By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Is the anvil ready to drop?

This is depressing, but not unexpected. The Phoenix’s Adam Reilly hears that 60 jobs will be eliminated at the Boston Globe, as well as another 80 20 at the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. (Both papers are owned by the New York Times Co.) An announcement could come as soon as tomorrow.

Reilly notes that the cuts, which would shrink the Globe’s newsroom by 16 positions, would leave the paper with 75 fewer journalists than it had a little more than two years ago. Since we can expect the Globe to focus more and more on what it can uniquely offer, as opposed to what readers can find on other Web sites, look for the paper to accelerate its move toward almost exclusively local coverage.

Photo (cc) by Steve Garfield, and republished here under a Creative Commons license. Some rights reserved.

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  1. Anonymous

    Dan: Reilly seems to be saying 80 jobs total, with 60 at the Globe. You’re saying 60 at the Globe, and another 80 at T&G. Which is it?

  2. Dan Kennedy

    I’m spinning totally off of Adam, and I misread what he wrote. Now corrected. Thanks.

  3. Tor Hershman

    I don’t mind attending the funeral (of William Buckley) if a lunch is provided, but I must be fed.Special thanks to Charles Dickens the line.

  4. Anonymous

    What is it, exactly, that the Globe can “uniquely offer”?I can’t think of anything, really. National coverage is well done by others. The Globe’s local coverage has been lacking for years (they don’t even know what streets are in what neighborhood), government coverage is better done by most everyone else. Sports coverage? Don’t think so. What is it that the Globe uniquely offers?

  5. Dan Kennedy

    Anon 10:55: Don’t hold out on us. Please share your list of media outlets that provide better local coverage — including government — than the Globe. I find the Globe’s local coverage lacking in many respects as well, but do you think there’s one source that does it better? I’d say that a daily dose of Globe + Herald is about as good as you’re going to get unless you want to drill down into specific communities and neighborhoods.

  6. DJS

    I genuinely feel for the reporters and editors who are losing their jobs at the Globe.The quality of their work isn’t the issue. They’ve been let down by management in New York and Boston that is failing to ideate and implement a new, successful business model.Doug

  7. Anonymous

    Meanwhile, Gatehouse Media, which cut 60 jobs, can still find the money to buy more papers.

  8. Anonymous

    Y’know, I keep hearing this “you need a new business model” complaint about journalism, and it leaves me befuddled. We’re in an age when people A, don’t care as much about government and public affairs as they once did (see historic voting patterns), B, don’t have time, or claim they don’t, to read a daily newspaper, C, seem to value fact-free opinion over fact-based journalism (the rise of TV talking heads and most bloggers, yourself excepted), and D, want stuff free, rapid and breezy online. What business model can pay trained and experienced fact-finders to produce journalism while taking into account these realities? Oh, yeah: NPR and the BBC, both in part government-funded.Sorry to sound depressed. I love journalism. Also loved my Underwood, which was old when I got it. But I’m typing this on a MacBook. There’s no business model in the world that’ll bring typewriters back to the fore.jim

  9. Dan Kennedy

    Jim: You have expertly dissected why newspaper readership is falling. Too bad newspaper readership isn’t falling (at least not very much). You’ve got to add print and online together. But Web advertising isn’t nearly as lucrative as print. Which is why we say that a new business model is needed.

  10. Anonymous

    Does anybody else find Tor’s insensitive comments about WFB completely unnecessary?

  11. Anonymous

    You’re right, Dan, but Web advertising for present-day newspaper/communications companies will NEVER make up for the revenue lost by the disappearance of classifieds, retail print advertising and even circulation revenue from selling actual paper copies of newspapers. I have to laugh when reading that story about GateHouse buying more papers. This quote had me chuckling and spitting beer onto my keyboard: “That’s why we thought GateHouse Media would be a good fit,” Dover Post President Jim Flood Jr. said in a statement. “They concentrate on what we’ve always done, local news. Their strategy is to buy good local newspapers and to continue to let them do what they do best.”So Mr. Flood actually believes GateHouse will buy newspapers and leave them alone without merging and slicing to the bone to feed the bottom line? You can’t buy all these newspapers without squeezing as much profit out of them as possible. And that means yo9u cut news and production staff, add advertising sales people and hope your readers don’t figure out that there is soon no “there” there.

  12. Brigid

    Since Anon 10:55 didn’t do it, I will. Universal Hub kicks the collective but of all the local media when it comes to reporting local news.

  13. Dan Kennedy

    Brigid: I love Universal Hub, and there are times when the bloggers Adam highlights do real, honest-to-God reporting. But I think Adam would be the first to say UH is no substitute for a good newspaper, even one that isn’t covering everything you think it should be covering.

  14. Rick in Duxbury

    Anon 2:18,You are not alone. Tor was in such a hurry to grace us with his bon mots that he neglected the word “for”. WFB was a bit more precise (and eloquent). He was a product of a unique place and time who had a profound impact on the world (for the better, IMHO). We shall not see his like again.

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