NYT Debt and Watching Clients
The long and short of it is that the company owes $453 million more than it has in assets in the short term. In the long term, it actually has about $33 million more than it owes, but that counts current market rates for things like land and buildings. That would mean the company would essentially have to liquidate itself to have that much left:
When a company like NYTCo is healthy and generating cash, none of this really matters. The New York Times's value isn't in buildings or land--it's in the value of the brand and ongoing business, which aren't reflected on the balance sheet. Now that NYTCo has gotten itself in a financial pickle, however, the balance sheet and current cash flows matter a lot.That doesn't count the potential cash value of such properties as the Boston Globe, which it's been trying to sell off, but who wants to buy a newspaper these days? The short term view is the real killer, because by May it could be facing this big deficit in a tough credit market.
The NYT's "current ratio"--current assets vs. current liabilities--is now about 1 to 2, which is horrible (In the next year, the company will be required to pay out more than twice as much value as it has on hand). For comparison, a robustly healthy company, such as Google, has a current ratio of 8 to 1. Even General Motors has a better current ratio than the NYT.
I'm not inclined to write for them in any case given the contracts and my back being up over retroactive provisions. Heck, even the NYT Magazine insists on joint copyright ownership these days. But even if I were inclined, this would make me concerned about whether a day might come when I wouldn't get paid.