Wednesday, October 14, 2009

New York Times Decides Not to Sell Boston Globe

On Monday, I wrote a post, Will the New York Times Actually Sell the Boston Globe?, that said I'd bet the New York Times would decide to not sell the Boston Globe.

Turns out I was right.

Just now, the Times declared that it decided not to unload the Boston Globe (and its sister paper, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette) for $35 million plus the assumption of $59 million in retirement benefits for a total of $94 million.

Check out "New York Times Decides Not to Sell Boston Globe."

That doesn't mean the Times won't make further changes -- i.e., cuts. It also doesn't mean the Worcester T&G is safe.

As a betting man (at least when it comes to media predictions), I still think the Times would sell the Worcester T&G.

The T&G is the third largest paper in the state, and Worcester doesn't get great coverage from the two largest papers -- so I think the Times feels the T&G is at least worth $35 million itself. And I would agree. The T&G could be worth seven BusinessWeeks if only because there are lots of sources for business news, but not a lot of alternatives for the Worcester area. And one day, the ad market will recover, if slightly.

The key issues for the local group that's interested in the T&G is how much it can offer; they should not think that $35 million rejected Globe bid is the ceiling for its bid for the T&G. But the local group should expect to pick up all T&G pension liabilities.

So even as I believe in the importance of local papers, I will bet the T&G could soon be sold. Anyone want to put together an offer?

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