Thoroughbred Times in bankruptcy, ceases operations

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Twenty-seven full-time employees of Thoroughbred Times in Lexington, Ky., were notified Saturday morning they are without jobs after the company owned by Norman Ridker filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and ceased operations, effective immediately. The magazine, which was launched 27 years ago this week, recently switched from a weekly format to twice monthly. It also published the Thoroughbred Times Today electronic newsletter, the Stallion Directory, Buyer’s Guide, and a website, ThoroughbredTimes.com.

Mark Simon, who helped launch the publication in 1985 with the late Richard F. Broadbent III and  – except for a brief period in 1992 when the magazine was owned by Peter Brant – has served as its only chief editor. He said he learned of the bankruptcy filing and shuttering on Saturday morning in a letter from Ridker that arrived via Federal Express. Other employees learned the same way. The company laid off five workers in their art and production departments two weeks ago.

“I was shocked, though in a way I really shouldn’t have been,” Simon told the Paulick Report. “We’d been struggling. He (Ridker) buried the company with debt and overhead from other publications.”

Simon said the Thoroughbred Times was paying for 11 employees who were working for other publications owned under a different business entity by Ridker, including Hobby Farms, Young Rider, and Horse Illustrated. Those employees, who had been working in the Thoroughbred Times building near Leestown Road in Lexington, moved to different offices earlier this week.


“They were on the Thoroughbred Times payroll and we were also paying for their health care,” he said. “We paid hundreds of thousands of dollars of those salaries, a lot of money every year.”

Employees of Thoroughbred Times will have to wait to hear from a bankruptcy court trustee before they find out if and when they will be paid all of the money owed them for the last payroll period, vacation time, or reimbursements for travel expenses.

“The trustee has control of all the assets and liabilities,” Simon said. “Norman at this juncture has relinquished all control.”

Employees who tried to enter the Thoroughbred Times office Saturday morning to retrieve personal belongings found the building locked. “He didn’t have the courage to tell people himself or send someone to tell the employees yesterday,” Simon said.

The Thoroughbred Times was launched by Simon and Broadbent when there were two other weekly Thoroughbred magazines published in the U.S.: The Blood-Horse and Thoroughbred Record. Published initially as a black-and-white weekly tabloid, the Times in November 1988 merged with Thoroughbred Record, where Simon began working in 1977. (Full disclosure: I worked at Thoroughbred Times for three years, from March 1988-February 1991.)

At the time of the merger, the Thoroughbred Record was being published by Peter Brant as a monthly magazine. Before long, it ceased publications entirely and was incorporated into the Thoroughbred Times. Brant and Broadbent became embroiled in a lawsuit in 1992, with Brant taking control of the company, replacing Simon as editor, and adding color photographs to the cover and some sections of the Times.

On Jan. 1, 1993, the Times was sold to Ridker, a successful publisher based in Beverly Hills, Calif., with a wide variety of magazines (Dog Fancy, Cat Fancy, Horse Illustrated, Hawaii magazine, among others have been part of his Bowtie Press/Fancy Publications). Ridker transformed the Times into all color and invested heavily in circulation development, bringing the number of subscribers to over 25,000 – higher than The Blood-Horse – by the mid-1990s.

In recent years, however, as print publications  – weekly news magazines in particular – have suffered, circulation and advertising support at Thoroughbred Times dropped. Staff turnover has been high in some departments, and the move in July to a twice-monthly more feature-oriented format did not have time to be fully tested.

“We had a good response to (the new format),” Simon said. “But Norman just had so much debt he couldn’t get out from under it.”

Over the years, the Thoroughbred Times has won Eclipse Awards for writing, photography and multi-media and numerous honors from American Horse Publications.

“We had a great staff and had a lot of really good people working here over the years,” Simon said. “They did a great job. We always had the smallest staff but it was best-quality staff.”

Simon expressed hope that someone would come along and work with the bankruptcy trustee to buy the company’s assets and start publishing under the Thoroughbred Times banner again.

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  • Nucky Thompson

    Great opportunity for Mike Repole to take it over and give himself a platform to change racing.

    • wallyhorse

      Agree, this is a perfect opportunity for Repole.

    • Don Reed

      An amazingly good opportunity for Repole.  I hope he’s reading this.

  • Nucky Thompson

    Great opportunity for Mike Repole to take it over and give himself a platform to change racing.

  • Brandyhoch

    As a past HR employee of Thoroughbred Times this news was not at all surprising to me. I feel very bad for Mark Simon and how he was treated though, but that’s Norman Ridker for you. I wish everyone the best during this transition.

  • Brandyhoch

    As a past HR employee of Thoroughbred Times this news was not at all surprising to me. I feel very bad for Mark Simon and how he was treated though, but that’s Norman Ridker for you. I wish everyone the best during this transition.

  • Roisin

    What a shame. I really enjoyed the publication. As far as I’m concerned Mark Simon is a class act…none better.

  • Roisin

    What a shame. I really enjoyed the publication. As far as I’m concerned Mark Simon is a class act…none better.

  • Briarwood73

    i never really liked it,never gave much to midwest racing but hate to see it go,

  • Briarwood73

    i never really liked it,never gave much to midwest racing but hate to see it go,

  • http://www.facebook.com/lynda.s.hill Lynda Sasscer Hill

    I am terribly sorry to hear this. This economy has hurt so many people and businesses. Ray, so glad you planted a strong root in an internet platform.
    Sasscer Hill

  • http://www.facebook.com/lynda.s.hill Lynda Sasscer Hill

    I am terribly sorry to hear this. This economy has hurt so many people and businesses. Ray, so glad you planted a strong root in an internet platform.
    Sasscer Hill

  • Phdiers

    I loved this magazine and the daily emails—this is where I received quite a bit of my racing news and passed on to Facebook—so sorry about this–

  • Phdiers

    I loved this magazine and the daily emails—this is where I received quite a bit of my racing news and passed on to Facebook—so sorry about this–

  • Sampan

    I’m very sorry to see this publication go under. It goes very far back for me. I initially started to read the Thoroughbred Record in 1949 and in 1985 I advertised in it and John Hamilton looked after my ads. I continued to advertise in The Thoroughbred Times when Richard Broadbent lll owned it and Mark Simon was Editor. This is a genuine loss and I’m very sorry for the people who lost their jobs.

  • Sampan

    I’m very sorry to see this publication go under. It goes very far back for me. I initially started to read the Thoroughbred Record in 1949 and in 1985 I advertised in it and John Hamilton looked after my ads. I continued to advertise in The Thoroughbred Times when Richard Broadbent lll owned it and Mark Simon was Editor. This is a genuine loss and I’m very sorry for the people who lost their jobs.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001654178614 Happy Harriet

    Hmmm…  Let’s see – the magazine paid for salaries and benefits for people who were not contributing, the magazine borrowed to the hilt and buried itself in debt until it was suffocated, the leader of the magazine said nothing, did nothing, apologized for nothing, took no action to turn the ship around, and acted cowardly.  This sounds familiar.  What is it?  …uh… OH! I got it!  AMERICA!

    Sorry that the one decision maker who could have made different, smarter decisions chose to be self-serving.  This is what happens when the individual in charge lacks character and business savvy and tries to stimulate business with BS instead while, a Titanic-shaped disaster unfolds and no lifeboats are offered.  The employees who received a FedEx notification may have been a bit dimwitted for staying, or maybe not!  They could have felt they were helping and contributing, and were simply left in the dark about the facts.  (People who receive money they don’t work for, take note!)

    The only positive thing to look forward to here will come from the Bankruptcy Court who will carefully examine the load of expenses unrelated to the ongoing business of the magazine and report that to the IRS as inappropriate deductions and potential fraud carrying additional taxes, penalties, etc.

    This is not the last newsflash on this topic, I predict.  And this week’s news is not the last newsflash on this topic as it relates to America, either, I further predict sadly.

    • Mary Simon

      Not dimwitted, Happy Harriet, though perhaps a bit naive and idealistic. We were lied to repeatedly over the past year by our so-called “leader,” and led to believe things that were never followed through on. Nobody here really wanted to throw in the towel–we loved the Thoroughbred Times, and in spite of the ongoing financial horror show served up by our parent company (BowTie Inc.), we were proud of our product. “Quit” just wasn’t an option for most of us.  … At least now, with Norman Ridker out of the picture, and Chapter 7 filed, hopefully our wonderful correspondents, both writers and photographers, will get at least some of what’s owed them.

    • Anderson5999

      America … love it or leave it, Happy Harriet!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001654178614 Happy Harriet

    Hmmm…  Let’s see – the magazine paid for salaries and benefits for people who were not contributing, the magazine borrowed to the hilt and buried itself in debt until it was suffocated, the leader of the magazine said nothing, did nothing, apologized for nothing, took no action to turn the ship around, and acted cowardly.  This sounds familiar.  What is it?  …uh… OH! I got it!  AMERICA!

    Sorry that the one decision maker who could have made different, smarter decisions chose to be self-serving.  This is what happens when the individual in charge lacks character and business savvy and tries to stimulate business with BS instead while, a Titanic-shaped disaster unfolds and no lifeboats are offered.  The employees who received a FedEx notification may have been a bit dimwitted for staying, or maybe not!  They could have felt they were helping and contributing, and were simply left in the dark about the facts.  (People who receive money they don’t work for, take note!)

    The only positive thing to look forward to here will come from the Bankruptcy Court who will carefully examine the load of expenses unrelated to the ongoing business of the magazine and report that to the IRS as inappropriate deductions and potential fraud carrying additional taxes, penalties, etc.

    This is not the last newsflash on this topic, I predict.  And this week’s news is not the last newsflash on this topic as it relates to America, either, I further predict sadly.

  • http://www.facebook.com/laichholz Lois Aichholz

    So very sorry to hear this!  I always enjoyed the ‘Times’ since the very begining and have kept all of the old B & W papers and later the color with so much information in them.  It was a great news magazine!  Very sad to hear.

  • Allan

    It stinks to hear what happened and how it happened.  My thoughts go out to those who lost their jobs. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/laichholz Lois Aichholz

    So very sorry to hear this!  I always enjoyed the ‘Times’ since the very begining and have kept all of the old B & W papers and later the color with so much information in them.  It was a great news magazine!  Very sad to hear.

  • Allan

    It stinks to hear what happened and how it happened.  My thoughts go out to those who lost their jobs. 

  • Rufus T Firefly

    As a former employee–up to this morning–I can only repeat a quote from N. Ridker that made quite an impression on me during the only time I had the “pleasure” of hearing him speak (during several years of employment). This was uttered about 1-2 years ago during a brief anniversary celebration.

    The recession was well underway, and Ridker chose to share with the TTimes staff his overall approach to rebuilding the magazine/newsletter/website’s standing within the insular, competitive Thoroughbred industry where personal and professional integrity goes a hell of a long way. The quote is as follows, and it is verbatim:

    “I don’t care if we have a second-rate reputation as long as we are first in sales.”

    ‘Nuff said.

  • Rufus T Firefly

    As a former employee–up to this morning–I can only repeat a quote from N. Ridker that made quite an impression on me during the only time I had the “pleasure” of hearing him speak (during several years of employment). This was uttered about 1-2 years ago during a brief anniversary celebration.

    The recession was well underway, and Ridker chose to share with the TTimes staff his overall approach to rebuilding the magazine/newsletter/website’s standing within the insular, competitive Thoroughbred industry where personal and professional integrity goes a hell of a long way. The quote is as follows, and it is verbatim:

    “I don’t care if we have a second-rate reputation as long as we are first in sales.”

    ‘Nuff said.

  • Fpope

    On one hand you can count the number of people who know everything about this industry. Mark Simon is one of those rare individuals. I hope he and the rest of the staff find a way to continue doing what they love.

    • MA

      I’m sure he’s very knowledgeable, but I think it’s impossible for anyone to know everything about this industry.

  • Fpope

    On one hand you can count the number of people who know everything about this industry. Mark Simon is one of those rare individuals. I hope he and the rest of the staff find a way to continue doing what they love.

  • Kerry Fitzpatrick

    If the magazine had positive cash flow before the payment of those inappropriate salaries and benefits, it can be resuscitated, maybe as a new entity employing much of the current staff. There are plenty of people in racing with the necessary start-up cash and entrepreneurial drive to step in and make this happen.

  • Kerry Fitzpatrick

    If the magazine had positive cash flow before the payment of those inappropriate salaries and benefits, it can be resuscitated, maybe as a new entity employing much of the current staff. There are plenty of people in racing with the necessary start-up cash and entrepreneurial drive to step in and make this happen.

  • Packman

    This was an aweful way to handle the situation. The bi-weekly was a good step towards survival but I was unaware of the added burden on TT. My thoughts are with the employees affected by this closure. BH has laid off so many over the last few years too. Not good for the industry.

  • Packman

    This was an aweful way to handle the situation. The bi-weekly was a good step towards survival but I was unaware of the added burden on TT. My thoughts are with the employees affected by this closure. BH has laid off so many over the last few years too. Not good for the industry.

  • Satch

    Very sad to hear.  The TTimes had more of a business feel and was definitely less pompous than the BloodHorse.  Really looked forward each day to the pdf version that was sent to my email account.  Please let us know how/if this publication ever gets reincarnated, Ray, even if it is just an electronic version.  Thanks.

    • Convene

       Blood Horse? Pompous? Actually, both publications were good reads.

      • Satch

         Yeah, the vibe with Blood Horse was definitely a little on the pompous side, based on my experience as both a reader and as an advertiser.

      • Johnathan Miller

        I really liked the new format and had just renewed my subscription last week. I hope they reappear asa monthly with in depth features.

  • Satch

    Very sad to hear.  The TTimes had more of a business feel and was definitely less pompous than the BloodHorse.  Really looked forward each day to the pdf version that was sent to my email account.  Please let us know how/if this publication ever gets reincarnated, Ray, even if it is just an electronic version.  Thanks.

  • Alan Krugman

    Very sad. But the truth is there was never much of a difference between the the Thoroughbred Times, the Bloodhorse, The DRF or even websites like this one. (no offense).  Because all depend on farms and others in the industry to buy ads, the writing rarely says anything controversial as they can’t piss of the advertisers. As a top DRF writer once told me, I can write anything as long as it isn’t interesting or controversial. He exaggerated of course but point taken.

    So what happens is you get multiple publications printing the same exact stories. So all can’t survive in this economy.   The Bloodhorse is a bit stronger and survived to be the only one left.  The DRF is too expensive and their days are numbered in present form. 

    Websites like this are dirt cheap and will probably stay around as the overhead is low. 

    RIP Thoroughbred Times.

    • Mary Simon

       Alan,
      I wish the Bloodhorse nothing but the best. They’re fortunate to be owned and subsidized by a strong organization, as opposed to a weak-kneed individual who squandered a once-great publishing empirre.

  • Alan Krugman

    Very sad. But the truth is there was never much of a difference between the the Thoroughbred Times, the Bloodhorse, The DRF or even websites like this one. (no offense).  Because all depend on farms and others in the industry to buy ads, the writing rarely says anything controversial as they can’t piss of the advertisers. As a top DRF writer once told me, I can write anything as long as it isn’t interesting or controversial. He exaggerated of course but point taken.

    So what happens is you get multiple publications printing the same exact stories. So all can’t survive in this economy.   The Bloodhorse is a bit stronger and survived to be the only one left.  The DRF is too expensive and their days are numbered in present form. 

    Websites like this are dirt cheap and will probably stay around as the overhead is low. 

    RIP Thoroughbred Times.

  • Tinky

    If you think that this is bad behavior, then you haven’t been paying the slightest attention to what has been going on (and accelerating rapidly) in the broader economy. 

    With rare exceptions, corporations don’t give a damn about their employees. Furthermore, and much more importantly, the Federal Reserve (with tacit approval from corrupt politicians) is engineering the greatest wealth transfer in the history of mankind. Meaning from the 99% to the 1%.

    From the crisis in 2008 until the present, incomprehensible sums of money have been given to the “TBTF” banks, the stock market has been artificially boosted, corporations are awash in cash, while for the average American, unemployment and (stealth) inflation have skyrocketed, their net worths have plummeted, all incentive to save has been sabotaged by suppressed interest rates, and the value of the dollar has been decimated (through printing).

    Oh, and by the way, things are going to get considerably worse. Those who don’t wake up and begin to use sources of information other than the MSM are courting disaster, as they will continue to be woefully unprepared for the storms that lie ahead.

    • Clemclemson

      Since when did you become an economist?  You are such a nutty chicken little today.  Can you just stick to horses?

      • Tinky

        The irony of your response is so rich, I’m beginning to suffer from heartburn.

        Here are a couple of quotes from Ben Bernanke, the man who not only heads the Fed, but is, you know, a bona fide, big-time economist:

        “given the fundamental factors in place that should support the demand for housing, we believe the effect of the troubles in the subprime sector on the broader housing market will likely be limited, and we do not expect significant spillovers from the subprime market to the rest of the economy or to the financial system.”

        That was from May of 2007

        “The Federal Reserve is not currently forecasting a recession.”
        January 2008

        There are many more like the above, but who cares – he’s an economist,  so he must know what he’s talking about. Right?

      • Don Reed

        Clem, stop being a chicken mcnutty today.  Give the guy a break. 

        He’s serious; it’s not a personal attack on anyone; and anyone not taking these trends seriously – which Tinky has, & has stated his case competantly – ends up someday, on a Saturday morning outside his place of work, locked out – having been oblivious to the impending obvious.

        How do these obituaries end up as the landing strip for all these unworthy side issues, anyway (not that I haven’t toss in my fair share of the wrong-way arrows).

        Refocus on the plight of the TT staff that starts looking for work in about six hours from now. 

  • Tinky

    If you think that this is bad behavior, then you haven’t been paying the slightest attention to what has been going on (and accelerating rapidly) in the broader economy. 

    With rare exceptions, corporations don’t give a damn about their employees. Furthermore, and much more importantly, the Federal Reserve (with tacit approval from corrupt politicians) is engineering the greatest wealth transfer in the history of mankind. Meaning from the 99% to the 1%.

    From the crisis in 2008 until the present, incomprehensible sums of money have been given to the “TBTF” banks, the stock market has been artificially boosted, corporations are awash in cash, while for the average American, unemployment and (stealth) inflation have skyrocketed, their net worths have plummeted, all incentive to save has been sabotaged by suppressed interest rates, and the value of the dollar has been decimated (through printing).

    Oh, and by the way, things are going to get considerably worse. Those who don’t wake up and begin to use sources of information other than the MSM are courting disaster, as they will continue to be woefully unprepared for the storms that lie ahead.

  • voiceofreason

    Advertising and partnerships make for the health of any publication these days (not to mention smart digital). With the sport, sales, ownership and breeding in shambles… this is where we are. Very sad.

    • Cacciolfi

      MIKE REPOLE CERTAINLY HAS THE MONEY AND NYRA SCAPEGOAT CHARLIE HAYWARD HAS THE PUBLISHING BACKROUND TO REVIVE THE TT.
      HOW ABOUT IT GUYS??
      YOU BOTH LIKE A CHALLENGE.

  • voiceofreason

    Advertising and partnerships make for the health of any publication these days (not to mention smart digital). With the sport, sales, ownership and breeding in shambles… this is where we are. Very sad.

  • Barry Irwin

    Very difficult environment for any print publication because of the Internet and economy. What I’d like to see if a monthly magazine, styled after the old Classic publication, that concentrated strictly on the sport of racing and on profiles of people in racing. The fans and participants in the sport need something like this–we have enough statistics, results, industry talk, etc. We need something to interest people in the sport, not the business. Wish all of the TT people the best of luck if somebody does not come along and bail them out. They worked their asses off and deserve better.

    • pinky

      I totally agree – once NTRA dropped their wonderful bios/stats on individual horses, jocks, trainers, etc. I lost interest in their site. It was their one unique selling point, and they got rid of it.  Wikipedia still cites them as references, but the links only go to dead pages. 

      • Don Reed

        NTRA simply did everything wrong.  Is it still pretending to be in existence?

        • http://www.facebook.com/sal.carcia Sal Carcia

          Don, I think the NYRA’s accomplishments were underrated. They were known for their successful lobbying efforts and were responsible for a number important industry studies. But, the moost misunderstood and unappreciated role was in marketing the game. The ads they produced, that were easily adapted to local track ads, gave the game a unified message. The ‘Go Baby Go’ tagline was brilliant. Also, the NTRA’ s marketing people were keenly aware of the importance of PR. Don, think of the game’s PR then and now. Nowadays, the game’s PR is out of control.

          • Don Reed

            “Don, I think the NYRA’s accomplishments were underrated.”

            Didn’t you intend to defend and give credit to “NTRA”? 

            I am not aware of any successful racing PR campaigns currently succeeding in bringing fans back to the tracks, or otherwise infusing the sport with a new sense of mission and purpose. 

            “Go Baby Go” WAS a great success, but that was being aired at a time when the kids on my block were on tricycles.  They’re now young parents, and in this lengthy interim, the ad campaigns have vanished. 

            Generally, PR firms today are designed to keep their clients OUT of the newspapers and TV news programs, or if that’s impossible, to spin whatever the news is about their clients so as to defuse the damage that their clients have done to themselves. 

            At any rate, even if what you say deserves consideration, all of it is in the past tense, so what’s the point of NTRA’s existence today?

            I’ll add that NTRA’s web site (at the time I was looking at it, years ago) was a disaster, with terrible writing, bad graphics, and a general theme of disorganization & indifference to standards that are generally recognized as being indispensible by successful, reputable business organizations. 

            Whomever was getting clipped in the wallet to keep NTRA going had my sympathy as the years went by, because no one could have looked at that site without realized that the money was going right down the drain. 

          • http://www.facebook.com/sal.carcia Sal Carcia

            Don, the NTRA kept track of popularity of horseracing in the annuall ESPN surveys. Popularity of the game was upward when the NTRA was actively helping to market the game. Since then, it has been in decline.

            The idea of PR is to help build a relationship with the press and help them understand a unified and consistent message that the game wants the public to hear. Look at how the NYTimes got out of control this year. I doubt that would have been that bad if someone from the game was consistently in contact with Joe Drape. The press did not behave this way during the NTRA marketing years.

            The NTRA’s marketing group always worked well with a limited budget. But, as they learned it is difficult to put out a unified message in a game that is not unified. And maybe the industry is not structured in a way to be unified afterall.

          • Don Reed

            Well said, Sal. Had you been a feature writer/editor/troubleshooter of the
            NTRA web site back when people were still paying attention to them & they
            had had a chance of grabbing the golden ring, I think they would have succeeded
            to a greater extent than they did.

            But I can’t endorse the argument that they were simultaneously doing
            good-to-excellent PR work as lobbyists at the same time that their own public web
            site was a horror story. They failed to create their OWN positive PR, so to
            speak, by competently publishing a coherent, dynamic & enticing WS.

            And so into the dust bin of history they were DQ’ed by the real stewards of
            the game, the racing/reading public.

            You’re right in saying – if I may paraphrase your remarks – that without a
            unity of racing managements behind them, what was the point?

            As for the NY Times, no one is going to convince them to proceed in any
            direction that could possibly convince me that they are sane observers of the
            sport, or of anything else. When vindictive hatchet print jobs become
            irresistible to such morally depraved people, the rest is a foregone
            conclusion.

            That entire trend started at TNY in the early 1990s.  The ensuing two decades of the damage wrought
            covers an enormous scope; so much so, the sins of their biased racing coverage
            - in comparison to such a massive trajectory of oft-insane
            “journalism” – barely rates mention. 

            When asked where the Manhattan
            headquarters of the Scientologists is located, it’s understandable if the NYC
            Chamber of Commerce refers the caller to the NYT plant on Eighth Avenue, instead of 227 West 46th Street,
            in the same borough.

            There are, of course, no exact comparisons. 
            But I’d love to be able to go back in time, to 1970, and show myself (at
            age 18, a college student & ardent NYT reader/defender) a copy of what has
            been written here, just to witness the reaction of that young man (“This
            can’t be!”). 

            Know any good time-travel agents?

            Be well.

          • Don Reed

            May I add that received today, is a letter from The New York Times,
            imploring us that there are (after opening envelope, I quote), “9 reasons
            to come back to the New York Times.”  

            I had no idea that I mattered this much to a “Yasmin Namini, Senior VP,
            Marketing & Circulation.” 

            Rather touching, isn’t it?  Someone
            whom I have never met, & to whom my existence matters little – with the
            exception that if I sign a check, further enabling all the little Sulzbergers [a
            name often misspelt by Times reporters themselves] to keep on cashing their inherited Class
            B stock dividends – we’ll be pals.

            Why, if I had received a handwritten note from Norman Ridker, putting the
            arm on me to keep his publishing empire above water, I could not have been more
            touched.

            But alas.

            Reply: “Gentlemen, it is with great regret that we decline your
            generous offer.  Also received in the
            same mail is the memoir of John Oaksey, English jockey & tireless benefactor
            of injured jockeys, whose recent demise inspired the desire to read something infused
            throughout with credibility.  Yours
            truly,” etc.

            Oh, that mailbox.  

          • Sal Carcia

            I sent a response, but I am not sure where it went. Don, I agree that the website is really important because many times it serves as the first and possibly last impression people have about an enterprise. I only remember not being able to find anything on it.

            With respect to the older version of the NTRA, I remember that it was Frank Stronach that stopped them in their tracks early on. He pulled out all his funding until the NTRA agreed to restructure their role in the industry. He came back in after he got his way, but the usefulness and longterm viability of the organization was reduced substantially. The old NTRA just faded away into the present version. I doubt seriously Frank supported (or supports) the idea of a central league office then (and now).

    • Convene

       Amen to that! If people get to know the living participants – 2-legged and 4-legged – they might be more likely to come watch what they can do. I guess some folks can fall in love with stats and economics, but most racing fans come to see the horses. Sadly print media are disappearing. An ever diminishing number of people seem to enjoy reading; now we have to give them the power-point presentation format and so many of our surviving magazines have degenerated into just printed powerpoint displays. Sad to see another good one go.

    • Satch

       Not sure that I’d agree, Barry.  There was/is room for both.  The publication you describe would get more people into the game, the TTimes provided working knowledge about the industry.

    • Soltero55

       I have a nearly complete collection of the wonderful English publication The British Racehorse (1949-1980) and later The European Racehorse.  This was what I was hoping for — comprehensive news of racing throughout the world, in-depth pedigree and historical articles.  I was hopeful but so terribly disappointed in the bi-weekly TTimes.  So many opportunities lost.  Even Pacemaker Update was a great improvement over dull articles about …. let’s face it, nothing.  Sorry for Mark & Mary Simon but better to die now and stop the bleeding.

    • Ron Parker

      Excellent idea, Barry, since you’re so good at syndications, how about a Save The Times Syndicate?  You have the excellent writer/researcher Jeff Lowe in your barn to head it up and produce a quality publication.

    • Patti Dietz Davis

      I whole-heartedly agree with Mr. Irwin. My first-ever subscription to a Thoroughbred publication was the old Thoroughbred Record with its luscious, thick pages full of gorgeous photos and feature articles on the people, horses and farms that make this sport great. I’ve kept many of my favorite issues and look at them longingly even now, wishing there was an equivalent. It is my love of the Thoroughbred that drew me into this sport and there isn’t a specific publication that caters to fans like me.

      I am grateful to Mark Simon and Ray Paulick who welcomed me in 1990 as a then-unknown freelancer and let me loose on two long features I thought would fit the Times. Both were investigative-type pieces and they willingly gave me every inch of space I needed. The only publication I can name today that would dare gore a sacred cow is The Paulick Report, and even it is a bit timid (and I understand why).

      I am heartbroken for Mark and Mary and Tom Law and the many employees of the TT. I will forever be a fan of the publication in all its myriad incarnations (and especially the Stallion Register).

    • BonnieMcDo

      You are so right about this. As an owner I enjoyed this publication. My father was art director of the New York Daily Mirror until it folded in the sixtes.  There were seven major newspapers in NY during that time. Today, it is getting harder for a print journal but this is sad news. Perhaps someone will take it over, streamline it and continue the good  stories about horse racing. 

    • Don Reed

      Barry, you’re going against the grain of the trillions of dollars being poured into the American educational system since the 1960s, which conversely produced millions of graduates who read at a ninth grade level.  When they want to read anything at all.

    • ritchie

       “They worked their asses off and deserve better”.   Oh…. so the company is there to provide jobs….. NOT to make a profit.   Maybe if they would have done their job in the first place they would still have a job and a company.

      • RayPaulick

        Ritchie,

        If you’d read the article and quotes from Mark Simon, you might have a different opinion on how Thoroughbred Times went bankrupt. The company was making a profit, according to Simon, but the owner was adding debt to the Times from his other publications.  Not saying that is 100% certainty, but it’s the scenario painted by the man who started the Thoroughbred Times and ran it for 27 years. And if that’s the case, the employees DID deserve better. 

  • Barry Irwin

    Very difficult environment for any print publication because of the Internet and economy. What I’d like to see if a monthly magazine, styled after the old Classic publication, that concentrated strictly on the sport of racing and on profiles of people in racing. The fans and participants in the sport need something like this–we have enough statistics, results, industry talk, etc. We need something to interest people in the sport, not the business. Wish all of the TT people the best of luck if somebody does not come along and bail them out. They worked their asses off and deserve better.

  • Nathanrotstein

    why the surprise? anything to do with horseracing is doomed. racinos are 1 or 2 years max away from losing their slot money. the guy who runs the big m is a businessman. he will walkaway after 1 more year of staggering losses. monmouth is bleeding red.
    thank you to all the cheaters that chased away the honest fan. the racetracks could have stopped them, but refused all the opportunities.
    all the racing commissions fiddled while the industry burned to the ground.
    re: repole. has anyone noticed the trainers that he gives his horses to? just a thought.

    • Bob C

      Repole has horses with Todd Pletcher and Bruce Levine—two of the top trainers on the NY circuit.

  • Nathanrotstein

    why the surprise? anything to do with horseracing is doomed. racinos are 1 or 2 years max away from losing their slot money. the guy who runs the big m is a businessman. he will walkaway after 1 more year of staggering losses. monmouth is bleeding red.
    thank you to all the cheaters that chased away the honest fan. the racetracks could have stopped them, but refused all the opportunities.
    all the racing commissions fiddled while the industry burned to the ground.
    re: repole. has anyone noticed the trainers that he gives his horses to? just a thought.

  • Mary Simon

    Not dimwitted, Happy Harriet, though perhaps a bit naive and idealistic. We were lied to repeatedly over the past year by our so-called “leader,” and led to believe things that were never followed through on. Nobody here really wanted to throw in the towel–we loved the Thoroughbred Times, and in spite of the ongoing financial horror show served up by our parent company (BowTie Inc.), we were proud of our product. “Quit” just wasn’t an option for most of us.  … At least now, with Norman Ridker out of the picture, and Chapter 7 filed, hopefully our wonderful correspondents, both writers and photographers, will get at least some of what’s owed them.

  • Mary Simon

     Alan,
    I wish the Bloodhorse nothing but the best. They’re fortunate to be owned and subsidized by a strong organization, as opposed to a weak-kneed individual who squandered a once-great publishing empirre.

  • wallyhorse

    Agree, this is a perfect opportunity for Repole.

  • Anderson5999

    America … love it or leave it, Happy Harriet!

  • clemclemson

    I really enjoyed reading the TT and i had so many of them saved up for the great photos and articles.  I hope that someone buys it out of BK and turns it around.  It deserves that.

  • clemclemson

    I really enjoyed reading the TT and i had so many of them saved up for the great photos and articles.  I hope that someone buys it out of BK and turns it around.  It deserves that.

  • Clemclemson

    Since when did you become an economist?  You are such a nutty chicken little today.  Can you just stick to horses?

  • Bob C

    I started subscribing to The Thoroughbred Record (forerunner of Thoroughbred Times) back in 1969.  The great David Alexander wrote a weekly column called “The Post Parade” and there were several other outstanding contributors.  I would look forward to every weekly issue and read it cover to cover as soon as it arrived in the mail.  This is a sad day for Thoroughbred racing because it marks the passing of durable publication that survived The Great Depression and chronicled the great history of this sport for more than 100 years.

  • Bob C

    I started subscribing to The Thoroughbred Record (forerunner of Thoroughbred Times) back in 1969.  The great David Alexander wrote a weekly column called “The Post Parade” and there were several other outstanding contributors.  I would look forward to every weekly issue and read it cover to cover as soon as it arrived in the mail.  This is a sad day for Thoroughbred racing because it marks the passing of durable publication that survived The Great Depression and chronicled the great history of this sport for more than 100 years.

  • Bob C

    Repole has horses with Todd Pletcher and Bruce Levine—two of the top trainers on the NY circuit.

  • pinky

    I totally agree – once NTRA dropped their wonderful bios/stats on individual horses, jocks, trainers, etc. I lost interest in their site. It was their one unique selling point, and they got rid of it.  Wikipedia still cites them as references, but the links only go to dead pages. 

  • Convene

     Amen to that! If people get to know the living participants – 2-legged and 4-legged – they might be more likely to come watch what they can do. I guess some folks can fall in love with stats and economics, but most racing fans come to see the horses. Sadly print media are disappearing. An ever diminishing number of people seem to enjoy reading; now we have to give them the power-point presentation format and so many of our surviving magazines have degenerated into just printed powerpoint displays. Sad to see another good one go.

  • Convene

     Blood Horse? Pompous? Actually, both publications were good reads.

  • Satch

     Not sure that I’d agree, Barry.  There was/is room for both.  The publication you describe would get more people into the game, the TTimes provided working knowledge about the industry.

  • Satch

     Yeah, the vibe with Blood Horse was definitely a little on the pompous side, based on my experience as both a reader and as an advertiser.

  • http://twitter.com/KeibaKate Kate Hunter

    It’s so sad to see these publications wither away like this. I loved getting these magazines in the mail every week and pouring over them. It’s a a shame that internet media can’t seem to produce enough revenue to sustain a staff… society has a lot to figure out if “news” as an industry is going to survive. It’s kind of scary really…

  • http://twitter.com/KeibaKate Kate Hunter

    It’s so sad to see these publications wither away like this. I loved getting these magazines in the mail every week and pouring over them. It’s a a shame that internet media can’t seem to produce enough revenue to sustain a staff… society has a lot to figure out if “news” as an industry is going to survive. It’s kind of scary really…

  • Turfreader

    Announcing the bankruptcy to employees via a FedEx letter, as opposed to in person, seems disgraceful to me. And how, I wonder, were the many, many freelancers, both writers and photographers, to whom this publication owes tens of thousands of dollars, much of it past due by more than a year, informed of the bankruptcy? As recently as a month ago, Mark Simon was looking freelancers in the eye and promising that that they were going to be paid…something that he must have known at the time was an utter falsehood. 

    • Mary Simon

       Don’t be an ass, Turfreader. Mark is one of the most decent human beings on the planet. He was on the phone daily, fighting for his correspondents and freelancers … and being duped and misled every step of the way. If he has a flaw, it’s that he believes the best of people, and I don’t think he quite got it until the bitter end that the henchmen in California were lying through their teeth to him. I’m his wife, and I’m not nearly as nice as he is and I think I saw what was happening before he did. … And if you’re going to spew mean-spirited, libelous nonsense, be brave enough not to hide behind a pseudonym. I’ve found that vicious cowards become quite brave in the anonymity of the Internet.

      • Emily

        Mary, I hope you and Mark are able to recover the library. I have fond memories of those stacks. Best of luck to all.

      • Turfreader

        I have it on good authority that the following is true: that freelancers (writers & photographers) were repeatedly told that checks would be mailed on a certain date, that the checks were not mailed, and that no further information from TT was forthcoming; that freelancers were not informed about the bankruptcy, nor given any information about when the thousands they are owed might be paid to them; that the magazine continued to solicit, accept, and publish articles even when they were months and years past due in paying people for work; that various management of TT, including Mark, failed to return e-mails and telephone queries about the status of past due payment. If any of that incorrect, I do hope that you will set the record straight, because half a dozen freelancers have been saying otherwise for the last six months, and you are absolutely correct that it would be unfair to depict the magazine’s management this way if it’s not true. 

        • Mary Simon

           I’m pretty sure I know who you are … “Turfreader.” Shall I reveal your name? I would, if I were 100% sure … but 99.9% just doesn’t suffice. At first I was sympathetic to your bitching and ranting over at Face Book. And you have every right to be mad–but when you start dragging a good man through your bitter trough of hate, I draw the line. You don’t deserve any more explanation than you’ve already received. Mark did his best. He fought long and hard on your behalf and his other writers (and freelance proofreaders) trying to get you, and others, paid for their work. So, Ms. … umm … “Turfreader.” You know where can put your mean-spirited jabber.

    • MA

      I’ve also heard about freelancers not being paid until long after their work was published.

      • Mary Simon

         You heard correctly, MA. … Please find out the whole story before you listen to someone like Turfreader–a person only “brave” enough to cast stones under a fake name.

  • Turfreader

    Announcing the bankruptcy to employees via a FedEx letter, as opposed to in person, seems disgraceful to me. And how, I wonder, were the many, many freelancers, both writers and photographers, to whom this publication owes tens of thousands of dollars, much of it past due by more than a year, informed of the bankruptcy? As recently as a month ago, Mark Simon was looking freelancers in the eye and promising that that they were going to be paid…something that he must have known at the time was an utter falsehood. 

  • Soltero55

     I have a nearly complete collection of the wonderful English publication The British Racehorse (1949-1980) and later The European Racehorse.  This was what I was hoping for — comprehensive news of racing throughout the world, in-depth pedigree and historical articles.  I was hopeful but so terribly disappointed in the bi-weekly TTimes.  So many opportunities lost.  Even Pacemaker Update was a great improvement over dull articles about …. let’s face it, nothing.  Sorry for Mark & Mary Simon but better to die now and stop the bleeding.

  • Concerned observer

    As usual, Barry is mostly right. All racing coverage is boring. No owner, trainer or fan opens up and tells the reality. Each of us has an opinion. It may not be right but if I am willing to fund my plan…you might learn something…..yes actually learn something?
     
    Too exotic for discussion.?…just give your horses to Pletcher and park your brain by the cloak room door..

  • Concerned observer

    As usual, Barry is mostly right. All racing coverage is boring. No owner, trainer or fan opens up and tells the reality. Each of us has an opinion. It may not be right but if I am willing to fund my plan…you might learn something…..yes actually learn something?
     
    Too exotic for discussion.?…just give your horses to Pletcher and park your brain by the cloak room door..

  • Mary Simon

     Don’t be an ass, Turfreader. Mark is one of the most decent human beings on the planet. He was on the phone daily, fighting for his correspondents and freelancers … and being duped and misled every step of the way. If he has a flaw, it’s that he believes the best of people, and I don’t think he quite got it until the bitter end that the henchmen in California were lying through their teeth to him. I’m his wife, and I’m not nearly as nice as he is and I think I saw what was happening before he did. … And if you’re going to spew mean-spirited, libelous nonsense, be brave enough not to hide behind a pseudonym. I’ve found that vicious cowards become quite brave in the anonymity of the Internet.

  • Smarty_Jones

    Obviously I’m extremely disappointed and sad for my friends that have been affected by this, and I had warned them of Norman’s poor business acumen so it’s not surprising to see it coming- but the comment that Horse Illustrated and Hobby Farms is/was supported by TT is factually incorrect. Horse Illustrated has a circulation of 165,000 monthly and Hobby Farms over 100,000 with a staff of 3-5 apiece. To blame the failure of a publication on the sister publications with FAR greater circulation + FAR less staff (= significantly higher profits) is shortsighted and patently unfair. The blame should fall squarely on the shoulders of Norman Ridker for not understanding the climate or how to run this specific publication.

    • Mary Simon

       I apologize, Smarty, if my remarks were incorrect and unfair. I only know what we were told. For years now, that’s been our understanding–ever since all of the publications ended up in the same building on Mercer Road. … Do you realize that a few years back, the Times had about $2-million in the bank. Norman burned through that money in no-time, using it to prop up failing aspects of his California business. We went from flush, to nothing–just like that.

      • Smarty_Jones

        Mary- no worries- and I certainly wouldn’t be surprised if Norman squandered multi millions on his pet projects in California. He obviously is senile and lost. I do know HI and HF are doing very well. I am sitting next to TT’s best writer right now and I really feel terrible for him. Best of luck to you and Mark in the future.

        • Mary Simon

          Thanks, Smarty. And best of luck to you, too. But read my above-posted note. It’s nuts what Norman did with the Times. Wow.

    • Mary Simon

       Actually, Smarty, it’s you who are incorrect here. While common sense would dictate that a publication making solid profits should pay their own bills, salaries, and health benefits, that was not the case in this situation. The Thoroughbred Times handled ALL payroll and expenses for the Lexington office, including that of employees in the building attached to other publications–to the tune of nearly half a million dollars a year. That’s a good of part what finally killed us–along with the fact that whenever we’d get some cash flow going, California would reach in and help themselves, as was their privilege–paying bills that had nothing to do with the Times and driving us ever deeper into debt. It was cold. It was shameless. Poor business acumen? You betcha, sister! … And what about the notably heftier income brought in by Horse Illustrated? I can only assume that was also sucked into the black maw of California. Still, as poor as the Times was, we were, in fact, required to subsidize you all … not your fault, but a profound source of resentment to those of us who knew what was going on. Don’t believe me? Do a little investigative reporting on your own–or simply ask Joe Morris, Judy Faulconer, or anyone in the Times’ business office. They’ll tell you.  … But that’s all over now. You’ll be paying your own expenses now. Watch out for Norman. Don’t let him slowly bleed you to death, doing what he did to us.

      • MA

        Don’t give the state of California a bad name by substituting it for one person and his company.

        • Mary Simon

          Hah, MA! You’re right, of course. I myself was born and raised in California–and love the place with all of my heart. 

        • Don Reed

          The state of California is too busy giving itself a bad name to be worried about the competition doing them in.

      • TTEmployee

        In addition to salaries and health care, I’d say the desks, computer, office supplies, etc. used by these publications were paid for by Thoroughbred Times. I’m quite sure Norman didn’t/won’t reimburse Thoroughbred Times for all the equipment moved last week to their new offices.

        And the new server that was bought and installed in the Horse Illustrated/Hobby Farms, etc. offices … that is probably one of the “expenses” now listed on the Thoroughbred Times ledger.

        Hopefully the Bankruptcy trustee will do some investigating …

        • Mary Simon

           Thanks for bringing that up, TTEmployee. When Mark finally speak to the mysterious “trustee,” who has yet to emerge from behind the veiled curtain … I’ll certainly urge him to mention the furniture, computers, server, etc., that were hauled out of the building last Tuesday to the new HI/Hobby Farms headquarters. At least some of those things most likely belong to this “trustee” … and I’m sure said “trustee” would want to know about them.

        • Don Reed

          Hiding assets prior to/in the wake of bankruptcy lands you in jail, fast.

          Of course, if your name’s Corzine & you had been utimately responsible for the $1.4 billion dollars of your clients’ money held in strictly off-limits accounts that “disappeared.”

          Then you suffer being snubbed during your Hampston (L.I.) vacation – OH JON HOW THAT MUST HAVE HURT! – , but aside from that, you’re home free.

  • Smarty_Jones

    Obviously I’m extremely disappointed and sad for my friends that have been affected by this, and I had warned them of Norman’s poor business acumen so it’s not surprising to see it coming- but the comment that Horse Illustrated and Hobby Farms is/was supported by TT is factually incorrect. Horse Illustrated has a circulation of 165,000 monthly and Hobby Farms over 100,000 with a staff of 3-5 apiece. To blame the failure of a publication on the sister publications with FAR greater circulation + FAR less staff (= significantly higher profits) is shortsighted and patently unfair. The blame should fall squarely on the shoulders of Norman Ridker for not understanding the climate or how to run this specific publication.

  • Emily

    Mary, I hope you and Mark are able to recover the library. I have fond memories of those stacks. Best of luck to all.

  • Mary Simon

     I apologize, Smarty, if my remarks were incorrect and unfair. I only know what we were told. For years now, that’s been our understanding–ever since all of the publications ended up in the same building on Mercer Road. … Do you realize that a few years back, the Times had about $2-million in the bank. Norman burned through that money in no-time, using it to prop up failing aspects of his California business. We went from flush, to nothing–just like that.

  • Turfreader

    I have it on good authority that the following is true: that freelancers (writers & photographers) were repeatedly told that checks would be mailed on a certain date, that the checks were not mailed, and that no further information from TT was forthcoming; that freelancers were not informed about the bankruptcy, nor given any information about when the thousands they are owed might be paid to them; that the magazine continued to solicit, accept, and publish articles even when they were months and years past due in paying people for work; that various management of TT, including Mark, failed to return e-mails and telephone queries about the status of past due payment. If any of that incorrect, I do hope that you will set the record straight, because half a dozen freelancers have been saying otherwise for the last six months, and you are absolutely correct that it would be unfair to depict the magazine’s management this way if it’s not true. 

  • Pattkisson

    I worked for the Times from about 2002-2009. I’ve sat in the boardroom and seen Mark Simon fight for his staff and the vision he had for the media coming out of the Times. He was hamstrung by ownership who didn’t share his caliber of character, or the tremendous knowledge and commitment he has for the industry. It’s a shame to hear how things went down. And worse to read some of the unfair and uninformed comments on this board.

    Pat A

  • Pattkisson

    I worked for the Times from about 2002-2009. I’ve sat in the boardroom and seen Mark Simon fight for his staff and the vision he had for the media coming out of the Times. He was hamstrung by ownership who didn’t share his caliber of character, or the tremendous knowledge and commitment he has for the industry. It’s a shame to hear how things went down. And worse to read some of the unfair and uninformed comments on this board.

    Pat A

  • Smarty_Jones

    Mary- no worries- and I certainly wouldn’t be surprised if Norman squandered multi millions on his pet projects in California. He obviously is senile and lost. I do know HI and HF are doing very well. I am sitting next to TT’s best writer right now and I really feel terrible for him. Best of luck to you and Mark in the future.

  • Jon Luman

    This is just a big reminder that the horse racing industry, and its various publications remain stuck in a bygone era. Sure, there is still a market for the classic monthly magazine. But, that market shrinks daily, while the market that began to reject horse racing as a gaming interest in the 1990′s grows as fast as the ink can dry on scratch-off tickets.

    All the while… horse racing remains as the superior, more interesting, more engaging, and more rewarding game. How is it that the average person on the street knows nothing about this when there is a computer terminal in his/her pocket?

    Many things that are 100 years old, and more, don’t work as well as they used to… and replacement is a good idea. Replace Thoroughbred Times with something that will interest, inform, enable average people to make intelligent wagers and come to understand the game of horse racing, and know the people that make it work.

    It will fly off of the shelf, and out of a server because horse racing is still the greatest, and most engaging game of them all.

    • http://www.facebook.com/rusty.hefner.77 Rusty Hefner

      I’ve said this until I am blue in the face. Somewhere along the line, with this sport/business the horse breeding superceded horse racing as the main focus…and sportsmanship and competition were replaced with profit margins. Breeding leading racing…is like the cart leading the horse. Where do the new fans come from…..they don’t. A colorful magazine dedicated to the equine stars…tracks…and gambling…would still work. Too many magazines devoted to the horse breeder…

  • Jon Luman

    This is just a big reminder that the horse racing industry, and its various publications remain stuck in a bygone era. Sure, there is still a market for the classic monthly magazine. But, that market shrinks daily, while the market that began to reject horse racing as a gaming interest in the 1990′s grows as fast as the ink can dry on scratch-off tickets.

    All the while… horse racing remains as the superior, more interesting, more engaging, and more rewarding game. How is it that the average person on the street knows nothing about this when there is a computer terminal in his/her pocket?

    Many things that are 100 years old, and more, don’t work as well as they used to… and replacement is a good idea. Replace Thoroughbred Times with something that will interest, inform, enable average people to make intelligent wagers and come to understand the game of horse racing, and know the people that make it work.

    It will fly off of the shelf, and out of a server because horse racing is still the greatest, and most engaging game of them all.

  • Mary Simon

     Actually, Smarty, it’s you who are incorrect here. While common sense would dictate that a publication making solid profits should pay their own bills, salaries, and health benefits, that was not the case in this situation. The Thoroughbred Times handled ALL payroll and expenses for the Lexington office, including that of employees in the building attached to other publications–to the tune of nearly half a million dollars a year. That’s a good of part what finally killed us–along with the fact that whenever we’d get some cash flow going, California would reach in and help themselves, as was their privilege–paying bills that had nothing to do with the Times and driving us ever deeper into debt. It was cold. It was shameless. Poor business acumen? You betcha, sister! … And what about the notably heftier income brought in by Horse Illustrated? I can only assume that was also sucked into the black maw of California. Still, as poor as the Times was, we were, in fact, required to subsidize you all … not your fault, but a profound source of resentment to those of us who knew what was going on. Don’t believe me? Do a little investigative reporting on your own–or simply ask Joe Morris, Judy Faulconer, or anyone in the Times’ business office. They’ll tell you.  … But that’s all over now. You’ll be paying your own expenses now. Watch out for Norman. Don’t let him slowly bleed you to death, doing what he did to us.

  • Mary Simon

    Thanks, Smarty. And best of luck to you, too. But read my above-posted note. It’s nuts what Norman did with the Times. Wow.

  • Steve Bailey

    As a former employee for more than nine years, it sickened me to watch the number of talented people that left or were laid off over the past four years. They gave their all and got royall shafted, It’s despicable, really. Hope every one of the now former employees gets picked up soon and continues to disay their talent to showcase our industry.

    • Mary Simon

      Steve,
      I hope you’re doing well. Thanks so much for your concern and for the comments you’ve posted here. The outpouring of support from people this weekend has been nothing short of amazing. It’s times like this that you truly find out who your friends are. And you, dear fellow, are clearly one of them. Take care. Nothing but the best.   :)

      • Don Reed

        This symposium reminds me of a newspaper vet who was given a bare-bones retirement “party” on the premsies of the paper.

        One of the survivors, likely to be equally “treated” to such a crappy affair down the line as an equally disdained guest of honor, looked at the bowl of plain peanuts next to the soda bottles and muttered,

        “He worked her for 20 years, and there’s not even ONE Planeter’s can of mixed nuts on the table.”

        Writers, you better love what you’re doing, and doing it primarily for the love of it, because aside from a few lucky souls, the reward you will receive from choosing this line of work will be weeds and dust.

        And plain peanuts.

  • Steve Bailey

    As a former employee for more than nine years, it sickened me to watch the number of talented people that left or were laid off over the past four years. They gave their all and got royall shafted, It’s despicable, really. Hope every one of the now former employees gets picked up soon and continues to disay their talent to showcase our industry.

  • Ron Parker

    Excellent idea, Barry, since you’re so good at syndications, how about a Save The Times Syndicate?  You have the excellent writer/researcher Jeff Lowe in your barn to head it up and produce a quality publication.

  • In Tears

    Sad to see the Thoroughbred Times go. I looked forward to reading the articles. As everyone has commented. The computer is taking over, and personally speaking I dislike reading articles on the computer including books. I perfer relaxing with a nice wine and cheese as I read in  the evening after the day is done. Don’t care for tv too stupid except for information channels.
     I hope the Thoroughbred Times is able to bounce back and rehire faithful employees

    • AngelaFromAbilene

      I thought I was the only person left on the planet that still prefers books and magazines to the computer!  There is just something about actually holding a book or mag in your hands.  I love the feel of a book in my hands and turning the pages while a sipping a glass of while or a couple fingers of Jack.  Sorry, a screen just leaves a whole lot to be desired. 

  • In Tears

    Sad to see the Thoroughbred Times go. I looked forward to reading the articles. As everyone has commented. The computer is taking over, and personally speaking I dislike reading articles on the computer including books. I perfer relaxing with a nice wine and cheese as I read in  the evening after the day is done. Don’t care for tv too stupid except for information channels.
     I hope the Thoroughbred Times is able to bounce back and rehire faithful employees

  • Mary Simon

     I’m pretty sure I know who you are … “Turfreader.” Shall I reveal your name? I would, if I were 100% sure … but 99.9% just doesn’t suffice. At first I was sympathetic to your bitching and ranting over at Face Book. And you have every right to be mad–but when you start dragging a good man through your bitter trough of hate, I draw the line. You don’t deserve any more explanation than you’ve already received. Mark did his best. He fought long and hard on your behalf and his other writers (and freelance proofreaders) trying to get you, and others, paid for their work. So, Ms. … umm … “Turfreader.” You know where can put your mean-spirited jabber.

  • Tinky

    The irony of your response is so rich, I’m beginning to suffer from heartburn.

    Here are a couple of quotes from Ben Bernanke, the man who not only heads the Fed, but is, you know, a bona fide, big-time economist:

    “given the fundamental factors in place that should support the demand for housing, we believe the effect of the troubles in the subprime sector on the broader housing market will likely be limited, and we do not expect significant spillovers from the subprime market to the rest of the economy or to the financial system.”

    That was from May of 2007

    “The Federal Reserve is not currently forecasting a recession.”
    January 2008

    There are many more like the above, but who cares – he’s an economist,  so he must know what he’s talking about. Right?

  • James Staples

    someone will save it & hire back the old crew back…new foremat is great & it fits in the mailbox better!!!…Tom Law is a wonderful Human Being… 

    • Mary Simon

       Tom IS an awesome guy! I know, because I worked with him for years. A talented writer, first-rate editor, and most importantly, a kind and decent person.

  • James Staples

    someone will save it & hire back the old crew back…new foremat is great & it fits in the mailbox better!!!…Tom Law is a wonderful Human Being… 

  • Johnathan Miller

    I really liked the new format and had just renewed my subscription last week. I hope they reappear asa monthly with in depth features.

  • Patti Dietz Davis

    I whole-heartedly agree with Mr. Irwin. My first-ever subscription to a Thoroughbred publication was the old Thoroughbred Record with its luscious, thick pages full of gorgeous photos and feature articles on the people, horses and farms that make this sport great. I’ve kept many of my favorite issues and look at them longingly even now, wishing there was an equivalent. It is my love of the Thoroughbred that drew me into this sport and there isn’t a specific publication that caters to fans like me.

    I am grateful to Mark Simon and Ray Paulick who welcomed me in 1990 as a then-unknown freelancer and let me loose on two long features I thought would fit the Times. Both were investigative-type pieces and they willingly gave me every inch of space I needed. The only publication I can name today that would dare gore a sacred cow is The Paulick Report, and even it is a bit timid (and I understand why).

    I am heartbroken for Mark and Mary and Tom Law and the many employees of the TT. I will forever be a fan of the publication in all its myriad incarnations (and especially the Stallion Register).

  • AngelaFromAbilene

    I thought I was the only person left on the planet that still prefers books and magazines to the computer!  There is just something about actually holding a book or mag in your hands.  I love the feel of a book in my hands and turning the pages while a sipping a glass of while or a couple fingers of Jack.  Sorry, a screen just leaves a whole lot to be desired. 

  • BonnieMcDo

    You are so right about this. As an owner I enjoyed this publication. My father was art director of the New York Daily Mirror until it folded in the sixtes.  There were seven major newspapers in NY during that time. Today, it is getting harder for a print journal but this is sad news. Perhaps someone will take it over, streamline it and continue the good  stories about horse racing. 

  • MA

    I’m sure he’s very knowledgeable, but I think it’s impossible for anyone to know everything about this industry.

  • MA

    Don’t give the state of California a bad name by substituting it for one person and his company.

  • MA

    I’ve also heard about freelancers not being paid until long after their work was published.

  • MA

    I was surprised to learn the TTimes has only been around since the 80s. It seems like it’s been around forever and would never go away. Another depressing loss in the poor economy, and in the poor state of horse racing, especially. Printed publications may be going out of style, but we’ll always need professional news gathering, despite how awesome some bloggers and cell-phone photographers fashion themselves. Pubs need to start charging for online news, and fast. I wish there were more spots for these talented people to go for a new job, but everything’s just so crappy right now!

    • Don Reed

      Not splitting hairs, but how often have I seen “poor economy” written in so many places, and yet, 46000+ people found the cash in order to go to the Travers?

  • MA

    I was surprised to learn the TTimes has only been around since the 80s. It seems like it’s been around forever and would never go away. Another depressing loss in the poor economy, and in the poor state of horse racing, especially. Printed publications may be going out of style, but we’ll always need professional news gathering, despite how awesome some bloggers and cell-phone photographers fashion themselves. Pubs need to start charging for online news, and fast. I wish there were more spots for these talented people to go for a new job, but everything’s just so crappy right now!

  • Cacciolfi

    MIKE REPOLE CERTAINLY HAS THE MONEY AND NYRA SCAPEGOAT CHARLIE HAYWARD HAS THE PUBLISHING BACKROUND TO REVIVE THE TT.
    HOW ABOUT IT GUYS??
    YOU BOTH LIKE A CHALLENGE.

  • Mary Simon

    Hah, MA! You’re right, of course. I myself was born and raised in California–and love the place with all of my heart. 

  • Mary Simon

     You heard correctly, MA. … Please find out the whole story before you listen to someone like Turfreader–a person only “brave” enough to cast stones under a fake name.

  • Mary Simon

     Tom IS an awesome guy! I know, because I worked with him for years. A talented writer, first-rate editor, and most importantly, a kind and decent person.

  • JB

    I recently left a message for Tom Law who immediately e-mailed the answer concerning the origin of the revenue earmarked for the NYRA from the Aqueduct casino in New York City.  This revenue has literally created a gold rush effect with vastly increased purses for New York Breds and trainers moving their entire stable of horses to New York State. I am very interested in following the cause and effect of this revenue.
    The collective knowledge of the Thoroughbred Times  writers is amazing and I will greatly miss the high standards of journalism and the vast knowledge gleaned from ten years
    subscription.  My very best to the staff.

  • JB

    I recently left a message for Tom Law who immediately e-mailed the answer concerning the origin of the revenue earmarked for the NYRA from the Aqueduct casino in New York City.  This revenue has literally created a gold rush effect with vastly increased purses for New York Breds and trainers moving their entire stable of horses to New York State. I am very interested in following the cause and effect of this revenue.
    The collective knowledge of the Thoroughbred Times  writers is amazing and I will greatly miss the high standards of journalism and the vast knowledge gleaned from ten years
    subscription.  My very best to the staff.

  • Mary Simon

    Steve,
    I hope you’re doing well. Thanks so much for your concern and for the comments you’ve posted here. The outpouring of support from people this weekend has been nothing short of amazing. It’s times like this that you truly find out who your friends are. And you, dear fellow, are clearly one of them. Take care. Nothing but the best.   :)

  • Don Reed

    An amazingly good opportunity for Repole.  I hope he’s reading this.

  • Don Reed

    Barry, you’re going against the grain of the trillions of dollars being poured into the American educational system since the 1960s, which conversely produced millions of graduates who read at a ninth grade level.  When they want to read anything at all.

  • billieshears

    President Obama bails out industries like
    banking, auto and post office with a tacit
    agreement that a % of the bailout cash go
    towards advertizing. Thus, making President Obama
    the de-facto CEO of the largest bloc of ads.
    (deleted)

  • Don Reed

    NTRA simply did everything wrong.  Is it still pretending to be in existence?

  • Don Reed

    This symposium reminds me of a newspaper vet who was given a bare-bones retirement “party” on the premsies of the paper.

    One of the survivors, likely to be equally “treated” to such a crappy affair down the line as an equally disdained guest of honor, looked at the bowl of plain peanuts next to the soda bottles and muttered,

    “He worked her for 20 years, and there’s not even ONE Planeter’s can of mixed nuts on the table.”

    Writers, you better love what you’re doing, and doing it primarily for the love of it, because aside from a few lucky souls, the reward you will receive from choosing this line of work will be weeds and dust.

    And plain peanuts.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Daniel-Cunningham/1054737104 Daniel Cunningham

    I remember many decades ago when Thoroughbred breeders such as Mereworth Farm would buy advertisements for their yearling offerings.  This is one area that suffered decline as breeders turned to public relations events, their own brochures and online. However stallion advertising has not seemed to have fallen as much, and there seemed to be more of the vendor type ads for supplements etc.  But the production costs have risen too…which I am sure put the squeeze on them.

    I currently take the Blood Horse as a discount first year subscriber but I preferred the editorial content of the Times since there was more of it.  

    I was subscribing to Thoroughbred Record when I was a teen and I wish I had held on to some of those issues.  And Throughbred of California of the 1950s and 60s.  Would like to re-read a feature TOC did on Rex Ellsworth’s views on conformation of racehorses.  Of course, the horse of those days was morphing  into the Native Dancer type.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Daniel-Cunningham/1054737104 Daniel Cunningham

    I remember many decades ago when Thoroughbred breeders such as Mereworth Farm would buy advertisements for their yearling offerings.  This is one area that suffered decline as breeders turned to public relations events, their own brochures and online. However stallion advertising has not seemed to have fallen as much, and there seemed to be more of the vendor type ads for supplements etc.  But the production costs have risen too…which I am sure put the squeeze on them.

    I currently take the Blood Horse as a discount first year subscriber but I preferred the editorial content of the Times since there was more of it.  

    I was subscribing to Thoroughbred Record when I was a teen and I wish I had held on to some of those issues.  And Throughbred of California of the 1950s and 60s.  Would like to re-read a feature TOC did on Rex Ellsworth’s views on conformation of racehorses.  Of course, the horse of those days was morphing  into the Native Dancer type.  

  • TTEmployee

    In addition to salaries and health care, I’d say the desks, computer, office supplies, etc. used by these publications were paid for by Thoroughbred Times. I’m quite sure Norman didn’t/won’t reimburse Thoroughbred Times for all the equipment moved last week to their new offices.

    And the new server that was bought and installed in the Horse Illustrated/Hobby Farms, etc. offices … that is probably one of the “expenses” now listed on the Thoroughbred Times ledger.

    Hopefully the Bankruptcy trustee will do some investigating …

  • Mary Simon

     Thanks for bringing that up, TTEmployee. When Mark finally speak to the mysterious “trustee,” who has yet to emerge from behind the veiled curtain … I’ll certainly urge him to mention the furniture, computers, server, etc., that were hauled out of the building last Tuesday to the new HI/Hobby Farms headquarters. At least some of those things most likely belong to this “trustee” … and I’m sure said “trustee” would want to know about them.

  • Don Reed

    Hiding assets prior to/in the wake of bankruptcy lands you in jail, fast.

    Of course, if your name’s Corzine & you had been utimately responsible for the $1.4 billion dollars of your clients’ money held in strictly off-limits accounts that “disappeared.”

    Then you suffer being snubbed during your Hampston (L.I.) vacation – OH JON HOW THAT MUST HAVE HURT! – , but aside from that, you’re home free.

  • Don Reed

    Not splitting hairs, but how often have I seen “poor economy” written in so many places, and yet, 46000+ people found the cash in order to go to the Travers?

  • Sandra Warren

    I am sad to see this.  I subscribed to the T Record before i subcribed to the Blood Horse, back in the good old days when every cover was blue.  I used to read it cover to cover.  I wasn’t too happy with the switch to the Times’ format of an oversized crinkly newspaper-like format, but I always enjoyed the writing.  But, sadly, nothing is forever, and I wonder how in the world any news company is going to make a profit in the Internet era.

  • Sandra Warren

    I am sad to see this.  I subscribed to the T Record before i subcribed to the Blood Horse, back in the good old days when every cover was blue.  I used to read it cover to cover.  I wasn’t too happy with the switch to the Times’ format of an oversized crinkly newspaper-like format, but I always enjoyed the writing.  But, sadly, nothing is forever, and I wonder how in the world any news company is going to make a profit in the Internet era.

  • Don Reed

    Clem, stop being a chicken mcnutty today.  Give the guy a break. 

    He’s serious; it’s not a personal attack on anyone; and anyone not taking these trends seriously – which Tinky has, & has stated his case competantly – ends up someday, on a Saturday morning outside his place of work, locked out – having been oblivious to the impending obvious.

    How do these obituaries end up as the landing strip for all these unworthy side issues, anyway (not that I haven’t toss in my fair share of the wrong-way arrows).

    Refocus on the plight of the TT staff that starts looking for work in about six hours from now. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/sal.carcia Sal Carcia

    Don, I think the NYRA’s accomplishments were underrated. They were known for their successful lobbying efforts and were responsible for a number important industry studies. But, the moost misunderstood and unappreciated role was in marketing the game. The ads they produced, that were easily adapted to local track ads, gave the game a unified message. The ‘Go Baby Go’ tagline was brilliant. Also, the NTRA’ s marketing people were keenly aware of the importance of PR. Don, think of the game’s PR then and now. Nowadays, the game’s PR is out of control.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Rockybudgeboa Leslie M. Bliman-Kuretzky

    I will miss it, but I agree with Barry. Bring it back as as Monthly and it will grow

  • http://www.facebook.com/Rockybudgeboa Leslie M. Bliman-Kuretzky

    I will miss it, but I agree with Barry. Bring it back as as Monthly and it will grow

  • http://www.facebook.com/rusty.hefner.77 Rusty Hefner

    I’ve said this until I am blue in the face. Somewhere along the line, with this sport/business the horse breeding superceded horse racing as the main focus…and sportsmanship and competition were replaced with profit margins. Breeding leading racing…is like the cart leading the horse. Where do the new fans come from…..they don’t. A colorful magazine dedicated to the equine stars…tracks…and gambling…would still work. Too many magazines devoted to the horse breeder…

  • Don Reed

    The state of California is too busy giving itself a bad name to be worried about the competition doing them in.

  • Don Reed

    “Don, I think the NYRA’s accomplishments were underrated.”

    Didn’t you intend to defend and give credit to “NTRA”? 

    I am not aware of any successful racing PR campaigns currently succeeding in bringing fans back to the tracks, or otherwise infusing the sport with a new sense of mission and purpose. 

    “Go Baby Go” WAS a great success, but that was being aired at a time when the kids on my block were on tricycles.  They’re now young parents, and in this lengthy interim, the ad campaigns have vanished. 

    Generally, PR firms today are designed to keep their clients OUT of the newspapers and TV news programs, or if that’s impossible, to spin whatever the news is about their clients so as to defuse the damage that their clients have done to themselves. 

    At any rate, even if what you say deserves consideration, all of it is in the past tense, so what’s the point of NTRA’s existence today?

    I’ll add that NTRA’s web site (at the time I was looking at it, years ago) was a disaster, with terrible writing, bad graphics, and a general theme of disorganization & indifference to standards that are generally recognized as being indispensible by successful, reputable business organizations. 

    Whomever was getting clipped in the wallet to keep NTRA going had my sympathy as the years went by, because no one could have looked at that site without realized that the money was going right down the drain. 

  • Boydcrowder 123

    James 5:1-5 describes Mr Ridker

  • Boydcrowder 123

    James 5:1-5 describes Mr Ridker

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kathryn-Baker/100000670932928 Kathryn Baker

    I was a TT subscriber for several years and will miss it. TT was a really beautiful magazine with good articles and photography.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kathryn-Baker/100000670932928 Kathryn Baker

    I was a TT subscriber for several years and will miss it. TT was a really beautiful magazine with good articles and photography.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sal.carcia Sal Carcia

    Don, the NTRA kept track of popularity of horseracing in the annuall ESPN surveys. Popularity of the game was upward when the NTRA was actively helping to market the game. Since then, it has been in decline.

    The idea of PR is to help build a relationship with the press and help them understand a unified and consistent message that the game wants the public to hear. Look at how the NYTimes got out of control this year. I doubt that would have been that bad if someone from the game was consistently in contact with Joe Drape. The press did not behave this way during the NTRA marketing years.

    The NTRA’s marketing group always worked well with a limited budget. But, as they learned it is difficult to put out a unified message in a game that is not unified. And maybe the industry is not structured in a way to be unified afterall.

  • Surekarma

    Really.  Simon was not just editor but also president and second in command of the now-defunct Thoroughbred Times. (see page 3 of the most recent issue).  I find it interesting that he was surprised.  I know some people inside the Times - and it is reported that ad revenues dropped as much as 80% since the recession.  Ridker aquired the magazine in 1993 which at the time was also on the verge of financial ruin.  Ridker brought Simon along as they worked to rebuild the publication.  Sounds like Simon had a pretty good run of almost 20 years as head of the magazine under Ridker.  I don’t dispute his accomplishments as an editor – he’s very good – but what about his accountability as president?  I think it’s less than genuine to blame the mess on a handful of employees from Bowtie. I have to believe there was more to the Times downfall than that. Facts are facts and Simon’s tenure at the Times included a near bankruptcy before the Ridker aquisition and now the final fate of the magazine reported in the last few days.  It’s sad the way the employees were given the news … I hope they recover soon.  It’s also somewhat offensive to see an industry not support one of the few voices they have – and then lament its passing.

    • Mary Simon

      Surekarma

      Wow, you sure seem to have it our for Mark Simon. Wonder what he ever did to incite such ire?  Sigh. … Too bad you don’t have the
      gonads to write under your real name; I’d love to know the identity of such a deliciously low and delightfully irresponsible pontificator.  Allow me to regale you with an oft-repeated story, one which I’m certain you know already, as you seem to know everything.  …

      Mark was hired to launch the TTimes in 1985 on a shoe-string budget. The
      publication thrived until its then-owners, Messrs. B & B
      (since you’re the expert–you’ll know who I refer to), became locked in legal combat and withdrew all support from the Times during a downward spiraling market. Mark’s
      fault, right? We didn’t have a deep-pocketed organization to support us,
      just two squabbling owners whose interests were elsewhere.

      Then
      you proceed to prate about what a “good run” Mark had with Norman all
      these years. How in the bloody expletive could you possibly know what kind of run he had? What kind of battles he fought? What kind of headaches and heartaches he suffered? Are you Nostradamus? Were you a fly on the wall in Mark’s office every minute, hour,
      and day of the week for all those years, privy to every frustrating, gut-wrenching conversation he ever had with Norman or one of his revolving-door lackeys in California? Or do you simply take pleasure
      in spewing vicious crock? I’m thinking the latter.

      Now, Mr. or Ms. Surekarma (either way, you need to grow a pair) … your beloved Norman did, indeed, do a good thing when he
      bought the Times all those years ago, no arguing that. He pulled it out of an abyss created
      by two bickering owners who had lost interest. Norm put some
      money into it initially, then rode the living hell out of it through
      good times, right into the mid-2000s, when his own California-based
      empire was beginning to fail through gross mismanagement and almost criminal ineptitude.

      The Times’ had millions in the bank at that time–but your crystal ball must have told you that. Did it also show you
      how the Times’ account was used rather ruthlessly as an ATM to support
      Norman’s myriad of crackpot schemes and enterprises (this is the man who thought a magazine about ferrets was a good idea). When the account was depleted and economic times hit us hard, he had no more use for us. … And his exit strategy was class personified.

      Please explain to me how this was Mark’s fault? This publication won five Eclipse Awards, 16 AHP General Excellences Awards, Red Smiths, Leggetts, Engelhards, Haights, and just about every high industry honor during his years at the editorial helm. Yet, you’re willing, in a public forum, under a pseudonym, to insinuate that Mark Simon is somehow wickedly responsible for this tragedy? How dare you? What a brave soul you must be to hurl slings and arrows, insults, and insinuations under the dark cloak of anonymity. I’d love to talk to you in person–to let you know how I REALLY feel, because Ray Paulick would never let my true thoughts on this pass through his filter of propriety (love ya, Ray). Message Ray; he can give you my contact information. In the meantime, maybe I’ll post this exchange of FaceBook. See if anyone can point me in the right direction.

  • Surekarma

    Really.  Simon was not just editor but also president and second in command of the now-defunct Thoroughbred Times. (see page 3 of the most recent issue).  I find it interesting that he was surprised.  I know some people inside the Times - and it is reported that ad revenues dropped as much as 80% since the recession.  Ridker aquired the magazine in 1993 which at the time was also on the verge of financial ruin.  Ridker brought Simon along as they worked to rebuild the publication.  Sounds like Simon had a pretty good run of almost 20 years as head of the magazine under Ridker.  I don’t dispute his accomplishments as an editor – he’s very good – but what about his accountability as president?  I think it’s less than genuine to blame the mess on a handful of employees from Bowtie. I have to believe there was more to the Times downfall than that. Facts are facts and Simon’s tenure at the Times included a near bankruptcy before the Ridker aquisition and now the final fate of the magazine reported in the last few days.  It’s sad the way the employees were given the news … I hope they recover soon.  It’s also somewhat offensive to see an industry not support one of the few voices they have – and then lament its passing.

  • Don Reed

    Well said, Sal. Had you been a feature writer/editor/troubleshooter of the
    NTRA web site back when people were still paying attention to them & they
    had had a chance of grabbing the golden ring, I think they would have succeeded
    to a greater extent than they did.

    But I can’t endorse the argument that they were simultaneously doing
    good-to-excellent PR work as lobbyists at the same time that their own public web
    site was a horror story. They failed to create their OWN positive PR, so to
    speak, by competently publishing a coherent, dynamic & enticing WS.

    And so into the dust bin of history they were DQ’ed by the real stewards of
    the game, the racing/reading public.

    You’re right in saying – if I may paraphrase your remarks – that without a
    unity of racing managements behind them, what was the point?

    As for the NY Times, no one is going to convince them to proceed in any
    direction that could possibly convince me that they are sane observers of the
    sport, or of anything else. When vindictive hatchet print jobs become
    irresistible to such morally depraved people, the rest is a foregone
    conclusion.

    That entire trend started at TNY in the early 1990s.  The ensuing two decades of the damage wrought
    covers an enormous scope; so much so, the sins of their biased racing coverage
    - in comparison to such a massive trajectory of oft-insane
    “journalism” – barely rates mention. 

    When asked where the Manhattan
    headquarters of the Scientologists is located, it’s understandable if the NYC
    Chamber of Commerce refers the caller to the NYT plant on Eighth Avenue, instead of 227 West 46th Street,
    in the same borough.

    There are, of course, no exact comparisons. 
    But I’d love to be able to go back in time, to 1970, and show myself (at
    age 18, a college student & ardent NYT reader/defender) a copy of what has
    been written here, just to witness the reaction of that young man (“This
    can’t be!”). 

    Know any good time-travel agents?

    Be well.

  • Don Reed

    May I add that received today, is a letter from The New York Times,
    imploring us that there are (after opening envelope, I quote), “9 reasons
    to come back to the New York Times.”  

    I had no idea that I mattered this much to a “Yasmin Namini, Senior VP,
    Marketing & Circulation.” 

    Rather touching, isn’t it?  Someone
    whom I have never met, & to whom my existence matters little – with the
    exception that if I sign a check, further enabling all the little Sulzbergers [a
    name often misspelt by Times reporters themselves] to keep on cashing their inherited Class
    B stock dividends – we’ll be pals.

    Why, if I had received a handwritten note from Norman Ridker, putting the
    arm on me to keep his publishing empire above water, I could not have been more
    touched.

    But alas.

    Reply: “Gentlemen, it is with great regret that we decline your
    generous offer.  Also received in the
    same mail is the memoir of John Oaksey, English jockey & tireless benefactor
    of injured jockeys, whose recent demise inspired the desire to read something infused
    throughout with credibility.  Yours
    truly,” etc.

    Oh, that mailbox.  

  • Sal Carcia

    I sent a response, but I am not sure where it went. Don, I agree that the website is really important because many times it serves as the first and possibly last impression people have about an enterprise. I only remember not being able to find anything on it.

    With respect to the older version of the NTRA, I remember that it was Frank Stronach that stopped them in their tracks early on. He pulled out all his funding until the NTRA agreed to restructure their role in the industry. He came back in after he got his way, but the usefulness and longterm viability of the organization was reduced substantially. The old NTRA just faded away into the present version. I doubt seriously Frank supported (or supports) the idea of a central league office then (and now).

  • Mary Simon

    Surekarma

    Wow, you sure seem to have it our for Mark Simon. Wonder what he ever did to incite such ire?  Sigh. … Too bad you don’t have the
    gonads to write under your real name; I’d love to know the identity of such a deliciously low and delightfully irresponsible pontificator.  Allow me to regale you with an oft-repeated story, one which I’m certain you know already, as you seem to know everything.  …

    Mark was hired to launch the TTimes in 1985 on a shoe-string budget. The
    publication thrived until its then-owners, Messrs. B & B
    (since you’re the expert–you’ll know who I refer to), became locked in legal combat and withdrew all support from the Times during a downward spiraling market. Mark’s
    fault, right? We didn’t have a deep-pocketed organization to support us,
    just two squabbling owners whose interests were elsewhere.

    Then
    you proceed to prate about what a “good run” Mark had with Norman all
    these years. How in the bloody expletive could you possibly know what kind of run he had? What kind of battles he fought? What kind of headaches and heartaches he suffered? Are you Nostradamus? Were you a fly on the wall in Mark’s office every minute, hour,
    and day of the week for all those years, privy to every frustrating, gut-wrenching conversation he ever had with Norman or one of his revolving-door lackeys in California? Or do you simply take pleasure
    in spewing vicious crock? I’m thinking the latter.

    Now, Mr. or Ms. Surekarma (either way, you need to grow a pair) … your beloved Norman did, indeed, do a good thing when he
    bought the Times all those years ago, no arguing that. He pulled it out of an abyss created
    by two bickering owners who had lost interest. Norm put some
    money into it initially, then rode the living hell out of it through
    good times, right into the mid-2000s, when his own California-based
    empire was beginning to fail through gross mismanagement and almost criminal ineptitude.

    The Times’ had millions in the bank at that time–but your crystal ball must have told you that. Did it also show you
    how the Times’ account was used rather ruthlessly as an ATM to support
    Norman’s myriad of crackpot schemes and enterprises (this is the man who thought a magazine about ferrets was a good idea). When the account was depleted and economic times hit us hard, he had no more use for us. … And his exit strategy was class personified.

    Please explain to me how this was Mark’s fault? This publication won five Eclipse Awards, 16 AHP General Excellences Awards, Red Smiths, Leggetts, Engelhards, Haights, and just about every high industry honor during his years at the editorial helm. Yet, you’re willing, in a public forum, under a pseudonym, to insinuate that Mark Simon is somehow wickedly responsible for this tragedy? How dare you? What a brave soul you must be to hurl slings and arrows, insults, and insinuations under the dark cloak of anonymity. I’d love to talk to you in person–to let you know how I REALLY feel, because Ray Paulick would never let my true thoughts on this pass through his filter of propriety (love ya, Ray). Message Ray; he can give you my contact information. In the meantime, maybe I’ll post this exchange of FaceBook. See if anyone can point me in the right direction.

  • SureKarma

    Mary Simon

    Well, good to see the bourbon industry in Lexington still
    has its patrons.  I don’t think Ridker
    was the only one who “rode the living hell” out of it.  Looking at the bankruptcy filing it would
    seem the top two unsecured creditors among the individuals listed are you and
    Mr. Simon, in the amount of $26,490.  Not
    one individual creditor (employees included) came close to half that sum. Nice
    take-home for the Simons.  I bet there
    wasn’t any discussion during those “gut-wrenching conversations” about
    reasonable salary cutbacks for the two Simons. It would seem there’s, (how did
    you phrase it?), a “pair of gonads” in every situation.

    I never stated this was entirely Mr. Simon’s fault.  Maybe the monitor was a bit blurred as you
    we’re deciphering my post (glug, glug). 
    I merely posed the question as to what accountability Mr. Simon accepted
    as president and second in command of the company?  Are you saying he has none? 

    Jeffery Skilling of Enron fame (he’s in prison now) is
    quoted in an interview,

    “Larry,
    I spent probably most of my professional life helping to build Enron
    Corporation. I don’t think there was anyone that was as shocked by the – by the
    collapse of the company as I was.” 

    Sound familiar. 
    It’s not just sad – but sick to blame others without accepting any
    responsibility yourself.  But that’s okay
    - Jeffery Skilling didn’t have any gonads either.  

    Regarding the millions you suggest Thoroughbred Times had
    banked; a crystal ball (used to see into the future – not the past) wasn’t
    required.  I only had to witness my
    Thoroughbred Times issues get smaller and smaller over the last four
    years.  Perhaps if you had a few
    arithmetic classes mixed in with all that English and grammar you could have
    seen what was happening, too.  A couple
    business classes may have also helped.  Better
    yet, you could have acquired your own crystal ball.  It didn’t take a genius to see how the
    magazine was being decimated by lost ad revenue.

    I have to go now Mary – you know – last call!  But hey, maybe I’ll friend you on
    FaceBook.    

    The function of
    the press in society is to inform, but its role in society is to make money.

    -       A.J. Liebling

  • Mr. Neck

    TT is not in business to give people a paycheck.   They are in business to show a profit.  Liberals need to understand this concept.

  • Mr. Neck

    TT is not in business to give people a paycheck.   They are in business to show a profit.  Liberals need to understand this concept.

  • ritchie

     “They worked their asses off and deserve better”.   Oh…. so the company is there to provide jobs….. NOT to make a profit.   Maybe if they would have done their job in the first place they would still have a job and a company.

  • RayPaulick

    Ritchie,

    If you’d read the article and quotes from Mark Simon, you might have a different opinion on how Thoroughbred Times went bankrupt. The company was making a profit, according to Simon, but the owner was adding debt to the Times from his other publications.  Not saying that is 100% certainty, but it’s the scenario painted by the man who started the Thoroughbred Times and ran it for 27 years. And if that’s the case, the employees DID deserve better. 

  • Sboyer

    Does anyone have any idea on how to get a refund on the magazine? or am I SOL? I was subscribed and paid THROUGH 2014!!

    • 3875waldo

      Bankruptcy means just what it says: Your investment is lost.

      Once in a while, arrangements are made for a subscription to be transferred
      to another magazine, but even that sometimes turns into a negative.

      When our Spy Magazine sub went belly up in the 1990s, we ended up getting
      magazines that you wouldn’t want to read even if you were bored out of your
      mind in prison.

      It wasn’t so bad because by that time, after two new owners, Spy itself
      turned into something you wouldn’t want to read, even if…

  • Sboyer

    Does anyone have any idea on how to get a refund on the magazine? or am I SOL? I was subscribed and paid THROUGH 2014!!

  • 3875waldo

    Bankruptcy means just what it says: Your investment is lost.

    Once in a while, arrangements are made for a subscription to be transferred
    to another magazine, but even that sometimes turns into a negative.

    When our Spy Magazine sub went belly up in the 1990s, we ended up getting
    magazines that you wouldn’t want to read even if you were bored out of your
    mind in prison.

    It wasn’t so bad because by that time, after two new owners, Spy itself
    turned into something you wouldn’t want to read, even if…

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