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Friday, February 12, 2010

Mexican billionaire increases stake in NY Times and Red Sox

  • Carlos Slim and Arod at Telmex kids' baseball clinic, 11/30/08, ap photo
Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim Helu is now one of the NY Times biggest stockholders.
  • Per an SEC filing Friday, "Slim exercised warrants for 15.9 million in Class A shares for a strike price of $6.3572 through his companies Inmobiliaria and GFI, raising his stake in the Times Co. to 16.3% from 6.9% at the time he was approached to loan a substantial sum to the venerable publisher. ...
  • The company said that that he would not be joining the board. The Class A common shares he bought is publicly traded stock, not the super-voting shares that gives the Ochs and Sulzberger family control of the company." ...
from Editor & Publisher, "Mexican Billionaire Carlos Slim now among biggest NY Times Co. Shareholders", 2/12/10, by Jennifer Saba. via Poynter.org/Romenesko
  • from On the Media Transcript with Andres Martinez, former editorial page editor of the NY Times and LA Times, 1/30/09:
Andres Martinez: ""I don't think The New York Times would have struck a deal with a tycoon of a similar profile from Russia or, say, Israel or Iraq or many countries that matter more, journalistically, in the U.S.

And in this sense, I feel, as a - somebody who grew up in Mexico that our neighboring country’s being treated with the soft bigotry of low expectations [BROOKE LAUGHS], but in the sense that, well,

  • it’s Mexico, we don't really need to worry about it,
  • The New York Times is not covering the crony capitalism in Mexico, the inequality that

And it’s not just about Mexico. Mr. Slim’s America Movil cellphone company has businesses in more than a dozen Latin American countries.

BROOKE GLADSTONE: You write that even if and when Slim is inevitably criticized by The Times again, he'll win again. How so?

ANDRES MARTINEZ: That's right. I think it’s a win-win proposition for him. The greatest benefit for him is it legitimizes him. It gives him a Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval within Mexico.

  • it’s the same reason Andrew Carnegie built libraries.

if The New York Times, of any institution, will partner up with Carlos Slim, he must be okay....

ANDRES MARTINEZ: I think the test for The New York Times is going to be as the situation in Mexico continues to deteriorate as a result of drug violence,

is The New York Times going to continue to neglect that story? And to the extent that

that’s going to raise troubling questions, because it really is a story about whether a weak state can rein in the likes of Carlos Slim."...1/30/09, 'The Real Slim Shady,' via Poynter.org/Romenesko

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