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

A primer in getting to “no”

In this week’s Boston Phoenix, Adam Reilly observes that New York Times Co. executives mangled things with the Boston Globe and the Newspaper Guild so thoroughly that you’re left wondering if a “no” vote was what they wanted all along.

I’ve been wondering the same thing, though for the life of me I can’t see how this benefits the Sulzbergers. Now that they’ve made it official that they want to sell the Globe, the last thing they need is an unfair-labor case before the National Labor Relations Board, which could drag on for months.

Over at the Beat the Press blog, former Globe staffer Ralph Ranalli explains how Globe publisher Steve Ainsley and Times Co. management snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

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  1. NewsHound

    Any likely proposed transaction for the sale of The Globe will contain pre and post closing contingency adjustments with significant clauses relating to labor relations.Those days of saving life-time jobs, high union wages, benefits, etc. are over. If the workers and the union really and truly are now most concerned about saving The Globe, first and foremost, that is what it will be going forward.In the end, poor etiquette or mishandling displayed by the Times this spring is irrelevant and little harm has been done. The Times wants out of this one way or the other and burning their bridge behind them probably isn't doing any harm, and perhaps helping their cause.

  2. meamoeba

    i disagree, hound. i think the nyt strategy has hurt them enormously. seeling outright, at best they can hope for a filene's basement-type deal but contigencies would damn it much like it did with gw/k&g. their best hope is the newspaper equivalent of the sportsworld sign-and-trade deal and the animosity they've brokered with the guild makes that as likely to happen as a sox-yankees team-to-team deal. ain't happening.i agree with adam and ralph. this was there for the taking and they couldn't take yes for an answer. i have to take adam's final point. maybe they DON'T know what they're doing in ny because they've shown little evidence of intelligent life and/or common sense in this deal. i'm not a lawyer but even i could get a tro on this one.

  3. Peter Porcupine

    DK – In light of the real estate investment company interested, maybe the vote was an innoculation against public outcry? Point to Brian Mooney and ask what you can DO trying to bargain with somebody who believes 'corporate tax loopholes' caused the financial problems?And then tear down and sell the real estate when the market improves?

  4. NewsHound

    Advertising rates at the Globe are overpriced. Cost cutting is essential. Circulation rates are too high, too.There are many passionate, talented, hardworking people employed at the Globe. But many were not really trying to save the Globe. They were trying to save a lifetime job and bully their way to continued overpay and benefits.Aside from the many dedicated, spirited employees, the unions have grown over the years like a malignant tumor to the point the company is about to implode.Bringing all this to the surface in short order by NYT executives may very well have been the Company's very best tactic and strategy, as nasty as it seems on the surface.

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