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Dead Tree Media Death Watch: Grey Lady Edition

by @ 9:29 am on April 4, 2009. Filed under Media

The New York Times Company is threatening to shut down the Boston Globe:

The New York Times Company has threatened to close The Boston Globe unless labor unions agree to concessions like pay cuts and the cessation of pension contributions, according to a person briefed on the talks.

The company is looking for $20 million in savings from The Globe, which has already gone through several rounds of deep cost-cutting and staff reductions. The company does not report figures by newspaper, but executives have acknowledged that the Globe lost tens of millions of dollars last year.

The threat to close The Globe was first reported by The Globe on Friday evening on its Web site, Boston.com. The site quoted the leaders of two of the unions describing a meeting Thursday at which the company delivered the ultimatum.

It quoted an unnamed person saying that in the meeting, management said that without the concessions, The Globe would lose $85 million in 2009.

The Times Company chairman, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., and Catherine J. Mathis, chief spokeswoman for the company, each declined to comment or confirm the article.

The company paid $1.1 billion for The Globe in 1993, the highest price ever paid for a single American newspaper, and it was highly profitable through that decade. But in recent years, the erosion of advertising and newspaper circulation has been more severe in the Boston area than in most of the country.

Advertising revenue for the industry fell 16.6 percent in 2008, according to the Newspaper Association of America.

The Times Company also wants to end a provision in The Globe’s contracts that gives certain employees lifetime job guarantees.

Gee, do you think ?

Of course, one wonders what the value of a lifetime job guarantee is an dying industry.

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3 Responses to “Dead Tree Media Death Watch: Grey Lady Edition”

  1. Chris Byrne says:

    The competing newspapers for the Boston Area, the Boston Herald, and the Patriot Ledger, are doing alright (as much as any newspaper is anyway).

    The important thing there is, they are both local, and more conservative than the Globe, especially on social issues.

    In addition to the general downturn in newspapers over the past 20 years, the Globe has lost more and more circulation, as it has been controlled more and more with the editorial voice and opinions of the NY Times corporation.

    Massachusetts has a reputation as a very liberal state, and Boston a very liberal city; and to an extent that’s true, but that fails to take into account the true nature of the states liberalism.

    The vast majority of the Boston area is blue collar and low level white collar, union, catholic, old line northeast democrats.

    These folks aren’t leftists by any stretch, and in fact aren’t particularly socially liberal.

    Just ask a gay man from Boston how easy it was to come out; or BE out, outside of downtown, Cambridge, and Brookline. Or if he would walk in Southie alone at night; or EVER hand in hand with his boyfriend.

    What Boston Democrats are, is machine voters. Democrats bring back more pork, more jobs, grant more favors etc… If you want to be a part of the machine, you become a democrat, that’s how it is.

    So when the Globe is run by clearly anti-American, anti-religious, anti-catholic, anti-israel, pro-islam, New Yorkers (even though it has local editorial staff)… Well, people just don’t like it.

    The Herald on the other hand does just fine with a center right viewpoint, and a strong focus on being local issues, and criticism of Washington, no matter who is in power.

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