The bottom of the ninth for this particular media deal was last Friday. That’s when the New York Times Company was all set to complete the transfer of the Boston Globe to Red Sox owner John Henry.
However, per a report in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette (one of the other publications attached to the deal), a Superior Court judge on that same day issued a temporary restraining order blocking finalization of the $70 million transaction. It has to do with a class action suit, filed in 2009 against the Telegram & Gazette, by the paper’s carriers. From T&G editor Aaron Nicodemus:
On Monday, the New York Times asked that the judge’s restraining order be lifted, and the sale be allowed to go through. In exchange, the New York Times would set aside a sum of money — to be determined by Judge [Sharon] Frison — that would be designated to pay a future settlement in the case.
But the New York Times is not willing to assume liability for this lawsuit just to allow the sale of the New England Media Group to go through, according to Mark W. Batten, the lawyer representing The New York Times Co.
So what next, besides the World Series home opener Wednesday at Fenway? Well, according to Nicodemus, tomorrow is also when Judge Frison will render a further decision about the restraining order. Play media!
Update (October 24):
The sale of the Boston Globe and Telegram & Gazette to Henry is now complete. This afternoon, Judge Frison lifted the temporary injunction.