The Boston Globe reported that it has hired a commercial real estate broker to explore the sale of the newspaper’s headquarters building and property.
The Globe’s chief executive told employees in a memo that the company has hired Colliers International to determine the feasibility of selling the building and property, and to identify potential buyers, adding that it is a process that will take years.
The Globe was purchased by Boston Red Sox owner John Henry last year for $70 million, which was a fraction of the $1.1 billion The New York Times Co. paid for the paper in 1993.
Estimates are that the building and property could fetch between $50 and $70 million, which would allow Henry to recoup a large chunk of his investment.
When and if a sale takes place, the Globe would be following a trend in recent years for big city newspapers, whose business has been in decline for the last six years. The trend is to trim overhead and generate cash by parting with a piece of their history, in order to bolster their finances and try to weather the storm.
The Globe may not be under the same financial pressure as most newspapers, thanks to its billionaire owner. But it doesn’t mean that Henry won’t try and run it as efficiently as he can to limit his losses, which are probably substantial, given the current environment.