It has been announced that John Henry, a businessman and primary owner of the Boston Red Sox, has entered into an agreement to buy The Boston Globe for $70 million, which is a significant drop from the asking price of $1.1 billion just 20 years ago.
The Globe said that the purchase will mark Henry’s “first foray into the financially unsettled world of the news media.” In the deal, Henry will acquire ownership of the newspaper, which is 141 years old, as well as its Web sites and all of its affiliate companies.
In February, The New York Times Co. announced it was placing The Globe for sale, just four years after calling off an attempt to sell it. According to the company’s CEO, selling The Globe will allow the company to focus attention on The New York Times brand and publications.
The all-cash sale is expected close within 30 to 60 days. The purchase includes The Boston Globe, BostonGlobe.com, Boston.com, The Worcester Telegram and Gazette, Telegram.com, the direct mail marketing company Globe Direct and the company’s 49 percent interest in Metro Boston, a free daily newspaper for commuters.
The Times bought The Globe from the family of former Globe executive Stephen Taylor in 1993 for what was said to be the highest price ever paid for an American newspaper, $1.1 billion. Henry is paying less than 7 percent of that price today for the purchase.
While newspapers around the country have faced challenges because of readers flocking to the Internet, in addition to advertisers cutting spending on newspaper promotions, The Globe is still considered a journalistic institution in New England.
In a statement published in The Globe, Henry said, “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.”
Other newspapers have seen huge drops in sale prices recently. In April 2012, Philadelphia’s two largest newspapers, The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Philadelphia Daily News, sold for $55 million, which was only a fraction of the $515 million price tag paid by an investors group in 2006. The investors included George Norcross III, Lewis Katz and H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest.
Brian McGrory, editor of The Globe, emphasized that the newspaper’s editorial decisions and the coverage of The Boston Red Sox will not be impacted by the sale of the newspaper.
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