By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – The New York Times Company announcement that the Boston Globe is being put up for sale does not come as a surprise.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

While the Globe has thrived journalistically under Times ownership, the financials have been a disaster. They’ll be lucky to recoup a fraction of the more than one billion dollars they paid for it twenty years ago.

So while the Globe, under Chris Mayer, has been doing everything it can to build circulation and stop the financial free-fall, the bottom line is whoever buys the paper and its popular website will have to be willing to take a long-term view of their investment.

They should start by understanding what the Globe means to this community.

Everyone has an opinion about it, not all of them favorable, to say the least. But that’s just a measure of how ingrained the Globe is in our lives.

For starters, the Globe’s investigative reporting has been fantastic over the past decade or more. From the Big Dig fiasco to the Catholic Church sex-abuse scandal and a seemingly endless string of exposes of political waste, cronyism, and outright corruption, Globe editors and reporters have kept the power-brokers around here honest.

Or at least, within hailing distance of it.

Globe columnists are there to stir the pot, and they do so with passion and knowledge, especially when it comes to challenging petty bureaucrats.

You may have your differences with the editorial page, but they’ve shown courage and thoughtfulness in their work on education reform. Globe arts, entertainment and food coverage is far-reaching and smart, and the sports section has always reflected the real passion we have for our teams, win or lose.

If the Globe were to vanish, or become debilitated by a new owner who doesn’t get it, our public culture would be damaged.

New owners who take over with a full understanding of that and prioritize keeping the flame alive over profit margins will earn the gratitude – and maybe even the financial support – of New Englanders who understand that, love it or hate it, the Globe is a part of us we are not willing to part with.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.


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