The New York Times Company announced this week that it plans to sell The Boston Globe, along with other New England properties, including Boston.com, The Worcester Telegram & Gazette and Globe Direct, a direct-mail marketing company.
NYT Co. bought The Globe for $1.1 billion in 1993. In 2006, a group of Boston businessmen, including former General Electric Co. Chairman Jack Welch, made an offer to buy The Globe for $550 million to $600 million, but the offer was rebuffed by The New York Times.
Now The Globe is valued at “tens of millions” of dollars, according to industry bankers, although The New York Times reported on its Media Decoder blog that another analyst said the The Globe was worth $150 million to $175 million. The drop in value is expected given the exponential drop in subscribers. But it’s also likely due to The Globe’s decision to have a hard paywall on BostonGlobe.com instead of a metered model. NYTimes.com, which has a metered model, has acquired more than 700,000 digital subscribers, while The Globe has stagnated with 28,000 digital subscribers (as reported at the end of the fourth quarter).
The sale is also interesting because it reduces The New York Times Co. almost exclusively to its flagship publication and The International Herald Tribune. In recent years, NYT Co. has sold About.com, CalorieCount.com, 16 regional newspapers — including The Gainesville Sun and The Sarasota Herald Tribune, as well as its remaining stake in the Fenway Sports Club.
Evercore Partners has been retained to advise The New York Times Co. in the sale.