So if the cash-strapped N.Y. Times sells its stake in the Boston Red Sox for $150 to $200 million, this won’t be enough to get the paper through ’09, but “it should buy it some additional breathing room,” says the Silicon Valley Insider‘s Henry Blodgett . And they could pocket another $300 to $400 million if they sell the Boston Globe and About.com. A total between $450 to $600 million.
This additional cash “would allow the company to meet its cash needs until mid-2010,” the story says. “By then, however, if current business trends continue and the company hasn’t slashed costs, the news operations will be burning cash fast.” On 12.9 Blodgett estimated that the Times will need $214 million to make ends meet in ’09, $546 million in ’10, and $500 million in ’11. A grand total of $1,260,000,000.
Face it, guys — you’re going to have to Sam Zell yourselves and then some to keep body and soul together. I hate to say it, but a lot more staffers are going to have to work from home, and the print edition may have to fall by the wayside within two or three years, if not sooner. The main thing is to keep as much of the Times editorial team intact as possible, by hook or by crook, and not to weaken the operation by shelling out for ceremonial comforts.