Boston Red Sox owner John Henry has reached an agreement to buy the Boston Globe from the New York Times Company. The more shocking part of this story isn't that Henry is buying the paper, but the cost that he's paying – $70 million. That's right, Henry is buying the newspaper for a lower price than the committed payroll for the Red Sox in every year from 2000 to 2014.
The Times initially bought the Globe in 1993 for an unreal $1.1 billion, and the sale to Henry marks a drop of nearly 95% in value for the Globe. That's truly astounding. This drop in value isn't anything new however, as Philadelphia's newspapers sold for just $55 million in 2012 and the Tampa Tribune sold for the bargain basement price of $9.5 million last October (or, less than what David Price of the Rays is making in 2013).
But the real diamond in the rough in this sale might not be the Globe itself, but the Boston.com portal. As the Globe's circulation has dropped by 38% over the last decade, traffic to online portals like Boston.com has been on the rise, and it's clear that the online articles are the future of print media rather than the black and white newspapers of old. There probably won't be much of a conflict of interest regarding the Globe and the Red Sox, considering that the Tribune Company used to own the Cubs and there weren't any major issues there, but it's still something to keep in the back of your mind when looking at any potential criticism of Boston's management.