Wednesday, February 20, 2013

New York Times Company Plans To Sell The Boston Globe

More signs of the toxicity of print assets? From the Gray Lady:

The New York Times Company plans to sell The Boston Globe and other New England properties, allowing the media company to focus energy and resources on its flagship newspaper.

The Times Company announced Wednesday that it had retained Evercore Partners to manage the sale of the New England Media Group, anchored by The Globe,, The Worcester Telegram & Gazette and GlobeDirect, a direct mail marketing company.

Mark Thompson, president and chief executive of the Times Company, called The Globe and the Worcester Telegram &Gazette “outstanding newspapers,” but in a statement he said selling the newspapers “demonstrates our commitment to concentrate our strategic focus and investment on The New York Times brand and its journalism.”

The Times Company has in recent years sold assets unrelated to The Times. In May, the company received $63 million for its remaining stake in the Fenway Sports Group, the company that owns the Boston Red Sox. Last year, the company sold its 16 regional newspapers, including The Gainesville Sun and The Sarasota Herald Tribune, to Halifax Media Holdings for $143 million.

The Times paid $1.1 billion for The Globe in 1993 and for years the Boston daily brought prestige and profits to the company.
This, of course, comes on the heels of Time Inc. being "pushed out the door." Or maybe, more accurately, the Gray Lady is getting back to the core brand?

On the subject, Henry Blodget tweeted: "The issue with Boston Globe, presumably, is unions/pensions/printing shutdown costs."  Michael Learnmonth tweets: "@learmonth Last bastions of pensions: USPS, teachers, large metro newspapers"

Bloomberg stressed the advertising market, which has been bad for print since 2007. "Times Co., controlled by the Ochs-Sulzberger family, is coping with a difficult advertising market as spending on national campaigns continues to shrink industrywide."

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