A former Milwaukee Newspaper Guild board member sent this email to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel staffers on Tuesday:
Does anyone have thoughts on what, if anything the Guild, ought to be doing to prepare for a possible sale of the paper? I’m not trying to scare anyone, but there was talk about this yesterday after news broke that the [newspaper founder’s] family sold all of their stock. This follows the filing a couple of weeks ago in which one of the company’s largest stock holders, Gabelli & Co, said Journal Communication should sell the newspaper to Warren Buffett or someone else with deep pockets.
Former Milwaukee Magazine editor and onetime Journal Sentinel reporter Bruce Murphy says a sale of the Pulitzer-winning (2008, 2010 and 2011) daily “could be imminent.” One reason: the stock of parent company Journal Communications Inc. has rebounded, going from $2.74 in October to $5.61 today. “If you’re going to sell, now’s the time, as the potential purchase price may be as high as you’ll ever get,” he notes.
The idea of Warren Buffet as savior is attractive because he would be less likely to slash payroll. If a newspaper chain, by contrast, were to buy the paper, the triage would be ugly; the latter-day era of the Journal Sentinel as a Pulitzer Prize-winning publication would come to an inglorious end.
* Is the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for sale? (urbanmilwaukee.com)
* Does this week’s Journal news portend a sale of the company? (milwaukeemag.com)
* July 26: Journal Communications profit up despite publishing division’s troubles (AP)