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What Jack Welch & Co. should do instead

In his magisterial profile of Billy Bulger in this month's Boston magazine, Joe Keohane reports, as an aside, that Mike Barnicle still thinks the Jack Welch-Jack Connors consortium is going to end up owning the Globe. "Wait’ll we buy it," Barnicle tells Bulger. "We’re gonna buy it!"

Since Barnicle is probably wrong, here's another idea: what if the Welch-Connors group just started their own new online daily? Today, Jim Romenesko links to a press release from one such outfit, MinnPost.com, that's slated to launch in Minnesota this November. What's really striking about MinnPost.com is the low, low startup cost: according to the release, $1.2 million was enough to get this thing going--and $850k of that came from four "founding families." The staff, apparently, will be a hybrid of full-timers and contributors with other jobs. In the former category, editor and CEO Joel Kramer is a former editor of the Star-Tribune; in the latter, Steve Aschburner--another Star Tribune alum, who'll presumably be covering the Minnesota Timberwolves--currently writes for SportsIllustrated.com. And, as the press release notes, the roster of contributors includes two Pulitzer winners.

How about it, Mike and Jack and Jack (and Joe)? True, you wouldn't get the thrill of owning your hometown paper of record, and this model would involve running your new daily as a nonprofit (!). Of course, if making money was your primary goal, you probably wouldn't be thinking about buying a newspaper. This way, you'd get to build your own brand from scratch. You'd also save about half a billion bucks. Think it over.

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