Boston Globe newspaper sells for fraction of buying price

John W Henry, Boston Red Sox owner, 11 May 2013 John W Henry is paying $70m for the title

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The Boston Globe, one of the most prestigious US newspapers, is being sold for a fraction of what it was worth 20 years ago.

The New York Times company bought it for $1.1bn (£700m) in 1993 but has now agreed to sell it for $70m.

Like many US newspapers, the Globe has been hit by a slump in advertising revenue with circulation declining.

The buyer is John W Henry, the main owner of the Boston Red Sox baseball team and Liverpool Football Club.

In a statement in the Globe, Mr Henry praised the paper's journalistic pedigree: "The Boston Globe's award-winning journalism as well as its rich history and tradition of excellence have established it as one of the most well-respected media companies in the country."

Mr Henry, 63, estimated by Forbes to be worth $1.5bn, made his fortune from financial investments.

Recent gains

The sale includes a range of media concerns owned by the New York Times in New England, including the website Boston.com, a direct mail marketing company and a local newspaper in Massachusetts.

The Globe enjoyed a weekday circulation of more than half a million in the early 1990s, but this has fallen off as readers migrated to the internet.

However, the newspaper has reported recent gains, thanks to big increases in digital subscriptions, taking overall weekday circulation to 245,572.

The New York Times company has sought to get rid of assets it sees as non-core to focus more closely on its most high-profile brand.

The newspaper plans to expand its global audience and change the name of the International Herald Tribune to the International New York Times.

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