The New York Times Co. sold the Boston Globe to John Henry, the owner of the Boston Red Sox, for a mere $70 million — the NYT paid more than a billion for the Globe and related assets in 1993. That's not the interesting part for Los Angeles, though it does suggest the prices are coming down for distressed newspaper companies. What caught my eye is that the losing bid for the Globe was posted by Doug Manchester, the owner who converted the San Diego Union-Tribune into a partisan Republican organ and who pronounced that his U-T would be boosterish, business friendly and anti-Obama. Manchester's group offered more money for the Globe and was willing to go higher, but the NYT company apparently didn't want to sell to them.
So now that Manchester's aspirations to buy a paper beyond San Diego are both confirmed and unrequited, he has to be considered a player for the Los Angeles Times. Buying the LA Times would seem to make make more strategic sense vis-a-vis San Diego, if Manchester can afford it. From Boston media observer Dan Kennedy:
Chris Cassidy reports in the Boston Herald that the group headed by Douglas Manchester, the right-wing businessman who owns the paper formerly known as the San Diego Union-Tribune, is squawking because its executives believe they offered more money for the Globe than Red Sox principal owner John Henry. Cassidy quotes John Lynch, the chief executive of U-T San Diego:
"We bid significantly more than Henry. 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…. From the beginning, I don’t think they wanted to sell to us."
Speaking of the LA Times: Patt Morrison did a nice interview, in her guest host stint on "Airtalk" on KPCC, with Lew Irwin, the author of "Deadly Times," the story of the 1910 labor bombing of the LAT building that killed 20 employees.