim bought 6.4 percent of the company’s Class A stock in 2008, and has since bought more; he subsequently lent them $250 million at a reported 14-percent interest rate, which has been repaid. Then again, the real power at NYTCO remains the Ochs/Sulzberger clan, which continues to control the Class B stock, if not necessarily Slim.