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?


Globe Herald Hostage (Lowball Edition)

July 13, 2013

Once again the Boston Herald is a day late, but it’s the dollar short that’s interesting.

Yesterday’s Boston Globe featured this update on the sale of the paper:

Field of bidders for Globe reportedly narrows

Groups with local ties – Taylor family Henry, equity group – remain in contention

At least three investor groups with local ties apparently remain in contention to buy The Boston Globe and its related businesses, according to people briefed on the matter.

The narrowed field of bidders includes members of the Taylor family that formerly owned the Globe; Boston Red Sox owner John Henry; and Robert Loring, a Massachusetts native who owns the Tampa Tribune, said people briefed on the process.

The owner of the U-T San Diego newspaper is a possible fourth finalist, but the status of the bid could not be confirmed Thursday.

 

And then the money quote: “The competing bids range from $65 million to $80 million, according to the people briefed on the matter.”

Here’s how that translates into Heraldese:

Boston GlobeBids in for Globe – and they’re low

With bids reportedly at a disappointing $65 million to 
$80 million, The Boston Globe’s impending sale is shaping up as more of a real estate deal than a newspaper buy, experts said yesterday, even as one of the four purported finalists told the Herald they’ve lost interest in the broadsheet.

“The implication is kind of obvious that the Globe as a straight business venture is not very highly valued on the market right now because clearly that amount is probably — at least the majority of it, maybe more — is valued land and the building,” said Rick Edmonds, a media business analyst for the Poynter Institute.

 

Ouch. It’s true that estimates of the New York Times Co.’s local media group – the Globe, its websites boston.com and bostonglobe.com, and the Worcester Telegram & Gazette – were running between $70 million and $120 million, so the current bids aren’t good news. It just hurts twice as much coming from the Globe’s crosstown rival.

And the feisty local tabloid had even more bad news for the Globeniks: “U-T San Diego CEO John Lynch told the Herald they’re out of the running.”

And then there were three.