John Henry, the principal owner of the Boston Red Sox who recently purchased The Boston Globe, said Wednesday the newspaper would work to remain “aggressively relevant” in the changing media environment.
Henry outlined in broad terms some of his priorities for the Globe, New England’s largest newspaper, during a breakfast speech to the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.
He purchased the New England Media Group, which includes the Globe and the Telegram & Gazette of Worcester, from The New York Times Co. for $70 million in October, at the same time the Red Sox were playing the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series. The Red Sox went on to win the Series in six games.
Noting that the team had been given virtually no chance of winning a championship after finishing in last place the year before, Henry said it was equally impossible to accurately predict where the newspaper industry, and the Globe specifically, would land in the future.
But he added that he was aware of the challenges.
“We are going to be aggressively relevant,” he told the gathering of business leaders. “We are going to concentrate on what we are good at and we are going to dispense with things that we aren’t that good at.”
Henry said the newspaper would launch a search for a chief operating officer and seek to expand its presence in television and other platforms. Without elaborating, he said the Globe would explore new ways of attracting advertisers and sponsors to help build its revenue base.
“Information, original content, costs money,” Henry said.
Also Wednesday, Christopher Mayer announced he is stepping down after four years as publisher of the Globe and its websites.
“New ownership brings the opportunity of greater investment in the business and a new way to look at tackling the challenges that face us,” Mayer said in an email to employees, the Globe reported.
Henry said he asked Mayer to stay indefinitely as a senior adviser.
“We are in Chris’s debt, for his nearly three decades of service and extraordinary leadership guiding the Globe through its most challenging days, and for the professional way he has overseen this major transition,” Henry said.
Mayer is credited with returning the Globe to profitability.