The New York Times Co. posted a $648 million loss for the fourth quarter on Wednesday as it absorbed an $814.4 million charge to write down the value of its struggling New England properties, The Boston Globe and the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. . . .

The company originally paid $1.1 billion for the Globe in 1993 and $296 million for the Worcester paper in 2000.

The Times reported a loss amounting to $4.50 a share for the October- December period. It earned $63.1 million, or 43 cents a share, a year ago.

Reader Matt Graham writes: “NYT in quagmire. Should immediately begin plans for withdrawal from newspaper business.”

Don Surber: “I notice the Wall Street Journal does not operate this way.”

The Times empire should be making as much money as the WSJ’s, and I think it’s bad management that has made the difference.