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ValueAct Capital wants NYT to push premium packages

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The New York Times (NYT) is coming under pressure from ValueAct Capital, an activist hedge fund holding a 7 per cent stake in the business, to increase digital sales by steering subscribers towards premium packages of its products, according to report by Financial Review

The global news media group’s shares jumped 10 per cent after news broke that ValueAct Capital had written a letter urging the business to explore ways to boost profitability.

In the letter ValueAct claims that many of the NYT’s current 6.1 million core subscribers would pay substantially more for a premium package of products and services but are “not aware that the offering exists”. And the fund wants NYT management to act with “urgency” to “accelerate growth”.

The New York Times has been owned by the Ochs-Sulzberger family for more than with control maintained through a dual-class stock structure, whereby the family owns all of the class B voting shares that allow it to elect about 70 per cent of the board. 

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