The only way the New York Times can escape the clutches of a Mexican billionaire is by successfully instituting a paywall. Who has it chosen to manage this treacherous path? The publisher's nephew. He used to run a DJ school.
The Times is a publicly traded company, but the heirs of its modern founder Adolph Ochs and his son-in-law, Arthur Hays Sulzberger, own the voting shares. And in an effort to inculcate all the far-flung cousins—there are 27 fifth-generation descendants of Sulzberger—with a sense of responsibility for the newspaper and its various holdings, the New York Times Company likes to rotate them through the place from time to time.
The company's latest proxy statement, released earlier this week, brought news of yet two more Sulzberger cousins signing up for duty at the mother ship—in this job market, no less! And one of them was particularly momentous: Thirty-three-year-old David Perpich, nephew to Times publisher Arthur "Pinch" Sulzberger Jr., who is himself son to his predecessor Arthur "Punch" Sulzberger, who was himself son to his predecessor Arthur Hays Sulzberger, has been hired as the executive director of paid products at NYTimes.com just as the site prepares to wring desperately needed money out of its 17 million monthly users by limiting the number of stories they can read without subscribing. So here's a handy guide to what Perpich—as well as his various kinsman and -women spread throughout the New York Times Company—brings to the table.
David Perpich, 33, fifth generation
Perpich's claim to fame is his role in helping run the Scratch DJ Academy, a rigorous institution of higher learning co-founded by Jam Master Jay that offers an "incredible opportunity for amateur and aspiring music enthusiasts to learn how to DJ, from mixing and blending, to scratching and beat juggling." Among Perpich's duties at the Academy was "handling all marketing initiatives," and he was really good at it: He managed to get the school mentioned a whopping nine times in the paper his family owns! After leaving academia around 2007, according to this excellent 2008 New York rundown of the Sulzberger clan, Perpich briefly entertained an offer to join the family business, but he turned it down in favor of a technology consulting gig at Booz Allen. For whatever reason, that didn't work out, so he figured he'd head over to his uncle's shop and shepherd the most crucial business initiative that the Times has ever undertaken. He's up for it, though: He's a digital wizard who's thoroughly mastered Twitter, having limited his posts to one heartbreaking online memorial for Michael Jackson made all the more moving by its singularity:
Samuel Dolnick, 30, fifth generation
Also reported in the most recent proxy statement was the hiring of Samuel Dolnick, the grandson of Arthur Sulzberger's sister Ruth Holmberg (who herself served as the publisher of the Chattanooga Times). Dolnick, who previously toiled as a reporter for the Associated Press, was hired at the Newspaper Guild Minimum staff reporter's salary of $90,500 in September, and has been writing for the Metro desk. According to the New York Observer, Dolnick is no dilettante: His AP gig took him to New Delhi, and before that, he interned at the Village Voice under the estimable Wayne Barrett. He's settled down in New York for the new gig, having just purchased a home in Brooklyn with a $300,000 mortgage at the discount-window interest rate of .57% from his grandmother, according to New York real estate records.
A. G. Sulzberger, 30, fifth generation
Arthur G. Sulzberger, Pinch's son, joined the paper last March, also at the Guild minimum salary, and since then he's been cold huntin' snipers, writing about bus stops and light bulbs for the Metro desk, and fending off obscene propositions from Gawker readers. Before that he wrote for the Portland Oregonian.
Rachel B. Golden, 31, fifth generation
Rachel is the daughter of Michael Golden, Holmberg's son and vice chairman of the Times Company. She makes a cool $82,136 as a marketing associate for the Times web site, where she's responsible for promoting the Style, T, and Travel sections.
James Dryfoos, 45, fifth generation
Dryfoos, the grandson of Arthur Sulzberger's sister Marian, is a systems analyst for the Times Company, where he analyzes systems for $144,673 a year. He married a lady named Reagan Rexrode and is a homebrew enthusiast.
Michael Greenspon, 40, fifth generation
Also a grandson of Marian's, Greenspon is, according to New York, "quietly competent but not an obvious candidate to lead the paper." He's a project manager in strategic planning and served last year as the interem general manager of the New York Times News Service, which laid of some 25 to 30 people in November. He makes $176,961 a year.
Michael Golden, 61, fourth generation
Golden, father to Rachel and son of Ruth, is Arthur Sulzberger Jr.'s chief rival in the family. He's currently vice chairman after a stint in Paris as the publisher of the International Herald Tribune, which the Times Company wrestled away from the Washington Post Company in 2002. Golden shepherded the company's move from its old Times Square headquarters to a bright shiny new $500 million building, which worked out like this: The old building was flipped at a $350 million profit three years after the Times sold it, and the Times started selling off pieces of the new building for cash two years after it was built. For this he made $1.8 million last year.
Arthur O. Sulzberger, Jr., 59
Arthur is the publisher of the New York Times. He makes $5.1 million, and is primarily occupied with ensuring that none of the aforementioned fifth-generation Sulzbergers have jobs in five years.
SPECIAL BONUS HIDDEN SULZBERGER: New York's look at the Sulzberger clan noted that a "spokesperson for the Times said there are two additional fifth-generation descendents, but they have never appeared as beneficiaries in the company's SEC filings." We've found one of them: In addition to providing a mortgage to Dolnick, Holmberg is also listed in New York real estate records as having made a $265,000 loan to a Sharon Skettini of Brooklyn. And according to public databases, Skettini once shared an address in Arizona with Ruth's son Stephen Golden, a lawyer in Tucson. Skettini appears to have once been employed as a literary agent for Sterling Lord Literistic, a New York agency, but she's not currently listed on the firm's site. She doesn't appear to have any public relationship with the Times.