New York Times chairman Arthur Sulzberger sells some of his shares

City A.M. Reporter
NEW YORK Times chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr has sold some of his shares in the company.

Sulzberger sold 50,000 Class A shares last Thursday for $600,000 (£388,020), or $12 each, according to a US Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

A New York Times spokeswoman said the sale was part of Sulzberger’s normal estate-planning and represented a very small percentage of his stake, which includes stock options and Class B shares that vote on 70 per cent of the board.

The Ochs-Sulzberger family controls the New York Times through a trust of Class B shares.

Sulzberger sold his shares days after founder Jeff Bezos bought The Washington Post for $250m, stunning media watchers. The Grahams, who control The Washington Post, are one of the last families whose ownership of newspapers spanned generations.

The deal prompted Sulzberger to issue a memo to New York Times staff to address the question if the Ochs-Sulzbergers, who have been without a dividend since 2009, would be the next family to exit the business.

“Will our family seek to sell the Times?” Sulzberger wrote according to the New York Times. “The answer to that is no.”

In recent months several US newspapers have gone on the block or changed hands. The New York Times sold The Boston Globe to Boston Red Sox and hedge fund owner Jack Henry for $70m.

The Tribune Co, which publishes the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune, is exploring a sale of its newspaper group.