NY Times again prepares to sell Boston Globe
LOS ANGELES (AP) – The New York Times Co said Wednesday that it is putting The Boston Globe and its related assets up for sale four years after it called off a previous attempt to sell the newspaper.
Mark Thompson, the Times’ chief executive, said in a statement a sale would be in the best long-term interests of both properties, “given the differences between these businesses and The New York Times.”
Thompson said the sale would help the company concentrate its attention and investments on The New York Times’ brand.
The newspapers’ differences are stark. The Times has a national – even international – audience, and has been adding digital subscribers at a rapid clip.
Last year, it launched a Chinese-language web-site and has a loyal, growing subscriber base in the US.
Meanwhile, the Globe is focused on its readers in the New England region, and while its digital subscriptions have been increasing, analysts believe they aren’t rising fast enough to be meaningful. The Globe had 28,000 digital subscribers at the end of 2012, up 8 per cent from three months earlier.
In comparison, the Times and International Herald Tribune had 640,000 paying subscribers online, up 13 per cent over three months.
Analyst John Janedis of UBS said in a research note that the sale has been expected for years and “will allow NYT to focus on the core brand as it attempts to further build out its digital platform.”
He estimated that the Globe earned about $37.5 million in profits before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization on $375 million in revenue.
Janedis said the sale could bring in $150 million to $175 million, not including pension liabilities or the value of the Globe’s headquarters.