Times Co. sees need to educate reporters, analysts about debt

The back-and-forth between Michael Hirschorn of The Atlantic and The New York Times about The Old Gray Lady’s long-term health – or, as Hirschorn would...

The back-and-forth between Michael Hirschorn of The Atlantic and The New York Times about The Old Gray Lady’s long-term health – or, as Hirschorn would contend, a lack of it – has received a considerable amount of media attention in the past week.

Catherine Mathis, SVP of corporate communications at the Times Co., said that was a major reason why her company responded to the article, which predicts an end to the newspaper as soon as four months from now, via letter. Mathis also told PRWeek that she sent her letter to the Poynter.org’s popular Romanesko blog after she was told it would not run until The Atlantic’s next issue.

"With the downturn in the economy and the extraordinary events in the credit markets, I have spent more time helping both financial analysts and journalists understand our debt. Someone recently said to me, ‘Equity analysts have become debt analysts.’ I think that’s true," Mathis said via e-mail. "Given what’s happened in the credit markets, there is much more of a focus on the cash flow, liquidity, and debt situation for companies across America. There is also a much greater need to educate employees, shareholders, and journalists on these issues."

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