This morning on Squawk on the Street, CNBC’s Scott Wapner reports he ran into The New York Times‘ Arthur Sulzberger Jr. He asked Mr. Sulzberger about the Times Company’s potential sale of the Boston Red Sox and got a predictable response (“No comment”), but when he asked if The Times would ever charge for content, Mr. Sulzberger said, “We’ll consider anything.”
Here’s the full transcript from this morning’s show:
HAINES: Let’s go back to CNBC’s Scott Wapner in New York. He has exclusive comments from a high profile in a bad industry.
WAPNER: Thanks Mark. One of the best things about living in New York and working here, too you never know who you will bump into on the street. Today I bumped into Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., the publisher and chairman of The New York Times Company. He’s dealing with one of the worst downturns ever to hit the newspaper business, like so many of these executives are. I asked him just how bad it is out there? Is it the worse you’ve ever seen? He told me I’m not that old, so yes, this is the worst I’ve ever seen. As we know The Times like many newspapers have been trying to raise revenue, they did secure that $250 million loan from Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim. SThey’re also trying to unload that 17.75 stake in the company that owns The Boston Red Sox. And Sulzberger told me he wouldn’t comment on the status of that Red Sox situation. The newspaper business, as we know, already claiming several victims. Last week it was The Rocky Mountain News out of Denver that closed its doors. Yesterday news that The Seattle Post Intelligencer was thinking of becoming a Web-only publication. Other newspapers have thought about perhaps charging for their online editions to which I asked Mr. Sulzberger if The New York Times would go that route, to which he tod me, quote, ‘We’ll consider anything. We know about these problems that have hit so many of these newspapers and those troubles and those troubles keep spreading, as we’ve seen from bother The Rocky Mountain News and that news out of Seattle yesterday. Thank, Scott Wapner.