Saturday, August 03, 2013

NYT Co. to sell Boston Globe for just $70 million

The all-cash deal announced early today with principal Red Sox owner John Henry would represent a stunning drop in the Globe's value. The New York Times Co. paid $1.1 billion for the daily 20 years ago, the highest price for an American newspaper. Adjusted for inflation, that would be even higher: $1.7 billion.

The NYT Co. has been selling assets to focus on its core holdings: The New York Times and The International Herald Tribune. The plan to sell the Globe, plus the affiliated Worcester Telegram & Gazette, returns the dailies to local ownership for the first time in two decades, the NYT reported early this morning.

Today's deal comes amid a wave of other newspaper sales nationwide, many at heavily discounted prices, as rich individual investors once more test the still financially unsettled media world.

The NYT Co.'s Globe acquisition in 1993 was part of the company’s strategy to solidify its grip on the eastern corridor advertising sector and to have a presence that stretched from Maine to the District of Columbia. At the time, in addition to its flagship New York newspaper, the company owned 31 regional newspapers, 20 magazines, five television stations, two radio stations and other businesses.

Henry, 63, made his fortune in investment funds and has built a sports empire that includes the Red Sox and New England Sports Network, as well as the Liverpool Soccer Club and Roush Fenway Racing, a NASCAR team, the Globe says in its own story about the deal.

He bested a field of more than a half dozen bidders, including members of the Taylor family who sold the Globe to the NYT Co. Other bidders included local business people and West Coast investors.

[Image: today's front page, Newseum]


  1. This tells you EVERYTHING you need to know about the future of print. It's all about economics people. It's 30

    1. And yet, the deniers will deny it till the industry's dying day.

  2. Despite the chicken littles running around, print will be around for a long time. But that’s an argument for another time. As a Boston native, and one who worked for a suburban Boston daily as well as at Boston AP, before going to a big national newspaper, the Boston Globe long ago lost its lunch to local dailies and weeklies surrounding the city. Globe editors couldn’t be bothered with decent local coverage. They spent heavily on international bureaus, national and Washington coverage, and an annoying cadre of columnists. So, it was a already a mediocre product when the New York Times -- incredibly -- dumped a billion dollars to buy this turkey. I’m hoping that John Henry will revitalize the Globe, drag it back to its local-coverage Boston roots and keep its long-suffering and loyal employees working. I hope he’s not too late.

  3. As Dick Polman, formerly of the Philly Inquirer points out, the purchase price is less than the contract for Henry's second baseman.

  4. Keep dreaming 12:22. I don't mean to be rude but the print product is old technology. It's like the horse and the automobile. Both get you where you want to go but no one wanted to ride a horse after Henry F introduced his car. Print is a habit people my age formed as you g people. You could staple dollar bills to A1 and no one under 45 would pick it up. Our "car" is the digital platform. Print in a smaller form maybe around for people with the habit but its dead. Give me two reasons why someone would choose to wait 24 hours for information that they could have right now.

  5. Charles Everett8/04/2013 9:22 AM

    That "Soccer Club" is actually Liverpool Football Club.

  6. And you thought the Globe soft-peddled their coverage of the Red Sox before Henry purchased the paper? Just wait to see the PR releases you get now.


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