After playing coy for weeks — despite reports in its own papers and point-blank questions to its execs — the New York Times Co. (NYSE: NYT) is finally admitting that the Boston Globe, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette and their websites are for sale. From the 10-Q issued after today’s markets closed:
“The New England Media Group, which includes the Globe, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette and their Web sites, has been affected by secular and cyclical forces affecting the media industry. We have responded by developing a strategic plan that includes consolidating printing facilities, raising circulation prices and reducing compensation and headcount. In addition, we have retained Goldman, Sachs & Co. to explore a potential sale of the New England Media Group.”
No idea why CEO Janet Robinson and others couldn’t have admitted this weeks ago, at the very least after the Boston Newspaper Guild vote if that was the hold up or during Q2 results on July 23. It doesn’t help the company’s image — or add credence to the idea that Robinson and Arthur Sulzberger Jr. are being up front with their own staff. This is what Robinson had to say in the earnings call: “While there has been speculation concerning the sale of The Boston Globe, we have not and are not commenting on this. What we will say is that we regularly review our portfolio of properties to ensure that they are meeting their financial targets and remain a strategic fit.”
Now this, after GS, by all reports, has been working on the sale for at least two months. Must have been one heck of a rapid-fire review.
The relevant portion of the filing: