It came out a while back that the NEW YORK TIMES, whose publishing company also owns the BOSTON GLOBE and a few other newspapers, was thinking of shutting the Globe down without $20 million in concessions from the labor unions there. Fun stuff, that.
The company also owns a minority share of the Boston Red Sox, for some reason, and they’ve been trying to sell that stake for months, citing the fact that the company is just hemorraging money at this point (delivery costs are so high, for example, that it would make more sense to just give their customers Kindles). According to the BOSTON HERALD, Red Sox owner John Henry, ever the gentleman, has an idea to help simplify the Times‘ situation by relieving them of their share of the franchise… and of the Globe:
According to sources, Henry told Globe officials that if he bought the Times’ 17.75 percent stake in the Sox, he’d also take the Globe off their hands. No official offer was made.
Now, there’s a rich history of media and sports ownership mingling harmoniously - none more famous than the CHICAGO TRIBUNE’s ownership of the Cubs - but normally it’s the paper that owns the team, not, y’know, the other way around.
This is a precarious situation for the Globe. While it’s an institution in the city of Boston, it’s not the only paper, it’s failing financially, and there’s really no telling if Henry has any interest in running a company that can’t even come close to turning a profit. Is he just swallowing a loss on the paper and killing it off so he can increase his revenue from the team?
For now, he’s offering pithy lines, like the following:
Baseball fans rely heavily on newspapers. No one wants to see a newspaper with a great, long-term history go away. Losing the Globe, the Herald or any New England paper is a big loss for the Red Sox.
And you know what? It’s completely true. If newsprint is used for one thing in the entire world, one thing only, it’s baseball box scores, those impeccable tiny numbers telling you who went 2-4 last night and who the total bum of a losing pitcher was.
And yet all the same, it’d be weird to have the iron fist of ownership (and the editorial, ahem, adjustments that come with it) coming from the local baseball team. Musing about whether David Ortiz used PEDs? Let’s just leave that out of the papers, why don’t we, thanks. But weird is subjective, and business is business.