Might John Henry Sell STAT to the New York Times?

January 7, 2022

Boston GlobeSox owner John Henry’s sports shopping spree is apparently not over yet.

His Fenway Sports Group – which includes the Boston Red Sox, the Liverpool Football Club, Fenway Sports Management,50% of RFK Racing, and 80% of NESN – added the Pittsburgh Penguins to that roster last month. Now Henry is looking to drop an NBA franchise into his cart, as Justin Leger reported at NBC Sports Boston back in November.

John Henry and Tom Werner hope to add an NBA team to their sports investment empire, according to a report posted by Axios . . . The news comes just days after it was revealed the Boston Red Sox ownership group was nearing a deal to buy the NHL’s Penguins for roughly $875 million.

It is not yet known which NBA teams Fenway Sports Group has on its radar, but Axios states that it is expected to seek out a target sometime in 2022.

Coincidentally, the New York Times is also in an acquisitive mood; the Grey Lady is coughing up $550 million – in cash – for subscription sports site The Athletic. And the Times is not stopping there, according to this CNBC report by Lauren Feiner and Alex Sherman.

The Athletic signals a potential future acquisition strategy by the NYT to target niche, community-based journalism enterprises with high-interest audiences willing to pay subscription fees for reporting. Sites that specialize in science, tech, and other specific interests are likely future targets for the Times, said the source who spoke with CNBC.

So let’s think this through: John Henry wants to buy an NBA franchise (average value: $2.4 billion). The Times wants to buy verticals such as, oh, STAT – the medical and biotech site Henry launched in 2015. According to Rick Edmunds at Poynter, STAT has seen its traffic grow fivefold and its staff increase by 50% since the start of the pandemic.

Sounds like a natural. The harddealing staff should get 10% if it goes through, don’t you think?


Herald Sox It to Globe

June 29, 2013

It’s no secret that Red Sox owner John Henry is one on the bidders lining up to buy the Boston Globe. Here’s how the Globe itself addressed Henry’s bid yesterday:

At least six groups submit bids to buy The Boston Globe

At least six groups are believed to have submitted bids to buy The Boston Globe, according to several people involved in or briefed on the offers.

The bidders, whose offers were due Thursday at 5 p.m., include several of the names previously reported to have been exploring bids, as well as Red Sox owner John Henry and his Fenway Sports Group . . .

Henry made his bid along with his New England Sports Network co-owner, Delaware North Cos. Delaware is owned by Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs.

The New York Times Co., which is selling the Globe, previously owned a stake in the Red Sox.

 

Leave it to the Boston Herald, however, to expose the dark underbelly of the potential deal.

4_0John Henry’s Globe bid raises fears

Sports coverage could be affected

Sports-savvy readers could be crying foul if Red Sox owner John Henry’s bid to team up with the owner of the Bruins to buy the Globe wins out, fearing the beleaguered broadsheet would shy away from hard-hitting coverage, according to media experts.

“If he owns the paper, he can give good coverage to the team,” said Edward Atorino, a media analyst with The Benchmark Company. “I know what I would do if it were my paper. I’d certainly want a bias to the positive of covering my team — come on.”

 

A bias to the positive of covering my team? Smooth analysis.

Of course, it’s a perfectly reasonable concern that the Herald raises, given hard times in the news industry and Henry’s past prickliness. It’ll be fun to see how far the feisty local tabloid can stretch it.

Like taffy, we’re betting.