By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

More on Geffen and the Times

Newsweek’s Johnnie L. Roberts reports that David Geffen would turn the New York Times into a non-profit institution if he should succeed in buying the paper. But someone — Roberts, Geffen, the unnamed Geffen “confidante” who’s quoted or perhaps all three — doesn’t really understand the model.

The example that’s cited is the St. Petersburg Times, which is owned by the non-profit Poynter Institute. But the Times itself is a for-profit organization. If that’s what Geffen’s really got in mind, then that might be the ideal ownership situation — unlike a true non-profit, the St. Pete Times is free to endorse political candidates, for instance.

But though the hybrid model eliminates the pressure of quarterly reports and shareholder discontent, a paper such as the St. Pete Times (the New Hampshire Union Leader has a similar ownership arrangement) still needs to break even. In the current economic climate, that’s a challenge.

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Is Geffen serious about buying the NY Times?


  1. NewsHound

    It needs to break even or gain a surplus over a period of years. Eliminating some of the high paid executives and directors is a start.Newspapers need virtually everybody reading. Thinking of what has been exposed in Massachusetts government by Boston newspapers in the last month alone is sadly diminished as circulation declines. We need the maximum number of people aware and concerned about bad, dishonest, wasteful government.If anything, we need to retain our newspapers and try to improve circulation numbers.

  2. TradingNuggets

    Dan Kennedy,Wow, I haven’t seen or heard from you in years. Last time I heard you had retired bot a horse and doing some racing! I am an old and long time subscriber to No BS newsletter and bot countless books from you.You are the Best without a doubt!Wishing you the best,J Upton

  3. Ron Newman

    Hmm, I wonder if that comment was intended for one of the several other Dan Kennedys.

  4. TradingNuggets

    Could be. Not sure.Dan Kennedy I’m referring to wrote newsletters and did seminars and was a leader in the Direct Marketing, Info. and Media biz.If this is a different Dan Kennedy my sincere apology.

  5. Dan Kennedy

    Mr. Upton: You’re looking for this Dan Kennedy. I’m this one.

  6. TradingNuggets

    Dan,Thank you, Yes that would the “other” Dan Kennedy. I’m sure you are both equally the best at what you do!J Upton

  7. MeTheSheeple

    Oooh, sure. All Dan Kennedys look alike.Bigot.=)

  8. Aaron Read

    Interesting, Scott Adams just did a take on the other Scott Adams’ out there this week on his blog, too.When I worked at The Infinite Mind we did a radio episode on “What’s in a Name?” that had a great segment on Alan Berliner and Grace Lee and how they did documentaries rounding up all the people that had the same name as them. Standard joke: they saved money on nametags at the cocktail parties. (grroooooan)Anyways…I wanted to note that with this news about Craigslist effectively killing off their adult personals section (which was always the best unintentionally funny website out there in the series of tubes) then it appears that at least The Phoenix will have a sustainable revenue source for a while. Heh heh hehHow much longer before the Globe has their own “personals” section like the Phoenix’s? Ten bucks says before Halloween. 😉

  9. Nial Liszt

    **How much longer before the Globe has their own “personals” section like the Phoenix’s?**Just wondering … If then a Philip Markoff uses the Globe to place a personal ad, would they refer to him as the alleged “Globe Killer”?

  10. meamoeba

    i thought the liberal bent was the alleged “globe killer.”

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