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Did liberal politics play a role in sale of the Boston Globe?

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 6 2013 6:31 a.m. MDT

Before news broke that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos had agreed to purchase the Washington Post for $250 million, a chorus of critics was already verbally firebombing the New York Times Co. for selling the Boston Globe on Saturday morning for $70 million to John Henry, principal owner of the Boston Red Sox baseball club.

“We bid significantly more than Henry,” John Lynch, CEO of the media company U-T San Diego, told the Boston Herald on Sunday. “At the end of the day, I’m certain our bid was higher and could have been a lot more higher if they had just asked. I’m just stunned. I thought this was a public company that had a fiduciary duty to get the most by its stockholders.”

But on Monday, the proverbial other shoe dropped as word spread that the Post fetched more than three times the purchase price for the Globe in a couple of sales finalized within 72 hours of each other.

“I think it really makes the New York Times look silly when you compare the $250 million (for the Washington Post) versus the $70 million that (was) secured on behalf of the New York Times (for the Boston Globe),” Lynch said in a Monday interview with Bloomberg News.

At the conservative American Thinker website, blogger Thomas Lifson wondered whether the politics of Lynch’s boss, U-T San Diego owner Dough Manchester, might’ve ultimately played a part in the Boston Globe going to John Henry.

“The potential trouble here for the New York Times Co. would be its fiduciary responsibility to shareholders,” Lifson wrote. “… Doug Manchester is reviled in the journalism world for having bought the U-T and turned it in a conservative direction. If it could be shown that the NYTCO turned down a higher bid in order to prevent the Globe for falling into the hands of a conservative bidder, that could open the door to a shareholder lawsuit. … If the NYT Co. left shareholders' money on the table in order to place the Globe in non-conservative hands, then expensive litigation could lie ahead for the company.”

Email: jaskar@desnews.com

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