Boston Globe editor Marty Baron tells his staff that as many as 50 newsroom positions will be eliminated soon — via buyout if possible, or layoffs if necessary. Baron concludes his memo with this:
All of us appreciate what a supremely dedicated and talented staff we have here, and we know the ache of seeing admired colleagues leave our newsroom. We also know the challenges of producing a high-quality newspaper and website when there are fewer of us to do the work.
Once again, we will have to assess everything we do. And so we will move promptly to evaluate a wide range of options. Not every option we review will come to pass, but reductions of this magnitude obviously will require us to make fundamental changes. Your ideas are welcome.
We have demonstrated repeatedly that we are a resilient bunch, capable of superb journalism even as we rethink our operations, reinvent our product, and refine our mission. We are being tested again, and a resourceful newsroom like ours can meet the test.
This is shockingly ugly stuff. I can’t imagine how the Globe can move forward without a dramatically redefined mission. Just focusing on local news isn’t going to do it, because that’s fundamentally about throwing bodies at stories.
Not exactly a novel observation that the newspaper business as we know it is rapidly coming to an end. (Via Romenesko.)
More: Adam Reilly of the Phoenix reports that Boston Newspaper Guild president Dan Totten wants any cuts to come exclusively from Globe management.