Report: John Henry Selected As New Owner of Globe

Peter Gammons on his new site Gammons Daily has the following report:

Sources say the New York Times Corporation has chosen John Henry as the new owner of the Boston Globe.

–Peter Gammons

If the source is correct, it makes sports coverage in this town a whole lot more complicated, and pretty much all coverage of the Red Sox will be viewed as coming from a certain vantage point. Also, coverage of the other local teams will also be in question as to whether it is hurting or helping the aims of the owner and his other investment.

Will we also see coverage of Liverpool FC and Roush Fenway Racing? Will LeBron James suddenly get more positive coverage?

This whole situation should be interesting to watch going forward.

  • bsmfan

    Puzzled.

    Why waste money on a dying industry and useless paper just to control the narrative when you already have your own state-owned TV network that does it just as well?

    • bsmfan

      Outside of the PR pieces on NYT/Globe, I found some figures via Breitbart: http://bit.ly/1bXGDA2 (Note: All I wanted is some non-PR-pluff figures. Yup, I know the angle of the site. If you have something better/more comprehensive, do link, but this was all I could find.)

      Some interesting facts:
      – Absurd decline in value, even w/o factoring in inflation.
      – I guess Boston.com saved their value.

      – 234k circulation but dropping, high of 413k.
      – Globe has 100m in liabilities just from pension/retirement alone (WOW!) but the Times agreed to pay for this.
      – All cash deal expected to be done in a few months.

      • agramante

        It could well have to do with more than the Red Sox. Henry made his money in finance, not sports. This could be a move which has to do with controlling narrative in other spheres of business outside of the sports page. Murdoch loves nothing more than to pollute papers like the Wall Street Journal, when he already has Faux.

        • bsmfan

          But if page views are all going not only online but mobile, why bother? I’ll quote someone but always stated “billionares didn’t become that way w/o making smart investments”

          If the Globe was 25m, I’d get it. Even 40m, sure. But 70m just to get boston.com when people use a ton of alternative sides and mobile is exploding?

          I only quoted News/Murdoch above because its part of a media empire where you can cross-brand/promote between mediums (you hit readers via a paper you don’t hit online/via TV). USAToday is the same. People knew why those purchases were made since it just increases the vert/horizontal.

        • agramante

          Hey, I’m a little confused too. News, in print and on screen, is Murdoch’s core business, not Henry’s. So I’m not sure what his goal here is either. My point was that it need not be exclusively, or even primarily, about the Red Sox.

        • bsmfan

          This was suggested on D+C and the radio-discussions board (so it must be something that more than one person is thinking of):

          http://radiodiscussions.com/smf/index.php?topic=238694.10

          Is he buying the paper for its land? IE: Fenway 2.0

        • agramante

          That’s the most believable of the possibilities I’ve heard or thought about yet. $70M for real estate, when MSG is the main reason for the value of the Knicks? I don’t know Boston real estate but it doesn’t seem impossible.

  • DryHeave

    well, it fits anyway…. Sports media in this town is a complete Circus to begin with….this just adds to “The Big Top”

  • Andy Dursin

    The worst part – Felger pointing it out EVERY SINGLE TIME any guest from the Boston Globe appears on one of his shows from now on, or the words “Boston Globe” appear in a sentence.

    • bsmfan

      Yeah, I think that will get messy.

      I get it with certain writers because some of them in this town destroyed their credibility with issues last yearlast year. But, the whole paper? Even if you’re not a fan, I don’t get how that’s being fair.

      • latetodinner

        I think the average fan as the memory of a flea. In the back of their minds they may remember that Henry owns the Globe but they will not connect that to the propaganda.

        • bsmfan

          Sadly, I can’t disagree with you.

  • latetodinner

    Several thoughts on the news that John Henry is buying the Globe.

    – the fact that the NYTimes Co took a $1 bill write down to rid itself of the Globe boggles my mind. The fact that no one is talking about that tells me that Bread and Circus has arrived.

    – I doubt that the Globe’s beat writing coverage of the Sox or any of the teams will change. I do think there will be a change in the commentary. Normally I would say this is a bad thing because speech should always be open and honest. But in this case it might be better as maybe this will be the one act that will force the Globe’s holier than thou perspective to be moderated. Maybe not.

    – I wonder what Bob Kraft thinks today. The Globe has been highly critical of the Krafts since the moment they had the audacity to buy the Patriots. At some level the 4 teams in town are a fraternity. There is rivalry, respect, shared audience and marketing opportunities. While the Sox own NESN, broadcast rights for Football are not controlled by the teams. In print however, its all about coverage, slant, and space. It will be interesting to see how the Patriots come out now that there is a new sheriff at the Globe.

    – $70 mill for the Globe and its 18 South Boston acres. I have heard the speculation that the deal was about the real estate. I think the real-estate makes this a no brainer. However I do not think that is why he is buying the Globe. I think the saw an asset undervalued at $70 mill and bought low. Everything else is just bonus.

  • Half Fast

    Henry’s wife told him to pick-up a newspaper on the way home.