By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Al Larkin’s not-so-secret mission

The Boston Phoenix’s Adam Reilly reports that retired Boston Globe executive Al Larkin has been retained by the New York Times Co. to find a buyer for the Globe. No takers so far.

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State of play at the Globe


A half-century of bad blood


  1. NewsHound

    So hard to predict. There are many, many people who often comment that Warren Buffett doesn’t understand or that he has lost his touch.The Globe in some format may be around for a long time if not viewed as a money tree.What the landscape in the newspaper publishing business will look like when this recession ends, and when it ends, is hard to predict. But if many of the people who are reemployed are sought through newspaper advertising, and most of those who are holding out to list their homes for sale advertise in print media, there could be quite a reward for a buyer.Will it happen, to what degree, and when is a big question.

  2. Mary

    So, how would Boston change if the Globe went down? Weigh in at Big World Magazine, the multimedia magazine that features narrative journalism about places:

  3. NewsHound

    If there is discontent in government or business, or a need otherwise, somehow it will be fulfilled, possibly even better than now, either by The Globe or successor media in some format that reaches the masses efficiently, effectively and competitively.If this isn’t true, God help us! We need the Fourth Estate, now and in the future. And, retailers need a cost efficient advertising vehicle.

  4. rozzie02131

    Interesting calculation:In this story remembers the Herald’s brush with death in 1982. At that time the Herald was losing $1 million a month. The CPI shows the inflation rate would increase that by 220% for 2009, so an equivalent loss would be $2.2 million a month, $26 million a year. So even adjusted for inflation, the Globe is losing almost twice as much as the Herald was losing when it almost shut down on that dramatic night. It puts things in a remarkable perspective.

  5. Ani

    If one looks at the old print-ad-subvention-of-newsgathering model, it’s really a lot like what you folks, Dan, (especially Kara Miller, as I remember it) on Beat the Press were talking about recently: as I recall it, Kara Miller talked about offering a free mug in connection with charging people some kind of fee, in order to overcome initial resistance to paying. What I can see is that in a concededly more indirect way, the print ad model really was like the free mug in that we consumers all paid for the newsgathering (through the companies that advertised) while getting our stuff (that is, our consumer goods). And while our stuff was not free (we paid those companies for it), their advertising costs were factored into the purchase prices we paid, so indirectly we really were paying for the news — while getting our stuff. If we in this consumer society require stuff in order to be willing to pay for news, maybe that should be taken into account in developing a new model for subventing newsgathering. And if we don’t require stuff in order to be willing to pay, maybe collecting our financial support for newsgathering can be done more explicitly, stripped of the stuff, for example, through a surcharge on internet service.

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