In the an upcoming issue in the New Yorker, Ken Auletta, asks, "Can Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., save the Times—and himself?"

Of the publisher Auletta writes:

"One often hears it said that Sulzberger lacks sufficient gravitas for a man in his position, which is perhaps another way of saying that he is still more a prince than a mature king. Sulzberger’s hair has begun to turn gray and to recede, and yet, like Tom Hanks in the movie “Big,” he seems to be only impersonating an older man. He is often known as Young Arthur, and, behind his back, people still call him Pinch, in contrast to his father, Punch. He tends to draw attention to himself with a loud cackle or an awkwardly offhand remark. He keeps in his office artifacts of his two hobbies—a wooden sculpture of a beloved motorcycle and sculptures of rock climbers."

But there is trouble in Camelot:

"Twice in the last three years, the Times newsroom has suffered the equivalent of a nervous breakdown, and critics say that Sulzberger has managed the latest crisis as poorly as he did the episode involving the fabrications of the reporter Jayson Blair, which led, in 2003, to the firing of Howell Raines, the executive editor. These newsroom crises have come when the Times can least afford them—during a period of technological and economic uncertainty that has affected the entire industry. The Times’ stock price fell 33.2 per cent between December 31, 2004, and October 31, 2005—sixty per cent more than the industry average, according to Merrill Lynch newspaper analysts. The operating profit of the Times Company has also slipped in each of the past three years. Owing to the cost of fuel, newsprint, and employee benefits, expenditures are increasing by between four and five per cent a year and revenues by only about three per cent, a senior Times corporate executive says; this person is worried that “it’s just a matter of time until we start losing money.”

At a newsroom meeting at the end of November, Bill Keller, in a reference to the Miller case and attacks on the Times from bloggers, said that he was concerned about “orgies of self-absorption that distract us from our more important work,” but most of the questions directed at him did not deal with Miller. “The single most unsettling thing people face now is the economic situation confronting the paper, and not knowing what the future holds,” Todd S. Purdum, a Washington correspondent, says. (Purdum recently took the job of national editor at Vanity Fair, but he says that the economic situation was not a factor in the decision.) Jennifer Steinhauer, a metro reporter, told me, “I really think the financial issue faced by this company and this industry is the big concern, and not Judith Miller. The health-care fund for Guild employees”—the Newspaper Guild—“went belly up last year, so we had to give up our pay raises to fund it. Our stock options are under water. These are the kinds of things preoccupying people: What’s going to happen to this industry?”

Well, I'm not preoccupied with it - it's The Times bed, let 'em crap in it. Although after reading this article it's hard to get the picture of cowaring gay reporters cringing under their desks in fear from the evil former regime , I just about fell out of my chair!

(save the homophobic comments):

"The new publisher, however, had his own management ideas. He thought that the corporate culture was inbred and in need of more diversity—more women, more minorities, more gays. (Charles Kaiser, who is gay, says, “When he came in, gays in the newsroom lived in terror, and Arthur met them and took each of them to lunch and said, ‘What is it like to be gay here? When I take over, it will no longer be a problem.’ He transformed the institution from the most homophobic institution in America to the most gay-friendly institution.”)"

Holy Crappola......

Here is the question on my lips. How in the hell did this newspaper get chutzpah to write critical articles about the White House when it's apparent their own ship is not only in serious disarray, but sinking fast?


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