Thursday, November 20, 2008

New York Times Co. cuts dividend by 74%

New York Times Co. said late Thursday that it has slashed its quarterly dividend to 6 cents a share from 23 cents in the face of an unprecedented decline in advertising revenue across the newspaper industry.

New York Times shares fell nearly 10% to close at $5.72 ahead of the announcement Thursday. Mirroring the dire performance of other stocks in the newspaper world, the stock has plummeted 80% in the last three years.

In a statement, the founding Ochs-Sulzberger family's trust said that "while [the decision was] very difficult for all shareholders, it is the appropriate and prudent business response given the extraordinary challenges of the current economic environment."
Chairman Arthur Sulzberger said the cut, "coupled with our other actions, will help us decrease debt and improve the liquidity of the company."

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