New York Times and Journal Register? Seriously?

journal-register-logo.JPGWe’ve written a lot lately about tiny Journal Register Co , the newspaper publisher that’s exploring its options — another way of saying that its survival is on the line. Among them is getting its lenders to restructure its debt so it won’t have to declare default. Another, which would depend on that, is taking $25 million from an Ohio-based investment firm and selling off a bunch of its failing newspapers.

The New Haven Advocate, which publishes in the same town as Journal Register’s largest paper, the New Haven Register, is reporting information nyt-logo.JPGthat seems about as reliable as reports of multiple gunmen at Dealey Plaza:

One of the options that we never considered, but apparently someone out there is pushing, is selling either some or all of the company to the New York Times Co. Here’s what the New Haven Advocate wrote:The financial free-fall and dwindling readership of the Journal Register Co. and its flagship Register are old news, but that doesn’t mean somebody doesn’t think they can turn the business around. JRC honchos won’t tell The Nose a thing, but a source inside the Reg hints that no less a monolith than The New York Times Co. may be a suitor.

Imagine! “The Neediest Cases” moving to The Hill. “Our Towns” spanning the entire length of the Metro-North commute. A shorter trip to work for New Haven?based NY Times Magazine writer Jack Hitt. Maureen Dowd duking it out with Joe Amarante over who gets to cover televised presidential debates. Yale’s Cross Campus appearing in the Times Crossword. Perhaps a “Journal Register Journal” feature, in keeping with “Taipei Journal” and other thrill spots.

I called the NYT and wrote an e-mail to Journal Register’s investor relations chief Gary Struening. Times spokeswoman Catherine Mathis declined to comment, and Struening, per the usual policy, let silence speak for the company.

David Broder, sort of taking the Washington Post buyout

broder.jpgI spoke on Wednesday to David Broder, veteran political columnist at The Washington Post and a fixture at the paper for more than 40 years, about deciding to take the buyout that the paper is offering.

As it turned out, “taking the buyout” for Broder, 78, doesn’t mean “leaving” so much as “still writing my column twice a week and coming to work every day.” In other words, he will be a contract employee.

Q: Why leave a place that you joined before a goodly number of us were born:

A: It will allow me to focus entirely on the column while freeing up the Post to use its budget on other newsroom salaries and expenses.

Journal Register, a Shakespeare tragedy

shakespeare.jpgIn William Shakespeare’s play The Tempest, Prospero the exiled sorcerer frees the spirit Ariel from a tree. In much the same way, Ariel Investments has freed itself from a tree as well.

The Chicago-based investment firm reported in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it no longer owns any shares in Journal Register Co, the publisher of 20-some newspapers in the United States, including the New Haven Register.

Ariel officials declined to comment on why they sold their shares, but perhaps it had something to do with the fact that Journal Register was recently delisted from the New York Stock Exchange after its stock belly-flopped amid a ridiculously bruising advertising sales climate.