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NYTCo Execs Tell Staff Company Can Manage $1 Billion Debt

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The pending sale of WQXR-FM for $45 million will help the New York Times Co. (NYSE: NYT) chip away at its $1 billion debt, Arthur Sulzberger and Janet Robinson told their staff in a memo posted by The Awl. Tired of having outsiders do it for them, the second memo in as many months from the chairman and CEO runs through the company’s debt situation: “We have been pro-active and disciplined in addressing our long-term debt obligations. … we strongly believe we have the financial strength and flexibility to manage through this difficult time.”

Some of the “highlights” from the internal PR effort:

— Only $45 million of the company’s approximately $1 billion in debt matures before 2011 and “we expect to repay that in November with cash flow from operations and our revolving credit agreement.” The majority of the debt is due in 2015.

— The company closed down one of its two $400 million revolving lines of credit when it expired in May, using a $250 million loan from shareholder Carlos Slim’s Banco Inbursa and Inmobiliaria Carso. Some of the loan went to repurchase “roughly half” of the $100 million in bonds due in November. “We are paying an interest rate of 14% on the Inbursa debt. Yes, it