Should the New York Times Co. Keep 'The Boston Globe'?

By Saba, Jennifer | Editor & Publisher, August 7, 2009 | Go to article overview

Should the New York Times Co. Keep 'The Boston Globe'?


Saba, Jennifer, Editor & Publisher


Should The New York Times Co. hang on to The Boston Globe?

Platinum Equity reportedly slid an offer across the table to the New York Times for its New England Media Group for a jaw-dropping $35 million. The proposal, according to a report in the Boston Globe, includes the assumption of $59 million in pension liabilities.

Platinum Equity has been in the mood to shop and do more than look; it recently purchased The San Diego Union-Tribune for a price rumored to be in the $50-million range.

According to the Globe's Beth Healy, the private equity firm is bidding against two other interested parties: Stephen Pagliuca, a co-owner of the Boston Celtics, who teamed up with Jack Connors, an advertising executive and Stephen Taylor, whose family sold the Globe to the New York Times Co. in 1993 for $1.1 billion.

In light of yesterday's news that Cox Media pulled the Austin-American Statesman off the market due to low offers, E&P asked industry observers if the New York Times should follow suit and shut down the auction.

"I think they should keep it," said newspaper analyst John Morton, adding the New York Times should hang on to the properties even if the offer(s) increase. "I understand the problems they face. ... New England has been there before and it has always come back and it will come back again."

Morton said the Globe is a "very powerful name" and that the speculation of it just vanishing is "ridiculous."

Edward Atorino, an analyst with Benchmark Co., believes things are starting to turn around for the newspaper industry. "I think it's too late to sell it in a fire sale," he said before asking, "Did that include Worcester? That is really giving it away. I think given the change in tone, I really think it would be dumping it at the bottom. …

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