In order to focus more on its core businesses, The New York Times Company (NYT) intends to sell its New England Media Group, including The Boston Globe and its allied properties.
The news comes at a time when most of the publishing companies are offloading assets that bear no direct relation with their core operations. The publishing industry has been struggling with sinking advertising revenues as more readers are gradually choosing free online news, thereby making the print-advertising model increasingly irrelevant.
The New England Media Group, which consists of The Boston Globe, BostonGlobe.com, Boston.com, Telegram.com, Worcester Telegram & Gazette and GlobeDirect, generated total revenue of $394.7 million in 2012, down approximately 1% year over year.
The New York Times engaged Evercore Partners Inc. (EVR) as the advisor to guide the company during the evaluation period.
Last September, the company, which holds a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) completed the sale of About Group, which it acquired in 2005, to InterActiveCorp (IACI) for a consideration of $300 million. Moreover, in May 2012, the company divested its remaining stake (210 Class B units) in the Fenway Sports Group, the owner of the Boston Red Sox and the Liverpool Football Club, for $63 million.
The company in Dec 2011 sold the Regional Media Group – consisting of 16 regional newspapers, print publications and associated ventures – to Halifax Media Holdings LLC, the proprietor of The Daytona-Beach News Journal in Florida, for approximately $143 million.
Recently, another publishing company, The Washington Post Company (WPO) entered into a deal to sell its daily and Sunday newspaper, The Herald, to Black Press Ltd. and its subsidiary, Sound Publishing.
We believe such moves allow the publishing companies to re-focus on their core newspapers and pay more attention to online activities, which is gradually gaining pace. The decision to offload the non-core divisions is also considered as part of the cost containment efforts undertaken to stay afloat in this turbulent environment.