Hedge Fund Harbinger Again Cuts Stake in New York Times Co.

By: Mark Fitzgerald Hedge fund Harbinger Capital Partners disclosed late Thursday that it has again cut its stake in The New York Times Co.

In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Harbinger said it owns 14.64% of the Times? publicly traded stock, which trades in the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol NYT. That stake is down from 16.38% when Harbinger made a regulatory filing in September, and from 20% when it launched a successful campaign to seat two of its representatives on the company's Sulzberger family-controlled board of directors with the aim of revitalizing what manager Philip Falcone regarded as a stodgy institution.

At one point, Harbinger's stake was as big as the Sulzberger family members, who have a controlling interest in The New York Times publisher through super-voting stock that is not publicly traded.

In late 2007 and 2008, Harbinger paid about $20 a share as it amassed its Times Co. stake. The stock was bruised along with all other publicly traded newspaper companies, hitting a 52-week low of $3.44 earlier this year. It has since rebounded somewhat along with the rest of the sector, and closed at $8.84 Thursday.


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