UPDATE 3-New York Times is not for sale -- Sulzberger Jr
(Adds shareholder vote percentage)
NEW YORK, April 22 (Reuters) - New York Times Co (NYT.N) Chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr. told shareholders on Tuesday the company is not for sale, rejecting speculation a prolonged newspaper industry slump made it vulnerable to a takeover.
"This company is not for sale," he said at the Times' annual shareholder meeting, calling recent media reports suggesting otherwise "ill-informed."
Speculation over a sale of the publisher of the namesake paper, as well as the Boston Globe and About.com, has dogged the company for years.
Media interest in the idea has been resurrected as its stock shed close to 20 percent in the last year and its flagship Times faces new competition in U.S. political news from a Rupert Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, founder of the Bloomberg LLC financial news and data service to consider, has been cited as a potential suitor.
Newsweek reported this week that his close associates have urged him to consider a bid, but Bloomberg shot down that idea on Monday.
"I am not going to go into the newspaper business," Bloomberg told reporters when asked about the Times.
The Times' sliding stock price and a steady decline in ad revenue has sparked anger among its outside investors, some of whom have publicly blasted management for poor performance.
Last month, the Times ended a proxy battle with a dissident shareholder group led by hedge fund Harbinger Capital Partners by agreeing to support two outside nominees to its board.
Shareholders on Tuesday approved the slate, including dissident nominees Scott Galloway of investment firm Firebrand Partners, who led the battle with Harbinger, and James Kohlberg, chairman of private equity company Kohlberg & Co.
"We are delighted to welcome the two board members who came to us through that process," Sulzberger said of Galloway and Kohlberg.
All the directors got approval from at least 77.7 percent of the shares voted, Times spokeswoman Catherine Mathis said.
Times shares rose to $19.90 in after-hours trading after falling 64 cents to close at $19.61 on the New York Stock Exchange. (Editing by Maureen Bavdek/Andre Grenon)
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