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Posts Tagged ‘New York Times Co.’

At Least Two Bidders Still Interested In Boston Globe

boston-globe-logo.jpgToday, The Boston Globe has an update on its own sale process.

The Boston paper reports that two potential buyers have offered to pay around $35 million for the Globe and the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, and have visited the paper in the past five days.

One group is led by Stephen Taylor, whose family used to own the Globe before selling it to The New York Times Co. The other group is private equity firm Platinum Equity, which purchased The San Diego Union-Tribune earlier this year.

Since the potential sale was revealed over the summer, another party headed by Boston Celtics co-owner Stephen Pagliuca and Jack Connors, chairman of Partners HealthCare, was said to be interested in the Globe. However, today the Globe reports that Pagliuca and Connors made the lowest bid for the paper and have not taken a tour of the facilities in recent days. Pagliuca and Connors could be pulling out of the bidding as Pagliuca considers running for Sen. Edward Kennedy‘s Senate seat. If he runs, owning a newspaper could be a conflict of interest, the paper said.

Final bids are due at the end of the month.

Last week, Times Co. executives Arthur Sulzberger Jr. and Janet Robinson visited the Globe in an effort to calm employees’ fears about the future of the paper.

“Our hand is not being forced,” Sulzberger told the Boston employees, adding that the decision to sell would take a number of factors into consideration, including the impact a sale would have on the paper and the Boston community.

Two bidders visit Globe; third group may drop outBoston Globe

Earlier: Sulzberger, Robinson Try To Calm Boston Globe Employees’ Fears In Meeting Today

Sulzberger, Robinson Explain Why Readers Embrace Print

papers.jpgLess than a week after their rocky visit to The Boston Globe, New York Times Co. execs Arthur Sulzberger Jr. and Janet Robinson have issued an internal memo discussing circulation at The New York Times, the Globe and some of the Times Co.’s regional papers.

Despite the fact that one reader has apparently offered to pay $70 million to access “the most important paper in the free world,” Sulzberger and Robinson assure their employees that it hasn’t quite come to that yet. However, they have been asking their readers to bear more of the cost to produce their papers. Surprisingly, readers have chipped in and circulation has actually risen at the Times, the Globe and some other regional papers.

It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, but the news shows promise:

“We don’t mean to suggest that there have not been any cancellations or that circulation volume hasn’t declined. It has. But there have been far fewer cancellations from price increases than we expected at both The Times and the Globe. The reader retention rates for The Times and the Globe are enviable — for subscribers of two years or more, the rate is roughly 90 percent for both papers. In fact, The Times has more than 830,000 readers who have subscribed for two years or more, up from 650,000 in 2000.”

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Sulzberger, Robinson Try To Calm Boston Globe Employees’ Fears In Meeting Today

nytco.pngBoston Globe employees have been expecting a visit from New York Times Co. executives Arthur Sulzberger Jr. and Janet Robinson since late last month, and we didn’t really know what to expect.

Today, Sulzberger and Robinson told staffers that although they are in talks to sell the Boston paper, they are not being forced to sell it if offers from prospective buyers are too low, the Globe reported.

“Our hand is not being forced,” Sulzberger told the Boston employees. “We are not in a situation where we must absolutely sell the Globe or the Worcester Telegram & Gazette for the good of the company.”

Sulzberger added that the decision to sell would take a number of factors into consideration, including the impact a sale would have on the paper and the Boston community.

But the exec’s assurances did little to assuage the Globe‘s beleaguered employees’ fears or doubts in the company. One staffer, Jeanne Shimkus, even drew applause for her contentious comments to Sulzberger and Robinson, the Globe reported: “I have no respect for anything you say. And I don’t believe a word you say,” she said.

“You banged us around really good,” said Marty Callaghan, president of the Boston Newspaper Printing Pressmen’s Union. “Some new owner better not come in here and think that they are going to go, with the way things usually go, and come in and bang these unions around again.”

Whether or not a new owner will be coming in at all remains to be seen, but given the outlook of the economy, chances are the Globe‘s employees aren’t finished being banged around yet.

Times Co. executives meet with Globe employees”The Boston Globe

Earlier: Globe Readies for NYTCo. Execs’ Visit

Times Co. Admits Boston Globe Is Up For Sale While San Diego Paper Owner Makes Bid

boston-globe-logo.jpgToday we have two updates on the possible sale of The Boston Globe, both coming from the Globe itself.

Last month, Globe owner the New York Times Co. avoided the question of whether the Globe was up for sale while reporting its second quarter earnings. During a conference call, CEO Janet Robinson said the Times Co. would not comment on rumors of a sale, but noted that cost cutting measures and increased newsstand pricing had helped “put it on stronger financial footing.”

However, yesterday the Globe reported that the Times Co. had revealed the sale in a quarterly report filed with the SEC. In the filing, the company said it had hired Goldman, Sachs & Co. “to explore the potential sale of its New England Media Group,” which includes the Globe and the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, as well as their Web sites, the Globe said.

Then today, the paper said that California buyout firm Platinum Equity, which recently purchased the San Diego Union-Tribune, had made a $35 million bid for the Globe to the Times Co. last week. The offer also included the assumption of $59 million in pension liabilities, the Globe added.

Platinum’s bid is the third received by the Times Co., according to the Boston paper. The other two bids came from two Boston-based groups, one led by Boston Celtics co-owner Stephen Pagliuca and former ad exec Jack Connors, and the other headed up by Stephen Taylor, a former executive at the Globe and a member of the family that sold the paper to the Times Co. in 1993.

Earlier: Businessmen With Boston Roots Come To Globe‘s Rescue

NYT Spokeswoman Departs

nytco.pngThe Awl has learned that New York Times spokeswoman Catherine Mathis has resigned from the company. She will be leaving at the end of the month to join Standards & Poor’s.

In a memo to staffers from Janet Robinson, obtained by The Awl, the New York Times Co. CEO said Mathis, who has worked for the company for 12 years, “has been a source of strength to me, our leadership team and her colleagues throughout the organization.”

“She was always on duty, actively involved in managing the reputation of The Times brand, a major accomplishment, given the massive amount of coverage The Times Company generates on a daily basis,” Robinson added.

The Times Co.’s VP for speechwriting and internal communications Ethan Riegelhaupt will step in to Mathis’ role for the time being, the memo said.

Arthur & Janet Explain NYT‘s $1B Debt In Memo To Staffers

times logo.pngYesterday, New York Times staffers received a memo in their e-mail inboxes from publisher Arthur Sulzberger and CEO Janet Robinson. The memo is the second in a promised series that will keep the Times‘s internal workings more transparent for its staff.

In light of yesterday’s announcement that the Times had sold classical music station WQXR as part of a $45 million deal, the memo focused on the paper’s debt situation. The money from the WQXR deal will go towards paying down the $1 billion in debt that the New York Times Co. is currently carrying, the memo said.

“Going forward, we plan to use the proceeds from divestitures, such as WQXR and the potential sale of our interest in the Boston Red Sox, to bring our debt level down even more,” Sulzberger and Robinson said. “This is what we did in 2007 when we sold our Broadcast Media Group.”

The memo also outlined the details of a recent $250 million loan from two of Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim‘s banks, including Slim’s possible role in the company moving forward.

“He has not asked for nor been offered a Board seat and does not have a history of activism in the companies in which he invests,” the memo explained. “This transaction in no way changes the control of the Company since that continues to reside in the Class B shares held by the Ochs-Sulzberger Trust.”

In their first memo of this kind to staff last month, Sulzberger and Robinson talked about the Boston Globe and reminded everyone that The Atlantic‘s Michael Hirschorn had predicted that the paper would be dead by May.

A copy of the memo, obtained by TheAwl.com, is after the jump.

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WNYC Buys NYT‘s Classical Music Station

logos.pngNew York public radio station WNYC just announced that it has purchased classical music station WQXR from The New York Times, promising to maintain its classical format and transform it into a public radio station.

As part of the deal, Univision Radio Inc. will pay $33.5 million to swap its FCC broadcast license for 105.9 FM and transmitting equipment for the New York Times Co.‘s license, equipment, and signal at 96.3 FM. Then WNYC will pay the Times Co. $11.5 million for 105.9 FM’s FCC broadcast license, transmitting equipment, WQXR’s call letters and Web site.

WNYC, the largest AM/FM radio station in the U.S., will maintain WQXR’s 73-year history of broadcasting classical music, but will move the station to 105.9 FM. Univision will be moving its WCAA station to 96.3 FM, a move that Gary Stone, president and COO of Univision Radio said would give “the Hispanic population of New York and the surrounding area…more diversity in music, entertainment and news, while classical music will continue to have a home.”

The $45 million deal, which is subject to FCC approval, is expected to close during the second half of the year and WQXR is expected to begin airing at its new spot on the dial in October.

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Globe Reporter Rails Against Agreement With Times Co.

boston-globe-logo.jpgLast time we checked in, The Boston Globe‘s largest union, the Boston Newspaper Guild, had reached a tentative agreement with the paper’s owner, the New York Times Co., and union members were preparing to vote on the deal July 20.

But today, alternative newspaper The Boston Phoenix published a letter from Globe reporter Brian Mooney urging his fellow guild members to vote “no” later this month.

Mooney argues that under the new agreement, which is “at best, marginally better than the one we voted down on June 8,” the guild members stand to lose “more than the barbaric 23 percent wage cut the NY Times Co. has imposed as punishment for standing up, exercising our rights, and rejecting their outlandish demands.”

“The paper is for sale, and it is highly unlikely the Times can unload us without a new contract and if there is the threat of an adverse finding by the National Labor Relations Board in the future,” Mooney went on. “The company has never bargained in good faith, and a ‘no’ vote would give us real leverage to bring them back to the table to work out a slightly better deal we can all live with.”

Will his letter sway guild members? Or is the end of this newspaper labor struggle only a few weeks away?

NYT Reminds World That Hirschorn Said It’d Be Dead By May

toldyou.jpgNew York Times Co. chairman Arthur Sulzberger and CEO Janet Robinson have put out a memo celebrating The New York Times‘ survival until June — despite the grim predictions of The Atlantic‘s Michael Hirschorn last year.

“The month of May came and went and, contrary to the prediction of one writer, we did not stop printing The New York Times,” the memo read. “But given all the speculation and incorrect information that has been reported about our Company, we think it is important to create a regular letter written so that you get the facts directly from us — on the record.”

So, look forward to more of these correspondences in the coming months. Today’s explained the ongoing situation at The Boston Globe, but didn’t really add any new news to what has already been reported about the union negotiation saga.

Earlier: The NYT Strikes Back At The Atlantic and The Atlantic Responds To The New York Times

Globe Union And Times Co. Reach Tentative Agreement

boston-globe-logo.jpgLast night, The Boston Globe‘s largest union, the Boston Newspaper Guild, finally reached a tentative agreement with the paper’s owner, the New York Times Co, giving the company the $10 million in cost savings it has been seeking for months.

According to guild president Dan Totten, the new agreement “includes a 5.94 percent salary reduction, modifications to contract language on job security and other concessions.” This means that, if this deal is ratified, lifetime job guarantees for about 170 veteran guild employees will be eliminated and the pension plan will be frozen, the Globe said in an article today.

The union also “negotiated steps to help limit the financial hardship imposed on guild members from the temporary implementation of a 23 percent pay cut,” Totten added. This could include a lump sum for employees to replace lost wages from the implementation of the 23 percent cut last week to the ratification date of the new deal, The New York Times reported today.

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