New York Times Sells Boston Globe to Red Sox Owner for $70 Million
The owner of the Red Sox is set to add another iconic Boston property to his holdings. The New England Media group, including The Boston Globe, will be sold to the baseball team's principal owner, John Henry, for $70 million, a statement from the New York Times Company read.
The Boston paper was added to the New York Times stable of assets in 1993 for an acquisition price of $1.1 billion, at that time the highest price for a newspaper. The sale price of $70 million was less than what some analysts had predicted when the Times Company stated its intention to sell the paper earlier this year. The sale is expected to close within 60 days.
Henry said he would reveal his plans for the company in the coming days. Along with the Globe, the sale also includes the Central Massachusetts paper, The Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
John Henry is founder of Fenway Sports Group, which owns the Red Sox along with U.K. football club Liverpool FC and a majority stake in the New England Sports Network NESN. The Times Company had owned a stake in Fenway Sports Group until it sold its remaining share last year.
"The Boston Globe’s award-winning journalism as well as its rich history and tradition of excellence have established it as one of the most well-respected media companies in the country," Henry told the Globe. He praised the "essential role that its journalists and employees play in Boston, throughout New England, and beyond."
With the sale of its local newspaper holdings in Jan. 2012, the Times Company has oriented itself as a national and global news brand. The paper has invested into building standalone digital brands like Bits, a tech-site, and Dealbook, a business site, and added resources to TimesCast video offerings. Earlier this year, the International Herald Tribune was renamed the International New York Times.
"As a result of this agreement, we will be able to sharpen our company focus on and investments in The New York Times brand and its journalism," said Mark A. Thompson, CEO of The Times Company, in the statement.
The Boston Globe, meanwhile, has doubled down on its efforts to appeal to New England subscribers.
In Sept. of 2011, the paper redesigned BostonGlobe.com and separated it from the Boston.com portal in order to paywall its premium content. The Globe currently counts 39,000 paid digital subscribers to its website, according to the Times Co.'s earnings report released on Thursday. The paper elevated Brian McGrory to editor in chief after the departure of Marty Baron to The Washington Post last December.