Donald Graham, president and CEO of the Washington Post Co., wrote in defense of the New York Times Co. Monday, after shareholders called for the Times to cease its practice of having two classes of common stock — one class for the insiders who pick most of the directors, and a second for outside investors.
Greg David, editor of Crain's New York Business, tells NPR's Robert Siegel that the dual-stock structures are used primarily in the media — but they are rare elsewhere in the financial world. The current shareholder move is being led by Morgan Stanley. The Times Co. is controlled by the Ochs-Sulzberger family.
The case — and Graham's defense of the Times — has brought about a rare event: the hereditary boss of a family-controlled but publicly traded newspaper coming to the defense of the hereditary boss of another great, family-controlled but publicly traded newspaper, all in the editorial pages of a third family-controlled but publicly traded newspaper.