Former General Electric
Welch, along with Boston advertising executive Jack Connors, last fall teamed up with some other local investors to consider buying the Boston Globe.
"There was a time when it would have been right," Welch said in a speech at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "Management has made it very clear to us that they have no interest in selling the Globe."
Asked after his speech if that meant his bid to buy the Globe was over, he said: "Today it is. Who knows what will happen in the future; but for now it is."
New York Times spokeswoman Catherine Mathis said: "It's our long-standing policy not to comment on potential acquisitions or divestitures."
New York Times shares hovered near flat on the New York Stock Exchange.
They are down 2% so far this year, compared with a 1.8 percent rise in the broad Standard & Poor's 500 index, of which the Times is a component.
The Times bought the Globe, one of Boston's two leading daily newspapers, in 1993 in a $1.1 billion deal. The city's other major daily is the Boston Herald.
The Sulzberger family has controlled the paper since the late 19th century, and today the company has a two-tier share structure that gives family members more voting power.
An affiliate of Morgan Stanley
A native of Salem, Mass., Welch joined GE in 1960 and ran it as chairman and chief executive from 1981 to 2001.
Welch spoke at MIT's Sloan School of Management, where he now teaches a course.