Boston Globe sold for just $70m

The Boston Globe has been sold by The New York Times for just $70m, a fraction of the $1.1bn it paid for the newspaper two decades ago.

The Boston Globe has been sold to John W Henry, who owns the Boston Red Sox baseball team and Liverpool Football Club.

The Boston Globe, which has been publishing for 141 years, like many major newspaper worldwide has been seriously affected by steep falls in advertising revenue and poor circulation figures.

The Internet has completely changed how people access news. Apart from much fiercer and wider competition today online, a growing number of people see no need to read news on printed paper anymore.

The Internet’s main advantage, apart from providing convenience and choice, is its ability to report on events as soon as they occur.

This is something printed newspapers are unable to do – my printed newspaper today has yesterday’s news, or at best with the evening editions, news that is already a few hours old.

The Globe had a weekday circulation of 506,996 in 1993. This fell to 245,572 in 2013.

In a public statement, Mr. Henry, 63, 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. This is a thriving, dynamic region that needs a strong, sustainable Boston Globe playing an integral role in the community’s long-term future. In coming days there will be announcements concerning those joining me in this community commitment and effort.”

The $70m deal includes the sale to Mr Henry of the following companies The New York Times Company owns in New England:

  • The Boston Globe
  • The Worcester Telegram & Gazette
  • Globe Direct (a direct mail marketing company)
  • A 49% stake in Metro Boston, a free daily newspaper

Mr Henry is purchasing the media group through his acquisition company, without partners.

According to The New York Times, Mr. Henry will not assume The Globe’s pension liabilities.

The Boston Globe described Mr. Henry as a “personally shy businessman with a history of bold bets”.