Gray Lady sells Boston Globe for staggering price

posted at 4:01 pm on August 3, 2013 by Jazz Shaw

Way back in the day, when the New York Times was still a profit making enterprise of the Democratic Party media industrial complex, they were on a bit of a buying binge to expand their empire. The year was 1993, and to lock down their hold on the entire northeast – truly the home base of their ideological support to begin with – they shelled out more than one billion dollars to purchase the then venerable Boston Globe. But times change, as have the fortunes of the Paper of Record, and it was clearly time to say goodbye. So how much did they get for this jewel in the media crown?

Eileen Murphy, a Times spokeswoman, confirmed that Mr. [John W.] Henry [principal owner of the Boston Red Sox] would pay $70 million for the paper. That would represent a staggering drop in value for the Globe, which The Times bought in 1993 for $1.1 billion, the highest price paid for an American newspaper.

Well that’s some pretty savvy deal making right there, and no doubt about it. A loss of only $1.03B in twenty years. News such as this likely comes as no surprise to those who have been watching the Times shrink the size of its paper, the number of people on staff and the number of research office locations, along with chopping up its subscription options. The print version of the paper is still in trouble, and essentially giving the Globe away to the Red Sox is just one more symptom of a much more serious underlying disease.

But I specify the “print version” for a reason here. Business Insider has been watching these same proceedings, yet come to the conclusion that, We Never Need To Worry About The Future Of Journalism Again! If that sounds like a bit of a disconnect, we should emphasize that they’re talking about digital publishing.

The New York Times Company did the world of journalism a big favor today.

The company finally disclosed the exact revenues of its digital business.

The numbers were impressive. And they made clear that no one ever needs to fret about the future of journalism again.

Specifically, the New York Times reported that the revenue of its digital business is now about $360 million a year.

That’s composed of about $200 million of advertising revenue, which is basically flat, and another $150 million of digital subscription revenue, which is growing nicely.

Assuming the digital subscription revenue continues to grow as the company rolls out new subscription products, which it will start to do next April, the New York Times Company should soon have a $400 million digital business.

The author, Henry Blodget, concludes that a $400M digital business will support a newsroom staffed with 850 journalists. Yes, that’s less than the current army of 1,100, but he still sees it as being stable, viable, and able to carry out “the mission,” whatever that may mean in the modern age. But what about the print version which is where the Paper of Record finds its roots?

But the future of the New York Times print edition is a very different thing than the future of journalism, or, for that matter, the future of the New York Times.

The future of the New York Times print edition–and some of the current New York Times newsroom budget–looks dim.

But the future of journalism looks excellent.

Exit question: Even if we are to take all of Blodget’s assumptions as given, and even if we stipulate that the Gray Lady is providing some value that we don’t already have elsewhere, if the old school media giants like the Times switch over to a fully digital format, does the practice of “journalism” remain the same? Or do they just turn into a really expensive blog? Your thoughts?


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

A REALLY expensive blog that ain’t getting a plug nickel from me, no way no how!

Scrumpy on August 3, 2013 at 4:05 PM

Die Grey Lady, just die!

Scrumpy on August 3, 2013 at 4:06 PM

Roger and out!

Scrumpy on August 3, 2013 at 4:06 PM

Just like obama they drive down the value of everything.

tim c on August 3, 2013 at 4:07 PM

Brayam’s liberal heroes up to their tricks again.

CW on August 3, 2013 at 4:08 PM

Krugmanomics hardest hit.

Flange on August 3, 2013 at 4:13 PM

A commenter at the Business Insider story makes an interesting point:

And yet Snowden was forced to go to a British paper to release the scoop of the modern era because US sources are so suffocated by conflicting corporate interests they couldn’t be trusted to report the news objectively.

Del Dolemonte on August 3, 2013 at 4:15 PM

No wonder they don’t like capitalism.

xdwall on August 3, 2013 at 4:17 PM

70 mill huh…they probably paid too much….

rodguy911 on August 3, 2013 at 4:27 PM

Too bad “Punch” isn’t with us anymore.

I have a question for him:

“If he saw two guys writing a a political analysis or news report on the web and one was drawing a paycheck from a dinosaur print empire while the other was an independent free lance child of the electronic media, which would he read?”

I am sure he would say “the second, since it is his claimed environment”.

IlikedAUH2O on August 3, 2013 at 4:27 PM

I wonder what people think of the Boston Herald. Is it any good?

22044 on August 3, 2013 at 4:32 PM

And yet Snowden was forced to go to a British paper to release the scoop of the modern era because US sources are so suffocated by conflicting corporate interests Obama love they couldn’t be trusted to report the news objectively.

Fixed it for you.

Johnnyreb on August 3, 2013 at 4:33 PM

Myth or reality?

For those who didn’t follow my last post look up the question famously posed to Punch (NYT Publisher) on the war in Vietnam. Don’t expect to find it easily.

It was: “If you saw an American and a North Vietnamese soldier approaching from opposite directions, which would you shoot?”

He allegedly answered: “The American since it is the Vietnamese soldier’s country.”

IlikedAUH2O on August 3, 2013 at 4:34 PM

Exit question: Even if we are to take all of Blodget’s assumptions as given, and even if we stipulate that the Gray Lady is providing some value that we don’t already have elsewhere, if the old school media giants like the Times switch over to a fully digital format, does the practice of “journalism” remain the same? Or do they just turn into a really expensive blog? Your thoughts?

What, they’re different from the Kos-sacks?

Steve Eggleston on August 3, 2013 at 4:37 PM

KEY QUESTION: Will the Globe remain a despicable, corrupt, leftist-biased d-cRAT-party-supporting piece of excrement ?

TeaPartyNation on August 3, 2013 at 4:40 PM

I designed that entrance to the Boston Globe building shown in the picture. I and an engineer also did all of the design work for installing the new printing presses, a complex, but fascinating project.

Good times in Boston.

MichaelGabriel on August 3, 2013 at 4:41 PM

Eileen Murphy, a Times spokeswoman, confirmed that Mr. [John W.] Henry [principal owner of the Boston Red Sox] would pay $70 million for the paper.

And the NY Slimes got to keep the $100 million in pension liabilities, for a final sale price of NEGATIVE 30 million!! And people thought that Time magazine went cheap!

There’s something about the name “Time” in JournoListism that kills value …

In any event, I applaud the idiot shareholders of the NY Slimes, who have bought essentially non-voting joke shares so that the idiot Sulzbergers can use the company to demonstrate how not to run a business for the rest of us.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on August 3, 2013 at 4:47 PM

MichaelGabriel on August 3, 2013 at 4:41 PM

Very nice!

justltl on August 3, 2013 at 4:53 PM

No wonder they don’t like capitalism.

xdwall on August 3, 2013 at 4:17 PM

There you go.

By the way, the buyer still got ripped off.

rrpjr on August 3, 2013 at 4:55 PM

Your thoughts?

Well, I was thinking about how far liberals and leftists have dragged down the country in such a short time.
They are like an exceptionally virulent disease.

justltl on August 3, 2013 at 4:59 PM

They sold it for a price that was off the charts! Yeah! On a scale of 1 to 10 … it was a 0.

Paul-Cincy on August 3, 2013 at 5:00 PM

The Boston Globe was sold for more than one hundred dollars.

SparkPlug on August 3, 2013 at 5:00 PM

I was also thinking that it’s a shame that Cote de Pablo, who plays the character Ziva David, is leaving NCIS. It’s about the only thing on television that I watch anymore.

justltl on August 3, 2013 at 5:03 PM

And the NY Slimes has the gall to continue to print a “Business” section … I think they should, at least, rename it, “The Profits AND Earnings Ratios” section.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on August 3, 2013 at 5:04 PM

Uninstalling Boston Globe

██████████████]99%

SparkPlug on August 3, 2013 at 5:05 PM

I can’t wait for Aaron Sorkin to come out with a series about a “New York Moments” newspaper that buys a “Boston Atlas” newspaper for $25 and turns it into the greatest paper in all of human history, with a circulation of 325,000,000,021, thanks to its consistently leftist slant on everything.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on August 3, 2013 at 5:07 PM

It will be a wonderful day when the New York Times Corporation and Comcast/Xfinity go belly up.

Bruno Strozek on August 3, 2013 at 5:09 PM

Very nice!

justltl on August 3, 2013 at 4:53 PM

Thanks.

I also worked for a big architectural firm that designed a lot of the high rise buildings downtown, as well as the Rhowes Wharf project. The office was in the old Granary Exchange building. It was a great place to work.

Don’t know why I left….wait, now I remember. After I broke up with my girlfriend, I was tired of the cold, damp winters, so I moved to Honolulu.

MichaelGabriel on August 3, 2013 at 5:10 PM

And the NY Slimes has the gall to continue to print a “Business” section … I think they should, at least, rename it, “The Profits AND Earnings Ratios” section.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on August 3, 2013 at 5:04 PM

“The Evil Capitalists” section.

22044 on August 3, 2013 at 5:11 PM

I wonder what people think of the Boston Herald. Is it any good?

22044 on August 3, 2013 at 4:32 PM

It’s a tabloid-format paper (has been since 1981). It used to be owned by Rupert Murdoch, but he sold it in 1994 to avoid a conflict of interest when Fox TV but the Boston Fox affiliate (channel 25). Chappaquidick Fats put language into an appropriations bill barring one company from owning both a newspaper and a TV station in the same market.

The Herald has some decent sports coverage-Steve Buckley has been there for years and Ron Borges came over from the Globe. But they got something of a black eye when they broke the “second” New England Patriots “spying” story, which they later had to retract when it turned out said story was false.

Perhaps the paper’s best-known writer is Howard Louis “Howie” Carr, who has written extensively about Boston mobster Whitey Bulger. But it hasn’t won any major journalism prizes in decades.

Del Dolemonte on August 3, 2013 at 5:11 PM

This is what happens when people who hate capitalism try to run a business.

merlich on August 3, 2013 at 5:12 PM

Imagine buying a million dollar mansion and then selling for $70000 and also paying the unpaid liabilities that are still on the house. I guess they didnt heed their chief economic know it krugman about the sale. If they would just spent more and borrowed I bet they would have made it

jaywemm on August 3, 2013 at 5:12 PM

“The Evil Capitalists” section.

22044 on August 3, 2013 at 5:11 PM

:)

Maybe just “The Unfair Section”?

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on August 3, 2013 at 5:12 PM

Prepare to be sickened….

I am sure Obama will speak up …and talk about how these guys could have been him.

http://weaselzippers.us/2013/08/03/horrible-video-of-13-year-old-being-beaten-on-school-bus-by-3-older-teens/

CW on August 3, 2013 at 5:20 PM

I also worked for a big architectural firm that designed a lot of the high rise buildings downtown, as well as the Rhowes Wharf project. The office was in the old Granary Exchange building. It was a great place to work.

Don’t know why I left….wait, now I remember. After I broke up with my girlfriend, I was tired of the cold, damp winters, so I moved to Honolulu.

MichaelGabriel on August 3, 2013 at 5:10 PM

Very impressive work! A long-passed member of my family designed many of the classic buildings in downtown LA. I don’t think most ppl fully appreciate the role of architecture in defining the image and character of a metropolitan area.

bayam on August 3, 2013 at 5:21 PM

Del Dolemonte on August 3, 2013 at 5:11 PM

I see, thanks for the summary.

22044 on August 3, 2013 at 5:22 PM

:)

Maybe just “The Unfair Section”?

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on August 3, 2013 at 5:12 PM

Yes, I like that. :)

22044 on August 3, 2013 at 5:23 PM

MichaelGabriel on August 3, 2013 at 5:10 PM

Yes, well, I myself have created virtually nothing of lasting benefit to society.
And live in Ohio.
So I don’t hate you or anything.

justltl on August 3, 2013 at 5:26 PM

I don’t think most ppl fully appreciate the role of architecture in defining the image and character of a metropolitan area.

bayam on August 3, 2013 at 5:21 PM

Sure they do.

Oldnuke on August 3, 2013 at 5:26 PM

I don’t think most ppl fully appreciate the role of architecture in defining the image and character of a metropolitan area.

bayam on August 3, 2013 at 5:21 PM

Just you…..and Warren Buffett.

CW on August 3, 2013 at 5:27 PM

I don’t think most ppl fully appreciate the role of architecture in defining the image and character of a metropolitan area.

bayam on August 3, 2013 at 5:21 PM

Suck up.

justltl on August 3, 2013 at 5:28 PM

Too bad big liberalism destroyed Detroit. Now its skyline is a symbol of effing failure. Congrats!

CW on August 3, 2013 at 5:30 PM

Yes, well, I myself have created virtually nothing of lasting benefit to society.
And live in Ohio.

justltl on August 3, 2013 at 5:26 PM

I know you’re being a little sarcastic but…I hope you realize that for any working productive person that’s almost an impossibility.

Oldnuke on August 3, 2013 at 5:32 PM

I don’t think most ppl fully appreciate the role of architecture in defining the image and character of a metropolitan area.

bayam on August 3, 2013 at 5:21 PM

The character of a metropolitan area is defined by its people, not its buildings. The image is affected some by the architecture, but not all that much. Of course, you’re shallow and stupid so, for you, the buildings are the city.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on August 3, 2013 at 5:32 PM

An expensive blog is a step up. They’re already an expensive fish wrapper.

Patrap on August 3, 2013 at 5:38 PM

Former Enron Adviser Paul Krugman “Buy high sell low!”

Caper29 on August 3, 2013 at 5:39 PM

Former Enron Adviser Paul Krugman “Buy high sell low!

Caper29 on August 3, 2013 at 5:39 PM

“Spread the wealth” :)

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on August 3, 2013 at 5:41 PM

Now thats what I call income redistribution, from the stupid to the less stupid.

banzaibob on August 3, 2013 at 5:56 PM

justltl on August 3, 2013 at 5:26 PM

Don’t sell yourself short. When you work for a big company, you are just a cog in a wheel. A lot of what I do is mundane. Seems like nowadays I spend half of my time on handicap accessibility details.

A good book to read is “Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance”.

One of the themes is about how people think they aren’t good at things, like math, or art, or music mainly because they tell themselves they aren’t….

MichaelGabriel on August 3, 2013 at 6:04 PM

400 million in the end will employ a progressive news organization of about 10 people in the end.

astonerii on August 3, 2013 at 6:24 PM

I don’t think most ppl fully appreciate the role of architecture in defining the image and character of a metropolitan area.

bayam on August 3, 2013 at 5:21 PM

I would agree with you that architecture does play a major role in the identity of New York City. But that is unavoidable because of its sheer size and centuries-old history. The majority of the great buildings in NYC were designed and built a century ago, with some even older (except for the Empire State and Chrysler buildings, which I consider the last hurrahs for great New York architecture).

On the other hand, whenever I think of LA I do not immediately think of its “architecture”. The Watts Towers are a monument to a riot, and the Capitol Records building is a monument to The Beach Boys! But the only memorable “vintage” building I can think of out there is the Griffith Observatory. Sadly, most of the other “distinctive” LA architectural wonders are relatively recent, like the tower thingy at LAX. But architecturally I don’t see any US city even coming close to NYC. LA certainly won’t be mentioned in the same breath as NYC for its buildings for another hundred years.

But overall I would have to agree with Primordial that most of a city’s character comes from those who live there, not from the buildings. For example, it could be argued that New Orleans gets just as much of its character from the poor people living in crappy homes in the 9th Ward as from the rich yuppies living in the Garden District.

Del Dolemonte on August 3, 2013 at 6:29 PM

They lost more than 1.03 billion. They also assumed the cost of the 110 million in unfunded pensions. So they actually paid 40 million for someone else to take it off their hands.

astonerii on August 3, 2013 at 6:30 PM

Seems like nowadays I spend half of my time on handicap accessibility details.

MichaelGabriel on August 3, 2013 at 6:04 PM

Seems like the ADA is to you guys like the Antiquities Act is to Archeologist folks re:job security.

You must be more familiar with truncated dome pads than you ever thought possible.

Random thoughts…

Nice entry design btw…

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on August 3, 2013 at 7:47 PM

Die Grey Lady, just die!

Scrumpy on August 3, 2013 at 4:06 PM

My prayers for years.

Looks like it worked. {^_^}

avagreen on August 3, 2013 at 8:02 PM

Well, I was thinking about how far liberals and leftists have dragged down the country in such a short time.
They are like an exceptionally virulent disease.

justltl on August 3, 2013 at 4:59 PM

The libs couldn’t have accomplished it without the help of RINOs like John McCain and Miss Lucy.

bw222 on August 3, 2013 at 8:10 PM

bayam on August 3, 2013 at 5:21 PM

.
LA certainly won’t be mentioned in the same breath as NYC for its buildings for another hundred years.

Del Dolemonte on August 3, 2013 at 6:29 PM

.
I agree with your points on ‘metropolitan architecture’, but in reference to LA you didn’t mention the San Andreas fault.

I’m sure it has some impact (pun intended) on the local architecture.

listens2glenn on August 3, 2013 at 8:13 PM

tuely liberals investing in the future.

Grunt on August 3, 2013 at 8:14 PM

Wonder how many NYTimes stockholders will be “staggering” tonight, after hearing this news.

listens2glenn on August 3, 2013 at 8:17 PM

$69,999,999 too much.

meci on August 3, 2013 at 8:28 PM

What liberals did to Detroit they also did to the ‘Boston Globe’ and are doing to the military and will soon do to medicine.

The difference between Obama and all other liberal presidents are that the others weren’t kicked upstairs into jobs they couldn’t handle because of affirmative action and albeit dishonest and idealistic they were politicians first and idealogues second and willing to compromise.

MaiDee on August 3, 2013 at 9:01 PM

The author, Henry Blodget, concludes that a $400M digital business will support a newsroom staffed with 850 journalists…

…he still sees it as being stable, viable, and able to carry out “the mission,” whatever that may mean in the modern age. But what about the print version which is where the Paper of Record finds its roots?

Really???

It takes 850 “journalists” to feed DNC faxes into a Xerox machine???

landlines on August 3, 2013 at 9:17 PM

Exit question: Even if we are to take all of Blodget’s assumptions as given, and even if we stipulate that the Gray Lady is providing some value that we don’t already have elsewhere, if the old school media giants like the Times switch over to a fully digital format, does the practice of “journalism” remain the same? Or do they just turn into a really expensive blog? Your thoughts?

The hybrid-papers of today already answer your question:
(1) stories in print stay “fixed” in the archives; digital stories get changed endlessly, usually without acknowledgment;
(2) when stories had to be tracked down “on foot”, submitted to editors, and vetted in newsroom councils, each paper had a distinct flavor; now “writers” (not journalists) can access information from a multitude of sources with no oversight and no distinction (and copy-and-paste makes the plagiarism so much easier (but also eventually more detectable));
(3) partisanship among journalists has always been a feature of the industry; digital story-swapping makes it easier (think Journolist).

AesopFan on August 3, 2013 at 10:00 PM

This is what happens when people who hate capitalism try to run a business.

merlich on August 3, 2013 at 5:12 PM

Bumper sticker of the week.

AesopFan on August 3, 2013 at 10:00 PM

Revenues of $360 million. How about expenses? How much are they wasting on Paul Krugman, for instance?

flataffect on August 3, 2013 at 10:32 PM

Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of scumbags.

Ward Cleaver on August 3, 2013 at 11:25 PM

Oops. someone paid too much.

WryTrvllr on August 3, 2013 at 11:39 PM

and my thoughts are behind my pay wall

WryTrvllr on August 3, 2013 at 11:42 PM

Well that’s some pretty savvy deal making right there, and no doubt about it. A loss of only $1.03B in twenty years.

That’s the kind of awesome economics you get when you hire Krugman. Just ask Enron.

malclave on August 4, 2013 at 3:53 PM

Thank you, OldNuke and MichaelGabriel.

I’m mostly joking.
After all, I’m the creator of an internationally famous web site and its loosely connected blog.
In fact, in a recent poll that I conducted, 3 of the 5 readers of my sites voted “somewhat favorably”.

(BTW, to the gentleman on here that noted that the color scheme of the website made it difficult to read, I seriously changed the entire site for you, so that you could see it better. It took me a couple weeks of work to change it all around, but I was happy to do so for a fellow shooter.
Now that I think about it, what with the vision problem and everything, could I trouble you to inquire as to at what Shooting Range you do your shooting? )

justltl on August 4, 2013 at 10:08 PM