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

The Globe loses its contract to print The New York Times

Sign outside the Globe’s printing plant in Taunton. Photo (cc) 2018 by Dan Kennedy.

The Boston Globe has lost its contract to print the regional edition of The New York Times at its Taunton facility. The Times will instead now be printed at the Dow Jones plant in Chicopee. Dow Jones is the parent company of The Wall Street Journal.

When the Globe’s Taunton printing plant opened in 2017, the hope was that it could turn a profit for the paper by taking on outside clients. The facility got off to a rough start, though, with publisher-owner John Henry writing a front-page note to subscribers admitting that the presses “are operating too slowly and breaking too often.” He added: “We are embarrassed. We are sincerely sorry to all those affected.” In my 2018 book, “The Return of the Moguls,” I described the launch of the Taunton plant as a “disaster.”

At one point, the Globe printed the Times, the Boston Herald and USA Today. The Herald decamped for The Providence Journal some time ago. When I asked Globe spokeswoman Heidi Flood whether the Taunton facility currently has any outside work, she answered only that “we are always exploring ways to bring more work into the plant.” She did say that Taunton now handles the entire Globe print run. At one time the Globe was jobbing some of its run out to The Eagle-Tribune in North Andover; I’m not sure when that stopped.

I’ve heard that the Taunton plant has laid some employees off as well, but Flood did not address that when I asked her about it by email. The full text of her statement follows.

I can confirm that the Times decided not to renew their printing contract with the Globe. We worked very hard over many months to keep their business in a way that also worked for ours, but were not able to arrive at a financially sustainable agreement. While the pending NYT departure is disappointing, from a business perspective it’s the right decision and positions us more favorably for the future.

The Times’s decision to print elsewhere will not affect our Globe print operations. Taunton currently handles the entire Globe print run and we are always exploring ways to bring more work into the plant. First and foremost, the Globe remains committed to meeting the needs of our valuable print subscribers.

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1 Comment

  1. charles otey

    I’m upset. Partly because I’m a newspaper man(though I practiced law to afford the pleasure of pounding a typewriter on the side for fun and profit for over 50 years.) I was the night-side reporter when Tom Winship and Vic Jones ran the place in its then ultra-modern quarters near South Boston.(McGuinness Blvd.?) Earlier, as a BU teaching fellow my impossible dream would be a job at the Globe. It still is even though my salary through 1961-62 was $105 weekly. We moved to Brooklyn to have children near family. No regrets. But the high point of my career was when I walked into a newsstand near Mass Ave. and saw a story that I had written(about a guy who bus-jacked a Hartford transit vehicle and drove it to the Charles Bridge before cops coralled him.,) The internet opened the door to a kind of chaos never seen before in this country . People can’t ‘handle’ the lure of uncontrolled, thoughtless, ill-intended speech. There is no time to deliberate, just the endless assault of ‘alternate news’ from the mouths of those programmed to spread hate.
    If the Globe ‘goes’, then The Times– our survival as the democracy we know and cherish will be damaged beyond repair.

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