Keep an eye on: NYT girds for proxy battle

February 22, 2008

nytimes-bldg.jpgRiding the momentum of Morgan Stanley’s attack on the Grey Lady, an investors group led by Scott Galloway, an associate professor at New York University, is set to mount a proxy fight for four board seats.

It will mark the first time in the Times’s 157-year history a non-family member nominates a rival slate to the board. Silicon Alley Insider’s Henry Blodget says there’s a meeting today. And judging by New York Times’s comments following the filing of its preliminary proxy on late Thursday, the company appears to have left the door open.

The investors group, comprised of hedge fund Harbinger Capital Partners and investment firm Firebrand Partners, has called for the sell-off of non-core assets including its baseball team, the Boston Globe and other assets with the proceeds going to invest more heavily in digital properties.

But what does Galloway’s Firebrand really want? Will he settle for just one or two board seats?

More important, what real impact will that have? Will the Times have let the fox in the hen house, or merely appease the company’s biggest shareholder with a symbolic gesture?

Would you let this man on your board?
(Reuters) (Washington Post)

Keep an eye on:

  • News Corp snaps up more of German pay-TV operator Premiere AG. (Reuters)
  • Seeking board members. Contact Microsoft. (AllThingsD)
  • Hong Kong pop star Edison Chen to quit the entertainment industry for some soul searching amid the region’s first gigantic Internet sex photo scandal. (WSJ)
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