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John Henry to sell Worcester newspaper

WORCESTER, Mass. —The new owner of the Telegram & Gazette of Worcester said Tuesday he’s putting the newspaper up for sale.

Principal Boston Red Sox owner John Henry purchased the paper last month when he acquired the New England Media Group from The New York Times Co. – a $70 million deal that included The Boston Globe.

Henry has promised to help bolster the Globe’s finances, but had said little about his ownership of the Worcester paper.

In a visit to the paper’s offices, Henry said no sale was imminent, according to a report posted on the paper’s website. Henry said hoped to find someone in the Worcester area to take ownership of the 147-year-old company.

“My preference is to a local owner, yes,” he told those gathered in the paper’s newsroom.

Henry also apologized for waiting so long to visit the paper and announce his plans to put the institution up for sale.

The Times Co. had purchased the Telegram & Gazette for $295 million in 2000.

Henry’s announcement fueled speculation about possible bidders for the paper, according to the report.

They include City Manager Michael O’Brien, who has suggested the local business community might be interested in mounting a bid. Other potential bidders include Gatehouse Media Inc., which owns about 300 daily and weekly newspapers, including The Patriot Ledger of Quincy.