Globe attracting interest

It’s still early, but the Boston Globe seems to be attracting a lot of interest from prospective buyers. Over the weekend, car czar Ernie Boch Jr.  said he would be exploring a bid and it was reported that Rick Daniels, the former president of GateHouse Media and a former Globe executive, had submitted a $100 million bid a month ago. Ben Taylor, a member of the family that previously controlled the Globe, also said he was talking to potential investors. New York Times Co. Vice Chairman Michael Golden told Globe employees on Friday that the size of a bid would probably be the deciding factor in choosing a new owner for the newspaper. But he emphasized that the Times wants to find a responsible new owner.  “We have no intention to send the New England Media Group (the Globe and Telegram & Gazette) to the slaughterhouse,” he said. Hmmm.

Golden didn’t rule out new layoffs prior to the sale of the newspaper, although he said any reductions in staff wouldn’t be done to make the paper more attractive to suitors. He also apologized for the way the decision to sell the paper leaked out before employees were told. (Brian McGrory, the Globe’s editor, heard about the proposed sale from a Globe reporter seeking comment for a story. McGrory was on vacation in Puerto Rico at the time and flew back to address the newsroom.)

The Wall Street Journal reported this weekend that Daniels, the former Globe and Gatehouse Media exec, offered the Times Company $100 million for the Globe last month. That offer remains on the table, as the Times Co. scours for other bids. The Times had hoped to draw Rupert Murdoch into the sweepstakes, the Journal reported, but the media magnate is unlikely to win a federal waiver that would allow it to operate a newspaper and a television station in the same market.

Talk of a sale is drawing other media attention to the Globe. The Nieman Journalism Lab examines the two-brand Web strategy of the newspaper and Dan Kennedy does a little math to see if a tighter paywall makes or breaks the Boston Globe and, by extension, its sale prospects.

                                                                    — BRUCE MOHL

BEACON HILL

The directors of the Pembroke, Duxbury, and Hanson housing authorities are supporting a plan that would let local housing authorities remain intact while allowing smaller ones to hire management companies, contrary to Gov. Deval Patrick’s plan to regionalize authorities.

Gov. Patrick’s tax plan includes the elimination of 44 special tax breaks. The first draft of his plan did not include an income tax hike, State House News Service reports (via Gloucester Times).

The Metro West Daily News takes a look at the pros and cons of the state lottery.

MUNICIPAL MATTERS

Two Freetown businessmen who have had adversarial dealings with the town building inspector hired a private investigator to look into the official’s business dealings during his 20 years as inspector.

The Lowell Sun, in an editorial, slams City Manager Bernie Lynch for his non-apology apology concerning a disparaging comment he made about a city councilor.

Peabody city councilors acknowledge there’s been some backlash to their decision to raise their salaries as well as those of the school board and the mayor, the Salem News reports.

Saugus officials say they are having trouble filling some town jobs because of low salaries, the Item reports.

Cedric Cromwell, incumbent chairman of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, beat back a challenge to win another four-year term.

NATIONAL POLITICS/WASHINGTON

The White House releases a state-by-state breakdown of sequestration impact, USA Today reports. Gov. Patrick, on Meet the Press, challenges the GOP on sequestration.

The National Review says the Conservative Political Action Conference should lift its ban on gay conservatives and expand the ideological tent for survival sake.

The New York Times frames the rise of the Obamas against the fall of the Jacksons in Chicago.

ELECTIONS

Keller@Large pulls in Democratic consultant Alex Goldstein and Republican Sen. Bruce Tarr to weigh in on the state of the special Senate election.

Rep. Dan Winslow says he has collected enough signatures to qualify for the US Senate special election. Michael Sullivan’s volunteers have been busy, as well. Senate hopeful Gaberiel Gomez has trouble talking about his past support for President Obama, who remains popular in Massachusetts, but not among the folks Gomez needs to secure the GOP nomination.

BUSINESS/ECONOMY

Big banks are helping payday lenders extend illegal loans.

Forget Washington dysfunction: The Atlantic argues that housing, not Congress, is holding the economy back.

Horsemeat is found in Ikea Swedish meatballs sold across Europe, NECN reports.

HEALTH CARE

Pediatricians are urged to treat ear infections more cautiously, WBUR reports.

The sexually transmitted disease chlamydia is afflicting young people in the Bowdoin-Geneva section of Boston at an alarming degree, the Globe reports.

This year’s flu shot is doing a poor job protecting the elderly from getting sick.

Tattoo parlours in the Berkshires are doing a booming business in covering up unwanted designs.

ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT

The Cape Cod Times suggests that communities need to find joint solutions to the problem of beach erosion.

MEDIA

Michelle Obama knows how to Dougie. Jimmy Fallon does not.

Argo’s win as Best Picture at the Oscars cements a comeback for Ben Affleck, the Globe’s Ty Burr reports.