NY Times bids for Globe

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NEW YORK - The New York Times has renewed an offer to buy the Boston Globe for about dollars 1bn, puzzling many investors who had expected the newspaper to diversify further into electronic media, writes Larry Black.

The newspapers have been talking for some time about a merger because of conflicts among the two family trusts that control the Globe, the largest and most influential daily in New England. While William Taylor, chief executive of the company that controls the Globe, believes a sale would prevent a potential hostile takeover when the trusts expire in 1996, his second cousin, Benjamin Taylor, president of the Globe, believes the newspaper can remain independent.

An earlier offer from the Times was rebuffed, and the new offer - which was put to a closed meeting of the Globe directors - contains guarantees that editorial control of the newspaper would remain with the Taylor family.

Buying the Globe would allow the New York Times Company to diversify beyond the stagnant New York market, where its principal holdings are published, and give it a dominant position in the US North-east in print advertising.

But the Times, like most American media companies, has been experimenting with electronic delivery and with possible alliances with cable and telephone utilities. Analysts say there are few economies to be achieved by owning newspapers in distinct markets.