Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Why buy a newspaper?

Over the past few years newspaper sales have been declining, since the rise of digital media. Many newspapers throughout the country have gone out of business and the ones that have stayed opened have laid off staff, endured budget cuts, and the size of the newspaper itself has gotten smaller.

Just recently, Jeffrey Bezos, the chief executive and founder of purchased the Washington Post for a whopping $250 million dollars. While John Henry, who owns the Boston's Red Sox has made an agreement with the New York Times Company to buy the Boston Globe for $70 million dollars. When the Times bought the paper twenty years ago, bought the Globe for $1.1 billion. Now the price tag just two decades later: a bargain-basement $70 million (guess Henry got a good deal).  However, the issue isn't entirely new, because the Times Co. used to have a minority interest in the Boston Red Sox (who knew?!) Nonetheless that's a far cry from being the principal owner.

Brian McGrory, the paper's editor, stated "We have no plans whatsoever to change our Red Sox coverage specifically, or our sports coverage in general, nor will we be asked," McGrory was quoted as saying in the Globe's story on the sale. "The Globe's sports reporting and commentary is the gold standard in the industry." (Maybe that's why Henry wanted to buy the Globe in the first place for the prestige. And Bostonians do love their sports, so owning another Boston icon maybe smart move for the businessman.)

But is it a smart move for these businessman? I'm not sure. I still see people on the train reading the newspaper, which is a good sign for Bezos and Henry. While more newspapers are able to be available online, it's still not the same as holding it in your hand. I've always been the type of person who loved having the hard copy. The smell of the paper, the ink on your hands, I guess I'm sort of a geek that way....

As for the fate for both newspapers, we're just gonna have to wait and see what happens.

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