Ex-NYT editor: I don’t expect the Ochs Sulzbergers to sell their ‘national treasure’

Bloomberg View’s Paula Dwyer, a former New York Times editor, discusses the newspaper on the “Full Disclosure” podcast (discussion starts at 47:10):

The [Ochs Sulzberger] family is very dedicated to that newspaper and I don’t think they would sell out the way that Don Graham did at the Washington Post or the way that the family did at the Wall Street Journal or even the Los Angeles Times. …I think they really do feel that they have a trust, that they have been trusted with this national treasure, and it is a national treasure. The interesting thing is, the New York Times’ journalism is still fantastic, and Dean Baquet, the executive editor there, is not going to let up. …

Paula Dwyer

Paula Dwyer

Maybe Mike Bloomberg will step up to the plate and say, “This is a national treasure and I need to save it.” He always says, “I’m not interested in owning the New York Times. Why would I want to own that? I have Bloomberg LP.” But the New York Times is a different animal than what Bloomberg is. I think he should buy it, but he’s not asking me for my advice. …

You could buy the New York Times now – their market capitalization is only about 1.2, 1.3 billion – so it would be cheap. But you couldn’t get it for that; you would have to pay many multiples over that to convince the family to sell. But then once you do that you’d be in the position that Rupert Murdoch found himself in – remember, he way overpaid for the Wall Street Journal – so once you do that then you have to figure a way to monetize that. It would have to be a charitable thing, it would have to be a trophy for some wealthy hedge fund manager or something like that, and that’s not the person the New York Times will be sold to. The family won’t do it.

* Bloomberg View’s “Full Disclosure” (NYT segment starts at 47:10) (soundcloud.com)