Arthur Gregg Sulzberger, the 28-year-old son of Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr., is leaving his job as a reporter at the Oregonian newspaper to return to New York and work at the Times, according to Portland’s Willamette Week.
As an heir to the family fortune, Arthur Gregg is sometimes viewed as a likely successor to his father, as Sulzberger Jr. (pictured) was to his father, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger. And his return comes at a fortuitous time.
With the economic walls closing in on the paper, shares of New York Times stock have been cut in half since September, to less than $7 (down from $40 just three years ago). Last month, Times executives said they may lower the paper’s quarterly dividend to avoid the black mark of “junk bond” status to their credit rating. The dividend is the working income of the 50-plus members of the Ochs-Sulzberger family that controls the paper, and a cut could put pressure on the family to consider their options — from a change in management to an outright sale. As New York reported in October:
One thing that would cause the fifth generation to take a sudden interest in the family business is a decrease in trust income. “Once that dividend is cut, then all hell will break loose,” says a former Times executive. “Because that’s what the family lives on. Then it’s over. It’s going to unravel. They’re going to be forced to look for external professional management to run that company.
Then again, Times turmoil isn’t the only disruption in Arthur Gregg Sulzberger’s universe: Earlier this year, his father separated from his mother, Gail Gregg, after 33 years of marriage.
Earlier: Bleeding ‘Times’ Blood [NYM]