UPDATED-Might Bloomberg buy the New York Times?

Pope Benedict XVI speaks to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg at Ground Zero in New York,UPDATE – Bloomberg told a press conference on Monday that he is not entering the newspaper business, saying:

“I am not a newspaper person.

Could New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg someday become New York Times Publisher Michael Bloomberg? (pictured on left, with Pope Benedict)

While it’s not a new idea, most media outlets — present company included — are all abuzz over the idea, and it has been reported that aides are whispering to Bloomberg he should merge Bloomberg LP, the financial news organization he created, with the Times.

The new smolderings come as the paper’s parent company feels pressure from dissident shareholders to spark advertising sales and dump assets to bolster its share price.

The press excitement is partly fed by the wrestlemania-ish notion of a Bloomberg-run media empire tackling Rupert Murdoch’s media kingdom. Murdoch himself has made no secret about giving the Times a run for its audience with the beefed up political news now appearing in his Wall Street Journal.

Blink… Times building just depreciated $1

time-building.jpgThe New York Times’ fancy new building on 8th Avenue comes at a cost. First there was the falling glass and other debris, then there was that annoying issue of mice making a home in the skyscraper.

But how’s this for a cost? The New York Times headquarters building is likely to depreciate at a rate of $8 million per quarter, according to its latest earnings release.

What’s $8 million per quarter? Here’s our rough breakdown:

    $2.67 million per month $88,889 per day $3,704 per hour $62 per minute $1.03 per second

In other words, the building lost $30 — give or take — while you were reading this post.

NY Times buyout offers to become layoffs

The New York TimesAnother day, another story about job cuts and cost cutting in the publishing business.

This time its the New York Times, where an offer of voluntary buyouts may turn into involuntary dismissals.

Back in February, the company said it would eliminate 100 newsroom jobs amid the weakening economy and declining revenues from advertising and circulation. An attempt was made to keep the move bloodless but that didnt quite work. In an internal memo, assistant managing editor Bill Schmidt said the number of people expected to take buyouts likely won’t meet the 100 target.

Death comes for the archblogger

Matt RichtelAt the risk of stating the obvious, everybody’s blogging about New York Times reporter Matt Richtel’s story about how the stress of 24-7 blogging is thinning the herd of Internet scribes.

Here’s his evidence:

Two weeks ago in North Lauderdale, Fla., funeral services were held for Russell Shaw, a prolific blogger on technology subjects who died at 60 of a heart attack. In December, another tech blogger, Marc Orchant, died at 50 of a massive coronary. A third, Om Malik, 41, survived a heart attack in December.

And here’s the cause:

A growing work force of home-office laborers and entrepreneurs, armed with computers and smartphones and wired to the hilt, are toiling under great physical and emotional stress created by the around-the-clock Internet economy that demands a constant stream of news and comment.

New York Times gets meta-rickrolled

astley2.jpgYou may have read recently about an Internet phenomenon called “rickrolling ,” which sends unsuspecting Web users to YouTube videos of Rick Astley’s ’80s pop single “Never Gonna Give You Up.” The New York Times wrote up the supposedly hilarious phenomenon on Monday, referencing a prank that purportedly interrupted a women’s basketball game:

“Two men on the sidelines surprised the crowd by blasting the British singer Rick Astley’s 1987 hit song “Never Gonna Give You Up” through the gym, while one, dressed as a look-alike in Mr. Astley’s signature trench coat, lip-synched and mugged to the music: a popular prank known as rickrolling.”

Unfortunately for the Times, it was the paper itself that got rolled. The Times originally reported that the pranksters interrupted the game and bewildered the crowd. Turns out it was just the result of some clever video editing, leading to a correction on Thursday:

Yahoo: Here’s why we rejected Microsoft offer

yang2.jpgYahoo’s surprise three-year forecast announcement on Tuesday lays out why the Internet giant has refused to budge from its belief that Microsoft’s bid severely undervalues the company.

The Sunnyvale, Calif. company believes it can nearly double its operating cash flow to $3.7 billion and boost revenue, excluding payments to affiliates, to $8.8 billion. Built into the forecast is an expectation of $1.9 billion of additional revenue over three years in display video advertising revenue, outpacing market growth rates, Yahoo said.

It also reaffirmed previously issued first quarter and full year 2008 forecasts.

GE: NBCU not for sale

immelt.jpgNBCU is not for sale. Got that?GE Chairman Jeff Immelt plans to put to bed persistent rumors that the industrial conglomerate is considering courting buyers for its broadcast, cable and movies division after the Beijing Olympics, according to the New York Times, citing Immelt’s note to GE investors in its annual report that will be filed on Wednesday.NYT quotes from the letter:“Should we sell NBCU? The answer is no!”"I just don’t see it happening. Not before the Olympics, not after the Olympics. It doesn’t make sense.”Immelt tells investors NBCU earnings are also expected to jump 10 percent this year.Speculation gathered steam last October after the Financial Times reported about Immelt considering NBCU’s fate only after the Olympics in August, citing unnamed sources. That set the chatter mill abuzz with scenario-spinning with potential suitors for pieces, if not the whole.But who really wants a broadcast network — and who doesn’t already have one — these days?(NYTimes)Keep an eye on:

    Hulu launches, finally. (Reuters) Spitzer, from all angles. (HuffPost) Disney sees $1 billion from online content revenue in 2008, up from $700 million in 2007. (paidContent) AOL replaces head of Platform A after just seven months. (NYPost)

(Photo: Reuters)