The New York Times Company has finally sold off its Boston Globe title — to local investor John Henry, owner of the Boston Red Sox, it was announced on Friday. Henry paid $70 million in cash for the New England Media Group, which also includes the Worcester Telegram-Gazette.
Henry was one of several bidders for the title, which NYT acquired in 1993 for $1.1 billion. Needless to say, its value has since declined sharply — as has its circulation. Under the terms of the sale, NYT reported, Henry will not have to assume costly pension liabilities.
Also read: N.Y. Times Co. to Sell Boston Globe
The Globe was quick to assure readers in its announcement of the deal that its coverage of the Sox would not be compromised:
Even so, the deal is sure to spark debate in journalism circles and among Globe readers about whether the Globe’s coverage of the Red Sox, which regularly includes critical commentary, will be affected.
"We have no plans whatsoever to change our Red Sox coverage specifically, or our sports coverage in general, nor will we be asked,” Globe editor Brian McGrory said Saturday. "The Globe’s sports reporting and commentary is the gold standard in the industry."
NYT attempted to sell the Globe back in 2009, but took it off the market after receiving no attractive offers and gaining union concessions that would defray much of the operating costs. Earlier this year, NYT announced that the New England Media Group was back up for sale.