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?


Track Whacks Globe Over Non-Disclose

April 8, 2015

Boston GlobeSox owner John Henry gets batted around in the Boston Herald’s Inside Track today, thanks to this Eric Wilbur piece on boston.com.

Boston is Still a Red Sox Town Even if Tom Brady is King

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Who rules Boston: the Red Sox or Patriots?

Ultimately, there is no clear front-runner in the debate over whether Boston has ultimately become a football town, or if it maintains its long-time status as a bastion of baseball devotees.

The correct answer is both. It’s a Red Sox town. And it’s a Patriots town.

 

And boston.com is a Henry town, although the piece never mentions that. Which led Track Gal Gayle Fee to mention this:

SURPRISE! GLOBE SITE CITES SOX #1

Stop the presses: “Boston is Still a Red Sox Town Even If Tom Brady Is King.”NEL_5931.JPG

That’s according to Boston.
com, the digital arm of the Boston Globe. But nowhere in the commentary by sports blogger Eric Wilbur does he mention that the Red Sox, the Globe and Boston.com are all owned by the same man — John Henry!

Which makes Wilbur’s conclusion — that without Brady, the Patriots would be chopped liver, fanwise — somewhat suspect, don’t cha think???

 

Full disclosure: The hardreading staff believes that any publication owned by Henry should disclose the connection every time it reports on the Boston Red Sox or the Liverpool Football Club or Roush Fenway Racing or Fenway Park or anything Henry has purchased since we started this post. Some people we greatly respect believe we’re over-fastidious in this matter (hi, Dan!), but we’ve learned to live with that.

Then again, some have learned to live without.

Boston.com editor Tim Molloy, who has been on the job just under a month, said he has not even met John Henry, let alone been told what to write by the Sox boss. And Molloy said he saw no problem in Wilbur’s not disclosing the boss’s mutual ownership in the piece.

“I think that’s pretty well known,” he told the Track. “It’s not anything we disguise or try to keep secret. And I’ve had absolutely no contact with Mr. Henry in terms of anything editorial.”

 

That last, of course, is entirely beside the point. Regardless, Molloy told the Track that “if Henry’s ownership of the paper, the website and the team were disclosed in Wilbur’s piece, it should be disclosed ‘every time we write about the Red Sox.'”

Exactly.