Hill Holiday founder one of three considering Boston Globe bid

NEW YORK - Jack Connors, co-founder of Hill Holiday, has emerged as one of the three potential new owners of the Boston Globe, which has been put up for sale by the New York Times Company.

Connors is reported to in the running along with Stephen Pagliuca, who is managing director of private equity firm Bain Capital and co-owner of NBA team the Boston Celtics, and Stephen Taylor, a former executive at the newspaper and member of the family which sold it to the New York Times Co in 1993 for $1.1bn.

Sources quoted by the Boston Globe said the three are in various stages of reviewing the paper's finances and putting together investors.

The source said: "The Steve Taylor group continues to be interested and is likely to continue trying to raise the money to buy the Globe.

"And Jack Connors has certainly been interested. But he's trying to decide if he is going to go forward."

Two years ago Connors was reported in talks with Jack Welch, the former chief executive of General Electric, about buying the paper.

Earlier this year Boston Red Sox principal owner, John Henry was also linked to a possible deal, but his name has not been linked to these latest bids.

Henry was reported to have indicated his willingness to buy the Boston Globe as part of a wider deal to take The New York Times Co's in the Sox.

However, whether any of these bids will come to fruition is unclear while the New York Times Co and the Boston Newspaper Guild remain at logger heads.

The names emerged yesterday after it was revealed the New York Times Co had hired investment banking firm Goldman Sachs to manage a possible sale of the loss making Boston Globe.

Connors sold what was Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos in 1998 for more than $115m to the Interpublic Group and estimated to be worth around $500m.

At the end of 2006 when he last tried to buy the Boston Globe he told a reporter about his plans to improve the paper.

Connors told the Globe: "Could it be better? It was better. Circulation is down, so they cut back on the product.

"I have a counterintuitive notion. You invest in the product. You make the product better. I think it is disappointing that the Globe has been forced to cut back, cut back, cut back. That is not how you build. I didn't build things by cutting back."

Last time the deal foundered because the New York Times Co said it did not want to sell, but at the time Connors indicated his desire for another crack at the paper: "When you are men you never say it is over. It is not over till we say it is over."

The third bidder, Taylor is a cousin of former Boston Globe publishers and a former executive at the paper who left nine years ago.

His connection with the paper began with an internship in 1971. After a break he re-joined in 1980 and went on to enjoy a 20-year career with the company.

His last job at the publisher was vice president of the paper and president of Boston Globe electronic publishing.

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