In wake of Boston Globe and Washington Post sales, might Star Tribune be next?
This week has been a notable one in the newspaper industry. On Saturday, the New York Times Company announced the sale of the Boston Globe to Red Sox owner John Henry for $70 million. Monday brought even bigger news -- the Washington Post, arguably the nation's second most-important newspaper, is being purchased by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos for a (relatively) whopping $250 million.
Those developments got Twin Cities Business magazine thinking -- might the Star Tribune be next? After all, the Twin Cities' leading paper is currently by Wayzata Investment Partners, a private equity firm known for unsentimentally flipping companies for a profit.
But if any sort of Strib sale is in the works -- and keep in mind, the WaPo's sale came as a complete shocker to employees and industry analysts -- officials are keeping mum.
Star Tribune spokesman Steve Yaeger declined to comment on speculation about a sale of the local newspaper but said: "I think Jeff Bezos' purchase of the Washington Post is certainly a vote of confidence in our industry and the prospects of strong local media brands."
Calls to Wayzata Investment Partners and Mike Sweeney, chairman of the board of Star Tribune Media Holdings, were not immediately returned.
Sale or no, the immediate future looks bright for the Strib. The paper's headquarters sits on five blocks of property the city intends to buy and convert into downtown Minneapolis's biggest park. Twin Cities Business estimates the city might end up paying up to $40 million for that property -- in other words, more than half of what the Boston Globe sold for in total.
Sure, the newspaper industry's halcyon days came to an end faster than you can say "internet." But still, there's money to be made, especially if you happen to run a newspaper that owns a large parcel of mouthwatering property right next to the house that Zygi (got lots of public help and then) built.
-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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