Will Bloomberg buy The New York Times & who will be its next public editor?

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Buying The New York Times is "perhaps the most often discussed next act for Michael Bloomberg," Gabriel Sherman writes.

Years ago, while on a trip to Paris, he asked a friend over breakfast, “Do you think I could buy the New York Times?” When the friend said it wasn’t sold in the hotel, he said, “No, do you think I could buy the Times?”

There are also plenty of reasons to believe Bloomberg won't buy it, or could buy the Financial Times instead, Sherman writes. He points out that "Bloomberg News almost entirely lacks the kind of political and cultural identity that comes with a paper like the Times."

Meanwhile, people who deal with the Times' actual management aren't pleased: In a Guild video, Dan Wakin, Clyde Haberman and others say one of the points gumming up the Times' negotiations with staffers -- funding its pension plan -- is a matter of respect. "Many of us have not only put our careers and our families on the line in the service of the New York Times but in many cases our lives," Haberman says.

Guild chair Grant Glickson tells Roland Li that the Sulzberger family still receives much goodwill in the newsroom.

"There's still a tremendous amount of respect and love for the Sulzberger family. They have gone out of their way to preserve their product," said Glickson, the union official. "There's a lot of loyalty there."

This loyalty does not extend to would-be print subscribers in Queens. MediaDailyNews' Wendy Davis reports the borough's Byzantine address system has stymied The Times' Web-subscription functionality.

A customer service rep informed a MediaDailyNews reporter (and Times subscriber) that the company recently began using a new computer system that doesn't accept hyphens. The customer service department can manually revise hyphenated addresses, but not all reps do so.

(I have limited sympathy for Queens residents on this particular point: Even a very good explainer of how to find a house there ends with the line, "These guidelines are accurate 95 percent of the time.")

And lastly, there's Felix Salmon, who believes the Times should get a more plugged-in public editor next time:

So far, we’ve had a series of 60-something white men with long experience of, and nostalgia for, the glory days of print journalism. It’s time for a change: it’s time for someone younger, who appreciates that the overwhelming majority of the NYT’s readers no longer read it in print, who appreciates the power of hyperlinks and social media, who will use the public editor’s blog and Twitter accounts in new and powerful ways, aggregating the vibrant conversation which is always raging about the NYT, rather than treating those tools like a regrettable and newfangled source of extra problems and extra work.

Salmon suggests Anna Holmes, who should be a finalist simply on the basis of trying to get this quote into a Washington Post column.

Related: Mike Bloomberg reads 8 newspapers a day | 5 qualifications The New York Times should require of its next public editor | Facebook said to be considering moving into The Times' old headquarters (Crain's New York) |

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at TBD.com and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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