After two years as a reporter at the Portland Oregonian, Arthur Gregg Sulzberger III will return to New York to work at his family's Times, Portland alternative paper Williamette Week is reporting. Sulzberger wouldn't comment for the paper, but his return to New York appears at first glance unrelated to staff cuts at the Oregonian. So what's the 28-year-old son of Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. (pictured) up to? In all likelihood, trying to help to stabilize not only a faltering newspaper company but a ruptured family.
Earlier this year, Arthur III's parents decided to divorce. They implausibly suggested the split was "amicable," and by October New York reported the "deeply acrimonious divorce... upset the entire family," including Sulzberger's "really hurt" ex-wife Gail. It can't have helped that Arthur Jr. was seen regularly with Caroline Kennedy. Arthur III, reported by New York closer to Gail, will now be better able to offer emotional support.
Then there are the troubles at the Times Company. Under Arthur Jr.'s stewardship, the company has seen its debt rated junk and made its first newsroom-wide layoffs. With profits falling fast and hundreds of millions in debt soon coming due, the company recently pledged no more layoffs — which means selling off assets and/or cutting the paper's generous dividend, the essential financial glue binding the family in unity behind the family business.
Arthur Jr. is widely believed to want his son to succeed him at the paper. Given where things stand now, the first question is whether Arthur III would even be interested in the headache of a job.
Given where the Times and indeed all newspapers are headed, it's hard to imagine Arthur III anywhere but on the online side of the operation. If you have more specific information, we'd love to hear from you. (Ditto if you have a picture of the guy!)