Felix Salmon says The New York Times needs a goofy scheme:
Personally, I think this is a really good idea: give every print subscriber one Class B voting share of NYT stock, and then give them one more share every three months thereafter, assuming their subscription is still in good standing. The securities would automatically convert to Class A shares if they were sold or transferred, or if the subscriber let his subscription lapse.
The cost of such a scheme would not be great: NYT shares closed today at $16.59 apiece, compared to a standard subscription rate of $10.20 a week, or $530 a year. But the votes of the NYT subscribers would be a formidable force to be reckoned with for anybody seeking to shake up the company, and they could almost certainly be relied upon to vote for the best possible journalism, rather than the highest possible share price.
But isn't this just going to lead to some takeover artist somewhere buying a huge number of Times subscriptions, thus gaining control of the company at a discount? Presumably you could write a rule to get around this -- no more than one subscription per person. Probably the world would be more interesting with more whacky business schemes like this out there. I feel, though, that it wouldn't be good for Bill Kristol's employment prospects.
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