When Red Sox majority owner John Henry takes ownership of The Boston Globe, its newsroom is likely to feel the glare of an old familiar public suspicion: that cross-ownership leads to favoritism.
This is not new ground for the Globe, since the New York Times Co. owned a minority share of the Red Sox from 2002 to 2012.
“During that period,” The Globe’s Beth Healy writes, “the Globe continued its normal coverage of the team and routinely disclosed in news stories that the Times Co. was a partial owner of the Red Sox.
The Globe-Red Sox history also goes back further — all the way to the early 1900s, when members of the Taylor family owned the Red Sox and built Fenway Park.
Even so, the deal is sure to spark debate in journalism circles and among Globe readers about whether the Globe’s coverage of the Red Sox, which regularly includes critical commentary, will be affected.