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

Globe publisher announces work-force reductions

The Boston Globe and its affiliated media properties are downsizing again, according to an internal memo from Globe publisher Christopher Mayer that was obtained by Media Nation earlier today.

No details, but Mayer writes that the work force at the New England Media Group — the Globe, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette and — will be shrunk through a combination of voluntary buyouts and “some involuntary reductions.”

Update: At the Globe, 23 people in advertising and 20 in the newsroom will be offered buyouts, while another 10 were laid off. At the T&G, one person was laid off while five to 10 have been offered buyouts.

The memo follows.

Dear colleagues,

Today the New England Media Group took steps to reduce its work force. These involved primarily offers of voluntary buyouts but also some involuntary reductions throughout the New England Media Group. At this time, all affected employees have been notified.

This move, difficult as it is, is part of a program to rebalance the business and will allow us to reallocate resources toward the investments we need as we innovate and introduce new products. This will also assure that we continue to meet the needs of our advertisers, and provide readers the high-quality journalism they expect from us.

The Globe still has by far the largest newsroom in New England, and it continues to deliver groundbreaking, award-winning journalism across all media platforms. We continue to offer effective solutions for our advertisers using the Globe and as we add new offerings such as, Ricochet, eBooks, ePaper, and the upcoming RadioBDC. Even more exciting initiatives are in development from our SEO company branch.

That said, these continue to be challenging times for our industry and our business. We face rapid change in how readers get their information and how advertisers communicate their messages. That requires us to make tough choices along the way about how to allocate our resources. We must continue to introduce new products even as we improve the efficiency of our operations. Meantime, we remain steadfast in our commitment to readers and advertisers — and to all of you who help us achieve great things each and every day in the midst of these challenges.


Christopher Mayer
Publisher, The Boston Globe

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  1. At some point you reduce the workforce and reporting capabilities to the point of ruining the product you’re trying to sell.

  2. It’s an interesting memo. It’s addressed to “colleagues”, but it contains a fair amount of PR language. The line, “The Globe still has by far the largest newsroom in New England, and it continues to deliver groundbreaking, award-winning journalism across all media platforms” was no doubt felt necessary by someone to reassure advertisers and others, but it certainly provides no solace to those affected and might even be felt as a slap to the face of those let go.

    IMVHO, trying to save your corporate ass publicly in a memo supposedly written for “colleagues” is cheap.

    • Dan Kennedy

      @Suldog: Try to be a little understanding. He could have said, “We are doing this to serve our readers better,” heh, heh.

  3. Laurence Glavin

    What’s next? Fewer days of a print newspaper a la the Times Picayune? The Globe may persist in putting out a seven-day-a-week print edition as long as the Herald does, but have you seen what’s left of the Herald on Saturdays? It’s not much thicker than the Stop&Shop, Shaw’s and Market Basket circulars I get in the mail the Thursday before. If print newspapers decline, there will be some collateral damage in an unrelated field: one company at least produces cat litter from recycled newspapers.

  4. Mike Saunders

    Laurence, those are solid points, but I doubt anyone will quibble if killing a few days of the print editions enables the Globe to sustain the quality of journalism done there.

  5. Jerry Ackerman

    Back in Linotype days a staffing standard for small to mid-size papers was one newsroom employee per 1,000 in circulation. That ratio widened for metros over, say, 250,000 circulation. Still, where does this latest downsizing leave the Globe?

  6. It would be a prudent financial move for me to drop my journalistic pursuits altogether and pursue a career as an assistant to the Tilt-a-Whirl greaser on a traveling circus.

    This is getting damned depressing.

  7. Mike Rice

    These are challenging times for all businesses that, I expect, can be traced back to the middle-class in this country continuing to droop toward the poverty line due to the affects of this Depression-like economy that we appear to be mired in. Some friends of mine no longer subscribe to any newspaper because they can’t afford to.

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