Within a day of accomplishing what they said were the necessary cost savings at the Boston Globe by slashing employee salaries 23%, the New York Times Co. has hired Goldman Sachs to facilitate a possible sale of the Boston paper, and sources said bids would be accepted over the next few weeks.
Could that mean the Telegram and Gazette will be for sale?
One anonymous source, a potential Globe buyer quoted by that paper, said the company would be considering bids on “any and all” New England properties, including the T&G. In some ways, a Telegram sale is as (or even more) likely as a Globe sale, especially now that the Times Co. has declared itself more interested in divesting from New England.
While not as high profile a holding as the Globe or Boston.com, the Telegram is generally considered to be on more stable financial footing than its Boston print brethren. And it’s unlikely the company, which is also looking at selling its 17.5 percent stake in the Red Sox, would want to hold on to a smaller regional daily as its only remaining northeast property. While the Times Co. owns smaller regional dailies, they are grouped together in California and the Southeast; it holds nothing else in the Northeast, outside of the Times itself.
The question now will be one of timing and grouping: The papers could be sold as a unit, but there is also the possibility of a local buyer or smaller chain sweeping in to buy the Telegram. There is also speculation that potential buyers for the Globe will wait until the paper and the Newspaper Guild work out their differences, but the Telegram doesn’t have the same contract disputes hanging over its head. Either way, the Times Co. is expected to consider bids over the summer.