Update, Saturday 9:41 a.m.: After 20 years under New York ownership, the Boston Globe will be returning to Massachusetts now that principal Red Sox owner John Henry purchased the paper from The New York Times for $70 million, according to, well, the Times and the Globe. (Of course.)
The deal closed late Friday evening for the paper to finally return to local ownership, sort of. Henry, a native of Illinois, might as well be a Boston institution after he became the majority owner of the Red Sox and Fenway Park in 2002 and subsequently brought two World Series titles to the city after an 80-odd year drought. The Times bought the Globe from the Taylor family in 1993 for $1.1 billion. Casual observers have taken to cracking wise about the relatively cheap price Henry paid for the paper, especially when compared to the cost he pays some Red Sox players:
What does it say about newspapers that Bosox owner John Henry can buy The Boston Globe for less money than he's paying his second baseman?— Dick Polman (@DickPolman1) August 3, 2013
While Henry's Boston Red Sox pay Dustin Pedroia $110 million over eight years, and Lackey $82.5 over five years, this all-cash deal will close at some point over the next two months.
Henry's buying the paper at an opportune time. Over the first half of 2013, few local papers have been as nationally important as the Globe. The Boston paper earned near-universal praise for its coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings, the Whitey Bulger trial, and the Aaron Hernandez murder investigation. (To name just a few examples.)
That Peter Gammons was the person who broke the news is just so brilliantly fitting. The only way this story could get even more Boston would be if Affleck and Damon were the ones who sent Gammons the tip.
Original: There's a late Friday rumor that Boston Red Sox owner John Henry will buy the Boston Globe from the New York Times company, ending a long search for a buyer for the Boston paper. The report stems from sportswriter Peter Gammons, who cites an unnamed source or sources. Gammons says that Henry will purchase the paper on his own.
The rumor, while very very unconfirmed (we've asked the New York Times Company for comment), is not entirely out of the blue. Days ago, the Globe reported that Henry submitted a solo bid for the paper, soon after the New England Sports Network decided they were no longer interested in purchasing it. Previously, NESN, which is 80 percent owned by Henry's sports investment group, was one of six rumored potential buyers.
The latest shopping round for the New England Media Group (which includes the Globe and a handful of websites) started earlier this year, and apparently at a lower price than they'd asked for previously. The New York Times Company purchased the Globe in 1993 for $1.1 billion. It's highly unlikely that they'd sell the media group for that price.
This post has been updated for clarity.