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An Intriguing Suggestion for the Times Co.

There's an eye-catching suggestion in yesterday's New York Sun story discussing possible ways of dealing with the New York Times Co's troubling performance on Wall Street. Here's a paragraph bound to get some attention around here:

The move has been described as a "wake-up call" to management. What is less clear is what even an insomniac management can do to turn things around. Suggestions from several people close to the situation, none of whom wished to be quoted for this article (the Grey Lady certainly inspires discretion), were to sell off various peripheral businesses. Assets mentioned for possible sale include the broadcasting stations, which might fetch close to $400 million, the company's 17% interest in the Boston Red Sox, or the Boston Globe - and buying in stock at today's deflated price.

You'd still be able to get pretty long odds on any sale of the Globe. In recent years, the Times Co. has dramatically increased its footprint in these here parts, buying 49 percent of the Metro Boston daily tabloid as well as the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. Of course, there have been murmurs that the Taylor family would love to have the Globe back -- but who could pay for a property that fetched more than $1 billion in 1993?

One key to the credibility of this Sun article is whether these "people close to the situation" who are suggesting a possible Globe sale are simply kibbitzers or folks with a say in what happens at the Times Co. It'd be ironic if a year from now, Pat Purcell was still operating the Herald and the Globe had new owners.

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