Shareholders of the New York Times have given the newspaper a thumbs down:
New York Times Co. shareholders, led by Morgan Stanley, withheld 42 percent of their votes from directors to protest the Sulzberger family's control over the company.
An average of 52.5 million of the 124.2 million shares voted declined to support the directors' re-election, the company announced on its Web site following the annual shareholder meeting in New York.
The withhold tally compared with 28 percent at last year's meeting, which marked the beginning of a yearlong campaign by Morgan Stanley. The firm and it supporters, concerned about falling profits and a slumping share price, complained that New York Times' two classes of stock give shareholders too little say in the company. Chairman and Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. should give up one of his roles, they said.
The vote ``is a clear mandate for meaningful change,'' Morgan Stanley said in a statement. ``The withhold vote this year is significantly higher than last year and is an emphatic call for accountability.''
The shares for the New York Times (NYSE: NYT) have been steadily falling for some time now. They reached a low point in the 1990s, but falling nearly fifty percent in three years? That's quite a drop.
UPDATE: Also see this Editor & Publisher article entitled "Circ Numbers To Take Another Big Hit."