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

The latest update on the Globe‘s home-delivery meltdown

Update, 5:05 p.m. Confirming a rumor I picked up earlier today, Globe tech columnist Hiawatha Bray reports on Facebook that “dozens” of Globe reporters, responding to the “fiasco” of the past week, will deliver the Sunday paper.


Today’s must-read post on The Boston Globe‘s ongoing home-delivery meltdown is by Adam Gaffin of Universal Hub. Among other things, he notes that when the Orange County Register switched to the Globe‘s new carrier, ACI Media Group, in 2014, mayhem ensued.

But I’m confused. According to the Times‘ story, the Register switched from the Los Angeles Times‘ service to ACI, based in Long Beach, California, after it fell behind on its payments to the Times. Yet when the Globe published a story on its own problems earlier this week, it identified ACI as the company that delivers the Los Angeles Times.

Googling ACI Media Group leads to dead ends and 404s (not a good sign). But I did find a cached press release from September 2010 in which ACI reported that it had at least some of the L.A. Times‘ home-delivery business:

American Circulation Innovations (ACI) is now delivering a weekly volume of 250,000 of the subscription-paid daily and Sunday Los Angeles Times. This represents a more than 100% increase of ACI’s delivery of the Los Angeles Times newspaper.

ACI’s Chief Executive, Keith Somers said: “We’ve been able to leverage our management team’s circulation background and our highly innovative and efficient delivery model to provide the Los Angeles Times with quality home delivery at reduced rates. We’re proud that our performance and service have earned increased business from such a valued and marquee partner.”

So the Orange County Register switched from the Los Angeles Times‘ home-delivery service to ACI Media Group, which also had at least some of the Times‘ business. And now the Globe is reporting that ACI has all of the Times‘ business. I guess.

The company’s new name appears to be the ACI Last Mile Network. And for what it’s worth, I haven’t been able to find any stories about problems with its service similar to what the Globe is going through. The Register‘s problems were essentially self-inflicted—though that may turn out to be the case with the Globe as well.

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Here’s the union letter asking Globe staffers to deliver paper


  1. FWIW, the corporate entity is registered in MA under the name ACI LAST MILE NORTHEAST, LLC, with the same address in CA that the CASOS has for ACI Media Group.

    Given ACI’s past problems, and its complete lack of experience with the MA market, the PTB at the Globe really should have known better, or at least put more effort into preparations for the change.

    Having said that, I expect that there’s one group that’s happy with the situation: the lawyers who will be collecting fees from the lawsuits that seem to be inevitable.

  2. Dan Park

    I can say this: ACI was advertising for MANAGERS on the front page of the paper with ad stickers two weeks out from taking over the service. Managers are the people on the ground putting it together: organizing routes, hiring carriers, etc. If you don’t have your managers locked down two weeks out, you are screwed. Globe should have reversed course when it had the chance. It may be wise to reverse course now. I’m pretty sure the former company would listen if contacted.

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