In Control  | American Journalism Review
 AJR  Features
From AJR,   February/March 2007

In Control   

By Rachel Smolkin
     


Since Adolph S. Ochs bought the New York Times in 1896, his family has steered the company. His great-grandson Arthur Sulzberger Jr. is publisher of the New York Times and the company's chairman.

"The Ochs-Sulzberger family, which owns approximately 20 percent of the equity of our company, more than any other investor, has no intention of opening our doors to the kind of action that is tearing at the heart of some of the other great journalistic institutions in our country," Janet L. Robinson, president and CEO of the New York Times Co., told analysts at two conferences in early December.

The family maintains control through a two-tiered stock structure:

Class B Shares

  • Represent 0.6 percent of the company's equity. There are 832,592 Class B shares outstanding.

  • About 90 percent of these shares are owned by the Ochs-Sulzberger family. (The family also owns a portion of Class A stock.)

  • Class B shareholders elect nine of the company's 13 board members.


    Class A Shares

  • Represent 99.4 percent of the company's equity. There are 142,957,415 Class A shares outstanding.

  • Publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

  • About 19 percent of these shares are owned by the Ochs-Sulzberger family. They are the single largest Class A shareholder.

  • Other major investors include T. Rowe Price, Private Capital Management, Massachusetts Financial Services, Fidelity and Morgan Stanley.

  • Class A shareholders elect four of the 13 board members.



    To alter the company's corporate structure, six of the eight members of a family trust need to agree on any changes. The eight current trustees are:

  • Arthur Sulzberger Jr.

  • Michael Golden (vice chairman of the company; publisher of the International Herald Tribune; board member; Arthur's cousin)

  • Cathy J. Sulzberger (board member; Arthur's sister; Michael's cousin)

  • Lynn G. Dolnick (board member; Michael's sister/Arthur's cousin)

  • Daniel H. Cohen (Arthur's and Michael's cousin)

  • Susan W. Dryfoos (daughter of former Times Publisher Orvil Dryfoos; Arthur's and Michael's cousin)

  • Arthur S. Golden (Michael's brother/Arthur's cousin)

  • Eric M.A. Lax (married to Karen Sulzberger, Arthur's sister)

    Sources: New York Times Co., "The Trust" by Susan E. Tifft and Alex S. Jones

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