Company Stands To Lose Half Its Interest In The Plane At
In its annual shareholders proxy
statement filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission last
week, the New York Times revealed that its corporate bizjet has
been put on the market for sale.
The New York Post reports the plane is a Dassault Falcon 50EX,
purchased by the Times in 1998 for $17 million. Advertised for an
asking price of $9.5 million, the jet is outfitted with nine cabin
seats, four armchairs, a lounge area and a sofa bed. A private
broker told the Post that the average price for that plane in
today's market is likely closer to $8 million.
The proxy statement also itemized an instance of personal use of
the aircraft last year by Times Chairman of the Board Arthur
Sulzberger Jr. at a cost calculated at $11,189, "based on the cost
of fuel, allocated trip-related maintenance, on-board catering,
crew travel expenses, landing fees and trip-related hangar and
parking costs, as well as the related cost of any empty return
"Because the Company-owned airplane was used primarily for
business travel in 2008, we did not include the fixed costs that do
not change based on usage, such as pilots' salaries, depreciation
and the cost of maintenance not related to trips. Beginning in
2009, the Company no longer permits any use of the corporate
aircraft as it is being marketed for sale," the statement said.
While on the one hand still offering big salaries and
compensation for its execs -- CEO Janet Robinson received a total
of over $5.5 million worth last year -- the Times seems to be
struggling to keep pace with spiraling indebtedness, which is
currently topping the one billion dollar mark. $400 million more is
slated to come due in May, and another $300 million by March
In addition to the Falcon, the Times is trying to sell its share
of the Boston Red Sox -- expected to bring between $140 and $150
million -- and just last week mortgaged its Midtown Manhattan
headquarters to WP Carey & Co. for $225 million.