The New York Times is finally biting the bullet and selling the Boston Globe two decades after paying the highest price on record for a U.S. newspaper and four years after it first put the 141-year-old paper up for sale. John W. Henry, the principal owner of the Boston Red Sox, is picking up the Globe, its websites and several affiliated companies for a cool $70 million in cash. That’s around 6 percent of the $1.1 billion the Times paid for the Globe alone in 1993. And the deal also includes the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, as well as its digital properties, which the Times bought for $300 million in 2000, reports Reuters. As part of the package, Henry will also be buying the Globe’s direct mail business and a 49 percent interest in the Metro Boston commuter paper.
The purchase, which is expected to be completed within two months, marks Henry’s “first foray into the financially unsettled world of the news media,” notes the Boston Globe. Henry has vowed to reveal his plans for the Globe and its properties shortly but insisted he sees the purchase as a bet on Boston. “This is a thriving, dynamic region that needs a strong, sustainable Boston Globe playing an integral role in the community’s long-term future,” he said.
The sale marks the latest move by the New York Times Company to divest itself of assets in order to focus on its flagship title, points out the New York Times.