Analysts: Boston Globe may be for sale soon….

Posted on May 31, 2012



The blow-by-blow details of the ouster of top New York Times [NYT] honcho Janet Robinson for defending The Boston Globe — reported in a behind-the-scenes expose in this week’s New York magazine — raise the odds that the local broadsheet may soon be put up for sale, media analysts said.

“It does make it sound more likely. I did have a sense from covering the company for a number of years that Janet Robinson had a warm spot for the Globe,” said Rick Edmonds, a media business analyst for The Poynter Institute.

“Like a lot of things, it would depend on what kind of buyers are out there.”

Former New York Times CEO Robinson, who landed with a $24 million parachute after she was pushed out the door late last year, was the leading voice urging fellow Times bigwigs not to sell the Globe until they could evaluate whether the paper’s new online paywall was a success, according to the magazine.

That refusal irked Times vice chairman Michael Golden, a cousin of publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr., who felt Robinson wasn’t pushing hard enough to sell the Globe, according to the magazine.

With Robinson gone, the group advocating for a Globe sale appears to have won — something that has once again sparked talk that a deal may soon be in the works.

Meanwhile, Robinson, reached by phone yesterday, didn’t want to discuss the details of her abrupt departure.

“I have no comment,” she told the Herald.

“Thank you, though.”

New York Times spokesman Robert Christie said yesterday, “It is the company policy not to comment on possible acquisitions and divestitures.”

The Times bought the Globe for a staggering $1.1 billion in 1993.

The Times tried unsuccessfully to sell the Globe three years ago.

A group of investors that includes Hub businessman Jack Connors and greeting-card mogul Aaron Kushner from Wellesley has formed to try to buy the paper to save a local news organization.

Connors couldn’t be reached yesterday. Kushner declined to weigh in.

“No comment,” Kushner said.

“But thanks for calling.”

One analyst said the Times will do what’s best for its own bottom line.

“This isn’t going to be about saving The Boston Globe or abandoning The Boston Globe. It’s going to be about dollars and cents,” said Boston University communications professor Tobe Berkovitz.

“What I think you’re seeing are white knights from either the Boston area or perhaps august figures of journalism who want to try to save The Boston Globe.If you’re looking to make money, buying The Boston Globe is probably not the surest of bets, but then again, neither is buying Facebook.”

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