Globe/Telegram suitors to two?

The Boston Globe reported last week that two of the three would-be purchasers of the New England Media Group – including the Telegram and Gazette – have been invited to tour operations sometime in early September.

The two groups are California-based investment firm Platinum Equity, and a group led by Stephen Taylor, whose family sold the Globe to the NYT Co. in 1993.  Both groups submitted reported bids of around $35 million (plus an assumption of $59 million in pension liabilities), which would cover the two newspapers, and their respective websites and printing facilities.

The third group to submit a bid, apparently out of the running now, was advertising mogul Jack Connors and venture capitalist Stephen Pagliuca.

The ongoing process could mean that Globe staffers are safe for now, reports the Boston Herald today.

The same is likely true for the Telegram, which has gone through several rounds of major staff cuts over the past few years, and has never been in as precarious a financial situation as the Globe. The fact that NYT Co. executives have cleaned up their properties enough to make them attractive to suitors – and the fact that suitors are seriously interested – means that further cuts will most likely wait until a sale takes place.

But that doesn’t mean changes aren’t coming to the dailys.  In a financial filing earlier this month, the NYT Co. revealed it will almost certainly start charging for online content in the near future; such charges are a given at the Globe, though they remain an unknown at the Telegram.

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