The Boston Globe Might Actually Cost Much Less Than $100 Million

That's according to the Boston Globe, anyway.

The big story when bids started coming in for the Boston Globe, which the New York Times Co. put up for sale earlier this year, was that the Times Co. was probably going to make about $100 million on a newspaper it  purchased for $1.1 billion.

Actually, according to the Boston Globe’s latest reporting, it’s going to be somewhere in the $65 to $80 million range. The Globe’s Beth Healy says there are at least three bidders, narrowed from a slightly longer list outlined last month, who are still in contention to buy the daily. They are:

  • Red Sox owner John Henry and his Fenway Sports Group
  • Former Time Inc. chief Jack Griffin and two members of the Taylor family, who sold the paper to the New York Times Co. in the first place. (Side note: How great did they play this whole “selling the Globe for $1.1 billion, watching it plummet in value, and then offering to buy it back at a laughable fraction of the cost” thing?)
  • Tampa Tribune Owner Robert Loring, founder of Revolution Capital Group in Los Angeles, and a South Shore native.

The Globe doesn’t have details on those bids, but there’ll be some complicated considerations, like how much of the Times Co.’s current pension liabilities the bidder is willing to take on and how much cash they’re willing to pay up front that’ll impact the Times’s decision, as Bloomberg explained last month. At any rate, it looks like we’re that much closer to learning the new fate of the Globe, and blissfully, it looks like the new owner will be someone with local roots. (There were whispers of Murdoch once upon a time, you’ll recall.) We can only hope that translates into a willingness to invest in its quality.