Buy The Boston Globe? That’s so 2006

July 3, 2008

jack-welch.jpgOne of the top parlor games among undertakers reporters covering the newspaper business is figuring out who would buy The Boston Globe if The New York Times Co ever decided to sell it.

That game might get harder to play, now that the top candidate is out of the running. Here is the Globe’s competitor, the Boston Herald, with the scoop (see the second item):

A group of Boston businessmen that included Connors and former GE chief Jack Welch had “expressed interest” in negotiating with the New York Times Co. to buy the Globe. Welch and Connors were willing to pay between $500 and $600 million, but the Times wasn’t interested.

Connors told MediaBiz he’s retired and Welch is showing signs that he wants to spend more time in New York. “I’m fully retired now and engaged in a lot of philanthropy,” Connors said, “and the industry hasn’t gotten any healthier.”

Rack up Connors and Welch with Cheryl Chase, whose family-owned real estate development firm Chase Enterprises had been the only group to step forward to buttonhole Tribune Co for the Hartford Courant. She told Reuters in May that the business isn’t good enough to make a purchase worthwhile.

Then look at the other development in newspaper M&A this week: Rupert Murdoch said that News Corp unit Dow Jones & Co would sell the remaining local papers in the Ottaway chain, but those papers reported that he’s pulling back.

Conclusion: You know things are bad in the newspaper business when it’s cheaper to keep the albatross.

(Photo: Reuters)

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Fascinating commentary. Thanks for posting this.

-Stephan Schwartz

Posted by Stephan Schwartz | Report as abusive