New York Times Co. to Keep ‘Worcester Telegram & Gazette’

By: E&P Staff

Underscoring just how tough it is to sell a metro daily, The New York Times Co. said today that it pulled the Worcester Telegram & Gazette off the market.

At one time the New York Times was looking to unload its New England Media division, which also includes The Boston Globe. The company decided to keep the Globe and sell the Telegram & Gazette, only to reverse course with Worcester as well.

Robert Gavin of the Boston Globe reports New York Times Chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr. and CEO Janet Robison sent a memo to Telegram & Gazette employees explaining the company decided to retain the paper because it made operational improvements.

In a similar move earlier this year, Cox newspapers pulled the Austin American-Statesman off the block after receiving low bids.

The flagship New York Times is expected to make cuts to its newsroom by the end of the year.


The memo follows:

**

Dear Colleagues:

We are pleased to announce that we have completed the process of exploring strategic alternatives for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette and telegram.com, and concluded that these properties should remain a part of The New York Times Company’s New England Media Group. The progress that has been made this year at the T&G is impressive and we look forward to continued improvement.

This has been a lengthy process, but it was important to pursue a thorough analysis of all available possibilities. What has become abundantly apparent is that the T&G is making substantial progress in transforming every part of its journalistic and business operations. As a result, you are doing an even better job in meeting the needs of your readers and your communities in Central Massachusetts.

This, of course, has not been easy year. Nevertheless, month after month, you have demonstrated a relentless determination and heightened focus, as you have implemented a complete redesign of the newspaper into a single-edition paper, the transformation of the classified section into a more reader-friendly and efficient six-column format and the creation of zoned weeklies to complement our daily newspaper. You have also created new products to offer to our commercial print customers and a new Direct Mail vehicle, T&G Direct.

In addition to these changes, you have asked your readers to pay more for the product by implementing a series of circulation price increases. It is a tribute to your careful planning and knowledge of the marketplace that these changes, while improving our cost structure, have also been well received by the vast majority of your readers and advertisers.

While the changes we made were often difficult, resulting in restructuring in virtually every department along with significant staffing reductions, we are convinced that in partnership with The Boston Globe you are now prepared to move forward to a brighter future.

We want to take this opportunity to thank all our colleagues at the T&G for your good work, for your many achievements and for your commitment in the midst of very trying circumstances.
You have our gratitude and best wishes for an even more fruitful 2010.

— Arthur & Janet

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