In 1896, Adolph S. Ochs purchased controlling interest in The New York Times for $75,000. That would be two million dollars in today's money, which seems rather laughable. Hold that thought.
The Times was not Ochs' first newspaper. He first job was delivering The Knoxville Chronicle, and he later worked as a "printer's devil". In 1878, at the age of 19(!), he purchased The Chattanooga Times for $250. Yes, the NYT was a bit more expensive. Still holding that thought?
Ochs, who was Jewish, greatly increased the circulation and influence of the NYT. He was succeeded as publisher by son-in-law Arthur Hays Sulzberger. Sulzberger's son-in-law, Orvil Dryfoos, followed, and then it was Ochs' grandson, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger. This makes the NYT's current publisher, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr., Ochs' great-grandson.
Let's get back to the thought. Today, it's not exactly clear what The New York Times is worth, but it's measured in billions. And yet, we keep thinking: considering where the newspaper business is going, that seems a tad laughable, no?