Off and on, I've been trying to find the blog post where I first suggested that Boston University ought to buy the Boston Globe, and turn it into a giant mentorship/curriculum. Let the pros stay and do their jobs, but they're all required to take on one or two journalism students as mentors for the semester...maybe for a year (or longer if the student desires).
The Globe gets an owner that won't pimp it out like a cheap whore, and BU gets enormous prestige and a fabulous real-world learning environment for its students. Everyone wins.
Of course, despite the same hit to its endowment that all colleges are feeling, I think that BU could afford to drop the dime and buy the Globe, especially if we're talking $200 million...or even just the oft-quoted but hard-to-substaniate $20 million. However, I agree that if the Globe is losing $85 million a year, then even BU can't afford to float that boat.
Still, drastic changes are necessary at the Globe, no matter who owns it or when. I would argue that despite BU's, ehem, "checkered past" with unions, I'd still trust it to "do right" by journalism than I would The New York Times Co. at this point...or most other owners.
Anyways, I originally wrote down the idea as a comment to a May 2006 blog post at Dan Kennedy's Media Nation. If BU does end up buying the Globe, I will expect a modest finder's fee. 5% would do nicely. :-) Hey, at least it'd be going to an alum! (BU College of Arts & Sciences, Class of 1998)
For what it's worth, I said it again in September 2006, and have been mentioning it off and on...including in an e-mail to BU's Dean of the College of Communication, Tom Fiedler, in December 2008. At the time, it was a side note to Mr. Fiedler's quote in the Daily Free Press about the old COM Tower being taken down. But, interestingly, that was right before I noticed the New England Center for Investigative Reporting...which seems to have been launched on January 16, 2009. Coincidence? I think NOT! :-)
I wish I could've had the foresight in 2006 to see the stock market crash of 2008. Oh well.