NYC Mayor Bloomberg: I’m Not ‘Times’ Savior

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By: E&P Staff

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Monday dismissed reports he is coming to the rescue of the Ochs and Sulzberger family by merging his financial information company with The New York Times Co.

“I am not going to go into the newspaper business, I am not a newspaper person,” Bloomberg said at a morning press conference.

There have been several reports that Bloomberg might be a suitor for the Times Co., whose stock has tumbled in the past two years, and which had to make peace with a big dissident minority shareholder who began a proxy battle over seats on the board of directors.

In the May issue of Vanity Fair, media writer Michael Wolff first raised the possibility, which was also reported in the latest issue of Newsweek.

On Monday, the New York Post reported that unnamed sourced said “some members of the Sulzberger family, which controls the Times, are concerned about the paper’s vulnerability after a wave of shareholder assaults and are looking for a protector to fend off further attacks.”

The paper said that aides to the mayor are encouraging him to consider a merger between Bloomberg LP and the Times Co.

The Times Co.’s annual meeting is Tuesday. Among the order of business is seating two representatives of Harbinger Capital Partners and Fireband LLP, dissident shareholders who had nominated four people as directors in opposition to management’s slate. In a compromise, the Times named two representatives to the board, which was expanded by two seats.

At noon, Times Co. stock (NYSE: NYT) was trading at $19.44, up 25 cents, or 1.3%, from the opening. Times stock has traded in a 52-week range of $14.01 to $26.87.

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