Fresh off news that information giant Thomson Reuters (TRI) beat Wall Street expectations yesterday, speculation has mounted: Might either the troubled Financial Times (encouraging three-day work weeks) or the New York Times (whose problems are legend) be a good (and cheap!) fit in the Thomson Reuters organisation?
On an earnings call yesteday, Reuters reporter Robert MacMillan asks his boss, Thomson Reuters CEO Tom Glocer, whether a Reuters-NY Times or Reuters-FT deal makes sense. Here’s Tom’s answer:
[Thomson was] so early in getting out of newspapers that now to go back in when our business model is so focused on professionals and so overwhemingly electronic doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. … If there were a fantastic information product that was 95 per cent electronic and 5 per cent a print output device, we would do it — maybe — if it otherwise made sense. I’m not convinced that we know how to run a newspaper any better than the ones running them today.
So if the NY Times is looking for white knight, keep looking.
Disclaimer: I used to write for Reuters.