Globe heah! Getchya Globe heah!

With the announcement by The New York Times Company that it will put the Globe and the rest of its New England holdings out for bid, the guessing game is commencing as to who will buy the broadsheet.

And despite the dire state of the newsprint industry, there should be no shortage of suitors for the 140-year-old paper that the Times purchased for a then-record $1.1 billion in 1993, though some of the prospective buyers will likely be bargain hunters hoping to get in on a fire sale.

Howie Carr dismisses the Globe as irrelevant these days, calling it a shadow of its former self and poo-pooing its string of Pulitzer Prizes, including the 10 the paper has won since being taken over by the Times. Yet the Herald, Carr’s own paper, devotes the front page and a good chunk of its shrinking inside news hole to the story, including a “short list” of investors who would be at the front of the line to write a check.

Among the consensus suitors would be the scions of the former owners, cousins Stephen and Ben Taylor, who have put together several independent attempts to buy back the paper. Advertising magnate Jack Connors has also belonged to a couple groups pursuing the paper and odds are he’d be included in one of the crowds making a run.

Former General Electric chairman and CEO Jack Welch put in a reported $550 million bid for the paper six years ago that was rejected and his wife, Suzy Welch, wondered on Twitter yesterday whether “this time they’ll actually consider reasonable bids.” She later tweeted “That would be a no” when asked if her comment meant she and her husband would be in the running.   

One group to watch would be any headed by former Globe president Rick Daniels, who stepped down as president and CEO of GateHouse Media New England in December to pursue what he described as investment and advisory roles for other media. “There’s a lot of pretty interesting deals that are out there and I’ve been approached by some folks who would like to do some of those deals,” Daniels told the Patriot Ledger when he stepped down.

Daniels’ heart never left the Globe; he still proudly brandishes the 2004 World Series ring presented to him by the Red Sox, where he sat in on partner meetings as the Times representative when the company owned a piece of the team. The paper sold off its remaining share of the Sox last year for $63 million. In fact, the Times sold off most of its non-New York holdings last year, including 16 regional newspapers, a handful of broadcast outlets and its online site, About.com. That’s a pretty good sign that they’re serious about the sale this time to focus on the mothership.

There’s a bunch of questions that will have to be answered in the coming days, including whether the Globe and Worcester Telegram & Gazette will be sold as a package or separately and if the Times will force prospective buyers to assume the estimated $100 million to $200 million pension liability. The Globe reports the Times may hang onto that liability to maximize the sale price.

The Globe reports the paper and the online products, boston.com and BostonGlobe.com, were profitable in 2011 and 2012. Among the accoutrements that would make the Globe attractive are its deals to print and distribute other dailies in the area, including the Herald, Patriot Ledger and the Brockton Enterprise. The paper has also been renting out vacant office space in the Morrissey Boulevard headquarters to tech start-ups and community groups, adding some value to the real estate.

It’s unclear if the Telegram & Gazette made money. That paper reports that one prospective buyer, Ralph Crowley Jr., president and CEO of Polar Beverages, was “worn out” from his previous attempt to buy the paper. Crowley, who put together a group that included former T&G editor Harry Whitin, told the Worcester paper he had no interest in buying both papers but didn’t rule out getting in the mix if the package was broken up.
                                    
                                                                                        –JACK SULLIVAN

BEACON HILL

The Lottery’s $20 Billion Dollar Bonanza instant game has been just that for the South Shore as 20 players south of Boston have won $1 million and two others have hit for $10 million since the game was introduced in 2008.

The Herald editorial page says Gov. Deval Patrick’s quest for $2 billion in new revenue is getting “more absurd by the day.”

MUNICIPAL MATTERS

A selectman’s proposal to ban semi-automatic weapons in Westford is withdrawn from consideration after a huge turnout by gun advocates, the Lowell Sun reports.

State Rep. David Sullivan has agreed to a contract to become director of the Fall River Housing Authority once he resigns from the House. Part of the deal includes Sullivan obtaining certification as a housing manager within one year.

Seven students were arrested after fights broke out after a high school basketball game between Methuen and Haverhill. Tension first surfaced at an earlier hockey game between the two schools and then accelerated with taunts on Twitter, the Eagle-Tribune reports.

Salem looks to crack down on aggressive panhandling, the Salem News reports.

A dissident faction of the Mashpee Wampanoag is calling for clean elections this Sunday, urging tribal leaders to agree to independent observers to avoid the questions that arose from the last vote in 2009.

NATIONAL POLITICS/WASHINGTON

Florida Gov. Rick Scott endorses Medicaid expansion, Governing reports.

Former Sen. Pete Domenici reveals he had a child 30 years ago with Michelle Laxalt, the daughter of a Senate colleague, the Daily Beast reports.

Washington Post blogger Chris Cillizza parses three reasons why Congress won’t win the sequester battle of wills.

One of John Kerry’s first major acts as secretary of state might be the removal of Cuba from the government’s list of state sponsors of terrorism.

The mother of a daughter who was slain by her boyfriend is spreading awareness about abusive relationships, the Daily Beast reports. The situation is front-page news in Boston with coverage of the trial of Nathaniel Fujita, the Wayland teen who is accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend Lauren Astley.

Michael Bloomberg’s super PAC attacks a pro-gun Democrat in Illinois.

Colorado eyes marijuana tourism.

ELECTIONS

Political insiders chide Ed Markey for running a frontrunner, Martha Coakley-style campaign, NECN reports.

Dr. Donald Berwick of Newton taps his assets for a run at the Corner Office. Meanwhile, Newton Mayor Setti Warren has a healthy campaign account as he gears up for his second campaign for mayor.

IMMIGRATION

More than half of the almost 1 million immigrants living in Massachusetts are US citizens, the Globe reports.

BUSINESS/ECONOMY

The state’s two freshman senators held a town-hall-style meeting with fishermen in New Bedford to hear their grievances regarding federal regulation of the industry and the despised catch quotas.

George Carney, owner of Raynham Park, says he is unfazed by the competition for the state’s sole slot license after two bidders switched their applications from a destination casino to the slot permit.

Teen employment in Massachusetts is at a 45-year low.

A watchdog group and several state regulators are worried that accounting rules let charities overstate what they actually spend on programs. (Chronicle of Philanthropy subscription required.)

EDUCATION

Questions are being raised about ties between charter schools, including one in Everett and another proposed for Saugus, run by Turkish-born educators and an Islamic cleric living in Pennsylvania.

The Beverly Public Schools are accepting applications from students outside the district even as the system cites overcrowding in an application for state funds for a middle school, the Salem News reports.

HEALTH CARE

A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that drug overdose deaths rose for the 11th consecutive year.

ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT

1366 Technologies, a solar cell maker in Bedford, is optimistic about its chances, the Sun reports.

The owner of three wind turbines in Kingston has declined to participate in an acoustical study commissioned by the owner of the town’s other large turbine.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

Lawyers Weekly and WBUR scrutinize the office of US Attorney Carmen Ortiz, highlighting concerns that Ortiz’s assistants are commanding too much power and also reporting on cases that were tossed out by judges because they were so flimsy. Radio Boston piles on.

MEDIA

Meet the Author

Jack Sullivan

Senior Investigative Reporter, CommonWealth

About Jack Sullivan

Jack Sullivan is now retired. A veteran of the Boston newspaper scene for nearly three decades. Prior to joining CommonWealth, he was editorial page editor of The Patriot Ledger in Quincy, a part of the GateHouse Media chain. Prior to that he was news editor at another GateHouse paper, The Enterprise of Brockton, and also was city edition editor at the Ledger. Jack was an investigative and enterprise reporter and executive city editor at the Boston Herald and a reporter at The Boston Globe.

He has reported stories such as the federal investigation into the Teamsters, the workings of the Yawkey Trust and sale of the Red Sox, organized crime, the church sex abuse scandal and the September 11 terrorist attacks. He has covered the State House, state and local politics, K-16 education, courts, crime, and general assignment.

Jack received the New England Press Association award for investigative reporting for a series on unused properties owned by the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, and shared the association's award for business for his reporting on the sale of the Boston Red Sox. As the Ledger editorial page editor, he won second place in 2007 for editorial writing from the Inland Press Association, the nation's oldest national journalism association of nearly 900 newspapers as members.

At CommonWealth, Jack and editor Bruce Mohl won first place for In-Depth Reporting from the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors for a look at special education funding in Massachusetts. The same organization also awarded first place to a unique collaboration between WFXT-TV (FOX25) and CommonWealth for a series of stories on the Boston Redevelopment Authority and city employees getting affordable housing units, written by Jack and Bruce.

About Jack Sullivan

Jack Sullivan is now retired. A veteran of the Boston newspaper scene for nearly three decades. Prior to joining CommonWealth, he was editorial page editor of The Patriot Ledger in Quincy, a part of the GateHouse Media chain. Prior to that he was news editor at another GateHouse paper, The Enterprise of Brockton, and also was city edition editor at the Ledger. Jack was an investigative and enterprise reporter and executive city editor at the Boston Herald and a reporter at The Boston Globe.

He has reported stories such as the federal investigation into the Teamsters, the workings of the Yawkey Trust and sale of the Red Sox, organized crime, the church sex abuse scandal and the September 11 terrorist attacks. He has covered the State House, state and local politics, K-16 education, courts, crime, and general assignment.

Jack received the New England Press Association award for investigative reporting for a series on unused properties owned by the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, and shared the association's award for business for his reporting on the sale of the Boston Red Sox. As the Ledger editorial page editor, he won second place in 2007 for editorial writing from the Inland Press Association, the nation's oldest national journalism association of nearly 900 newspapers as members.

At CommonWealth, Jack and editor Bruce Mohl won first place for In-Depth Reporting from the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors for a look at special education funding in Massachusetts. The same organization also awarded first place to a unique collaboration between WFXT-TV (FOX25) and CommonWealth for a series of stories on the Boston Redevelopment Authority and city employees getting affordable housing units, written by Jack and Bruce.

The Globe’s Names section takes a dig at the Herald over its promotion of a casting call that it now appears may be a scam.

Sony announces PlayStation 4.