Insurance billionaire Hank Greenberg is in the midst of a power play aimed at taking over the New York Times, or at least forcing Pinch Sulzberger to give up some of the control he and his family have over the paper.
The New York Times has fallen from the paper of record into a liberal mess, losing circulation and profitability while getting ensconsed in scandals such as the Jason Blair affair. Greenberg is looking to turn around the fortunes of the paper if he succeeds in the take over.
Sources confirmed that the famously combative Greenberg has been buying hundreds of thousands of Times shares, but did not disclose the exact number or the size of the stake he wants to own.
Greenberg has both the assets – Forbes estimated his net worth at $3.2 billion – and the temperament to jump into a fight over the future of the stumbling newspaper giant.
A major stock position would put Greenberg in league with already angry Times’ shareholders, such as Morgan Stanley Investment Management, to battle the board over whether the founding Ochs-Sulzberger family should hold a powerful class of stock that accounts for a majority of the voting power at the company.Ã‚ via the New York Post Online Edition:
Here is my question for the media? If Greenberg takes over the paper and turns it into a conservative newspaper, or even a moderate one, will the rest of the media still consider it the paper of record? Or will they quickly move on to another target that echos their world view?
Update: It looks like the folks over at Editors and Publishers are already worrying about Maurice Greenberg.