People are still willing to invest in newspapers, despite the medium's well-publicized woes, judging by the latest development in the proposed sale of The Boston Globe by owner The New York Times Co. Aaron Kushner, the young Boston-area entrepreneur who has offered to buy the beleaguered newspaper from NYTCO, has found two wealthy backers who are interested in helping fund the deal.
What's more, Benjamin and Stephen Taylor are former Globe executives from the family which owned the newspaper until 1993, and continued working at the newspaper after it was sold to NYTCO for $1.1 billion.
The men, who are cousins, can offer practical advice about running the publication -- and presumably have some ideas about how to revive the ailing company, which also includes the Worcester Telegram & Gazette and its Web site; together they constitute the NYTCO's New England Media Group).
Over the last year, Kushner, 37, has been pitching Boston-area businessmen and investors on the opportunity to take the newspaper private, but so far no details are available on an actual bid price. A UBS analyst recently said the offer would have to exceed $200 million to be entertained by NYTCO management -- a large figure, but still down about 80% from the 1993 price.
The plummeting value of the newspaper reflects the steep downturn in ad revenues and circulation over the last decade. Total revenues at the NYTCO's New England Media Group came to $310.7 million in the first three quarters of 2010 -- down 32.5% from $460.6 million during the first three quarters of 2006.
The Boston Globe's average weekday circulation has declined 51% from 453,119 in the six-month period ending in March 2004 to 222,683 in the six-month period ending in September 2010, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations.