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Is The New York Times Co. Really Worth Less Than CNET?

Posted by: Jon Fine on July 25, 2008

I had the honor of backstopping Jay Yarow on this fun, complex and uglifying analysis he did regarding the New York Times Co.

According to his calculations, the New York Times itself—you might of heard of it, seeing that it’s the single most influential newspaper in the English language, and also runs a ridiculously well-trafficked Web site—is worth under $750 million. (The market cap dropped slightly since we wrote the piece. It’s now $1.78 billion. This is less than what CBS paid for CNET.)

Henry Blodget of Silicon Alley Insider (where Jay once worked) had a bit of fun with the piece as well. He's ready to offer the Times Co. $1 billion for in an interestingly structured deal:

We just raised $1 million, so that means we only need another $999 million to close. Raising the money shouldn't be a problem, but who needs that hassle. So here's what we'd like to do instead:

We'll agree to let you acquire us for, say, $100 million of New York Times stock. Then, in a simultaneous closing, you can spin us and New York Times Digital out as a separate public company--via a special dividend to shareholders. (You can load us up with enough debt to make the numbers work, and then we'll convert it to equity).

Sound good? We think so. We look forward to hearing from you

Raising money shouldn't be a hassle? Hilarious. Other than that: brilliant.

I know, I know, newspapers are just getting murdered in this environment, but I don't think I'm reeking of sentimentality if I suggest that the New York Times is worth more than $750 million.

So we're ready to call a market bottom for newspapers, then? Um--apparently not.

Reader Comments

Math Police

July 31, 2008 2:49 PM

You may want to check your math. NYT is worth "under$750M" but the market cap dropped and now it's now $1.7B. Something aint adding up right.

Ken Vander May

August 13, 2008 5:33 PM

Jon, I was just re-reading a story of yours from July 23, 2007 (yes, 2007) titled "When do you stop the Presses?" I intentionally kept it handy so I could refer to it one year later and see where we were. You were 'dead-on' with your analysis. Considering the obvious financial hemorrhaging within the industry, who in their right mind would want to purchase a newspaper company?

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