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

A likely reprieve for the Globe?

In reading the Boston Globe’s coverage of the New York Times Co.’s threat to shut the paper down unless another $20 million in savings can be found, I’m feeling slightly more sanguine.

Based on the comments of union executives, one possible — and maybe even likely — outcome is that the unions will quickly come to terms, and the crisis will be averted.

The problem is, I don’t think anyone believes this is a one-time deal. What will the next demand be?

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9 Comments

  1. NewsHound

    The Globe and its employees have to descend to planet earth, or else!

  2. NewsHound

    Real newsmen who really get it and are really trying to save their business have to stay back home and work hard rather than fly to Oregon and talk.

  3. GFS3

    I think this is more serious – which is why its across the top of the front page. How do $20 million in cuts help an $85 million loss?This is just another example of slowly bleeding to death. The Globe needs radical changes now – or its dead. Here’s my advice:http://tinyurl.com/d5fnvqIn a nutshell: cut the print product now. Get rid of the 200 drivers, printing press, home delivery. All of it.Move news operations online – focused only on news, sports and business from the region. No more comics, recipes, music reviews, etc. Charge a temporary subscription fee to shore up funds.Then go for broke online. Blog, social media, user content, forums, wikis. Do it all. Innovate. Create a Globe Technology Council – bringing together web and online technology minds from the region to help save the Globe and innovate online. Explore divesting from NYTimes and going non-profit. Look at every option.The status quo will kill the Globe. More cuts in news is going to have more people leaving. You can’t keep cutting back on the only product you have to sell – news- and expect to save the it.My fear is that they will try to save the “paper” and kill the whole operation.

  4. David Rogers

    i agree, dan. you can only play chicken so many times before you smash into each other. i would like the unions to call the NYT bet and see what happens. If the union caves to this, the NYT will be coming back for more concessions. if the NYT follows through and shutters the globe is there a precident for a newspaper to be unshuttered?

  5. Mark

    It’s important that the union’s stand up for those employees. Workplace conditions in the Globe newsroom must be perilous, what with all that heavy machinery those newspapers deal with. Then there’s always the prevalent threat of the Globe pulling people off the street to fill reporters’ jobs with below minimum wage labor.I don’t think this is what Steinbeck had in mind when he wrote ‘Grapes of Wrath’.Can somebody explain to me the benefit of a union for newspaper reporters in the first place?

  6. GFS3

    I disagree. This isn’t about unions vs. management. This is about survival. The newspaper industry is dead and its time to admit that the old model of “home delivery” once a day doesn’t work in the age of instant access to news.This needs to be a “macro” decision about a radical shift to a new model – not a “micro” decision about whether unions should fight management about jobs and pay. If they don’t change now – its all a mute point anyway.

  7. Ray

    Can someone please say something good about Herb Chambers and Quirk Chevrolet who purchase daily, big fat ads in the Globe? Plenty of talk and no action with non-advertisers in Boston.

  8. Rick in Duxbury

    Mark,If you think the union is superfluous for reporters, consider the NTEU, representing US Treasury Dept. employees, (e.g. IRS, FDIC, Customs, etc.). Their salaries exceed those in the private sector and the federal bennies are to die for. Guess who they contributed (generously) to in the last election?

  9. rozzie02131

    GFS3: I would not mind seeing the Globe go totally online, and charging money for access too, but I would pay extra NOT to read the comments from the “social media, user content, forum” department of boston.com and bostonherald.com . The anonymous thug community on newspaper comment sites makes me fear for humanity more than anything.

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