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Fund doubles stock it holds in Times Co.

From Wire Reports The Spokesman-Review

A hedge fund seeking to name four directors to the board of The New York Times Co. disclosed Monday that it has increased its stake in the publishing company to nearly 10 percent from 5 percent.

Harbinger Capital Partners and several related entities now own 9.96 percent of the Times’ publicly traded Class A shares, up from the 4.9 percent stake it disclosed in late January.

The company is working together with Scott Galloway, a marketing professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business, to try and effect changes at the publishing company, which they say hasn’t been aggressive enough in building up its digital businesses.

Galloway and Harbinger said in a regulatory filing that they had met with senior Times managers on Friday, but they didn’t disclose the substance of those conversations. Galloway has made clear that he isn’t proposing any changes to the Times’ two-class share structure, which allows the Sulzberger family to maintain control of the company.

•Some Delta Air Lines Inc. flight attendants are seeking to unionize as the nation’s No. 3 carrier considers combining with Northwest Airlines or United Airlines.

A past effort by Atlanta-based Delta’s flight attendants to unionize failed. Delta’s pilots are currently the only major work group at the company to be part of a union.

The latest efforts by the flight attendants come as consolidation talks involving Delta intensify. A deal between Delta and Eagan, Minn.-based Northwest Airlines Corp. could be announced as early as this week. Delta also has been talking to UAL Corp.’s United Airlines, officials familiar with the discussions have said.

According to the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, Delta flight attendants will file cards on Thursday seeking a union representation election. The union said in a statement Saturday that a majority of Delta flight attendants have signed cards. At least 35 percent of Delta’s 12,000 active flight attendants must sign cards seeking union representation for the National Mediation Board to call an election, Delta spokeswoman Gina Laughlin said Monday.

Continental Airlines Inc. said Monday it will pay a record $158 million in profit sharing Thursday to employees based on the carrier’s 2007 results.

Houston-based Continental, the fourth-largest U.S. airline, said last month that its pretax earnings for last year rose 53 percent, to $566 million, and revenue increased 8 percent, to $14.23 billion.

Last year, the company paid out $111 million in profit sharing based on 2006 results.

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