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FB Roundup: New York Times, Lotte Group, and Vivendi

By Michael Finnigan

A.G. Sulzberger appointed deputy publisher of New York Times

Fifth-generation Arthur Gregg “A.G.” Sulzberger has been appointed deputy publisher of the New York Times, setting him up to one day succeed his father, Arthur Sulzberger Jr.

The 36-year-old next-generation executive takes on the role amid a difficult time for the publication: readers and advertisers are slowly shifting to online, while publishers are shifting their resources within the newsroom.

The younger Sulzberger's appointment comes shortly before the publisher releases its 2020 report, which will lay out the family business's trajectory over the next four years.

The family business traces its roots to the end of the 19th century when Adolph Sulzberger bought loss-making newspaper the New York Times.

Today the Sulzberger family control the company through Class B voting shares, giving them the right to elect 70% of the company's board.

Revenues at the New York Times dropped to $1.5 billion in 2014.

Family behind Lotte Group charged for corruption

Prosecutors in South Korea have charged the chairman of Lotte Group and four of his family members with tax evasion, embezzlement, and unlawful business deals.

Most of the wrongdoing is attributed to founder Shin Kyuk-ho and chairman Shin Dong-bin, who took control of the conglomerate in a boardroom coup earlier this year.

The indictment signals the first major allegation of illegal practices at Lotte Group, South Korea's fifth-largest conglomerate, despite a prevalence of white-collar crime among other family-run conglomerates in the region.

Lotte, South Korea's fifth-biggest conglomerate with an annual revenue of about $74 billion, has been run by the Shin family since it was established by Shin Kyuk-ho in 1948.

Vivendi lawsuit dialled up to 11

French media group Vivendi, owned by the Bolloré family, is the target of a $125 million fraud and contract breach over the 1984 documentary classic This is Spinal Tap.

The complaint from Spinal Tap star and co-creator Harry Shearer, best known for voicing 23 characters on The Simpsons, claims that its four creative leads have not received the 40% of net receipts laid out in the initial agreement.

Instead the four main players—Shearer, McKean, Guest, and Reinerin—allege that they have received just $81 in merchandising income and $98 in musical sales income over the past three decades.

The plaintiffs demand $125 million in compensatory and punitive damages.

The news comes two weeks after Vivendi chairman Vincent Bolloré tightened his grip on the French media group, pushing his stake above 20% for the first time.

Vivendi had revenues of €10.8 billion ($11.7 million) in 2016.

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