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Boston Globe Sale Goes Into Extra Innings

The bottom of the ninth for this particular media deal was last Friday. That’s when the New York Times Company was all set to complete the transfer of the Boston Globe to Red Sox owner John Henry.

NewsTelegramLogoHowever, per a report in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette (one of the other publications attached to the deal), a Superior Court judge on that same day issued a temporary restraining order blocking finalization of the $70 million transaction. It has to do with a class action suit, filed in 2009 against the Telegram & Gazette, by the paper’s carriers. From T&G editor Aaron Nicodemus:

On Monday, the New York Times asked that the judge’s restraining order be lifted, and the sale be allowed to go through. In exchange, the New York Times would set aside a sum of money — to be determined by Judge [Sharon] Frison — that would be designated to pay a future settlement in the case.

Read more

Stephanopoulos Offered “GMA” Anchor Spot|Town & Country Tries Something New|NYT Reporter Speaks Out On New WH Pool Members|Another Buyer For Worcester Paper|Boston Globe Union Ousts Prez

TVNewser: The Washington Post reports that George Stephanopoulos has been offered the co-anchor position on “Good Morning America” to replace Diane Sawyer as she leaves for “World News.”

WWD: In the midst of a recession that has hit the high-end advertising market pretty hard, luxury pub Town & Country has plans to make its content more “exuberant” and “provocative” (read: sexy). Sex sells, but will it help boost ad sales?

Politico: New York Times reporter Peter Baker criticized the addition of reporters from Talking Points Memo and The Huffington Post to the White House reporting pool. “This is really troubling,” Baker told Michael Calderone. “We’re blurring the line between news and punditry even further and opening ourselves to legitimate questions among readers about where the White House press corps gets its information.”

Worcester Telegram & Gazette: Billionaire Jeff Greene is making a bid for New York Times Co.-owned Worcester Telegram & Gazette. He’s now bidding for the Massachusetts paper against a local group led by Polar Beverages CEO Ralph D. Crowley Jr. and Harry T. Whitin, the recently retired editor of the T&G.

Boston Globe: Members of The Boston Globe‘s biggest union have ousted their president, Dan Totten, after finding him guilty of violating union bylaws during a two-day hearing.

Former FBDC Editor Graff|McGraw-Hill Earned $5.9M From BusinessWeek|NYTCo. May Sell Worcester Paper Soon|More On Comcast-NBCU

Visit for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

PRNewser: Former FishbowlDC founding editor Garrett Graff, now the editor of the Washingtonian, talks about working in PR and then making the jump to journalism.

All Things Digital: Today, Mcgraw-Hill told investors that its sale of BusinessWeek netted the company $5.9 million after taxes.

Worcester Telegram & Gazette: Ralph D. Crowley, Jr., who is looking to buy the Worcester Telegram & Gazette from The New York Times Co., says negotiations might be wrapped up in two weeks.

New York Times: A closer look at Comcast‘s bid for a majority stake in NBC Universal.

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 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