Saturday, February 01, 2014

Dan Shaughnessy Death Watch(?) - III

John Henry purchased the Boston Globe in late October 2013 for $70 million, a deal I characterized back in August 2013 as a play on the Globe's real estate value, the sorting out of which remains to be seen.

For you Rush fans out there, Mr. Henry has now assumed control:
Red Sox owner John Henry named himself publisher of The Boston Globe yesterday and former Hill Holliday head Mike Sheehan as chief executive officer — a move that demonstrates Henry’s day-to-day focus on the broadsheet, Sheehan told the Herald.

“He’s going to be very active in the strategic direction overall at the Globe, which he’s eminently capable of doing,” said Sheehan. “It’s a reflection that he is going to be active. ... This is not a hobby.”
I don't care how rich you are - while I haven't studied John Henry's career in great detail, it should be self-evident that anyone who buys a company wants that company to make money in order (in accounting and auditing terms) to continue as a going concern. Based on a ignominious $1 billion loss and cumulative twenty-year record of financial failure in that area, I would trust that Mr. Henry has a plan that does not rely on the delivery of the dead-tree news model to affect a return to profitability.
Sheehan, like Henry, stressed the importance of the Hub remaining a two-newspaper town.

“I believe the stronger the Herald is, the stronger the Globe is,” said Sheehan, “and the stronger Boston is.”

Sheehan is also the treasurer of The One Fund Boston, the charity that raises money for Boston Marathon victims.

Henry declined comment to the Herald yesterday through a spokeswoman, but said in a statement: “My main role as publisher is to ensure that the Globe has the right management and that management has the resources to accomplish its mission.”
I'm not so sure about that. The only difference between the two newspapers has been the rate of loss, in financial terms, market share, or circulation numbers. I do not claim to be a businessman on Mr. Henry's level, but I have some thoughts on this matter and I would rather be mauled by Great White sharks in Wollaston Harbor than reveal them to management and ownership of the Boston Globe. That's just how I roll...

Editor's note - the Roman numeral in the post title has been included to reflect the number of times The DSW has used 'Death Watch' as a blog post label as speculation / offhand hope that John Henry, current owner of the Boston Globe, performs selective and specific downsizing of certain Sports section staff columnists and so-called associate editors. This may also replace posts formerly known as 'And Now For More Boston Globe Bashing - ???', since the primary focus of those posts was to highlight the piss poor financial performance of the Boston Globe as an alleged for-profit corporation. In that sense, I suppose you could successfully argue they are now a non-profit entity!

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