Metro International is dumping its 51 percent share in the free daily--which is co-owned by the New York Times Co.--as well as its sister papers in New York and Philadelphia. The buyer, according to the Associated Press: Seabay Media, a new outfit headed up by Pelle Tornberg, who ran Metro International when a racism scandal rocked the company back in 2004.
--First, I've got a new Phoenix piece looking at the Times Co.'s plans for the Globe and why the Guild caved on lifetime-job guarantees earlier this week.
--Former Globe contributor Michael Jonas, who's now at Commonwealth magazine, has made a pretty strong case that the Globe is taking too much credit for its "scoops" on MA pension abuse.
When I blogged last week on anti-Mexican hatemonger Jay Severin’s recent, ill-explained suspension from WTKK-FM--a suspension that remains in effect as of this writing--a host of Severin defenders weighed in with comments. One of their favorite claims: Severin was being throttled for daring to speak candidly about illegal immigration.
My close personal friend Dan Kennedy suggests that the Times Co.'s proposed 23 percent pay cut for Boston Newspaper Guild members will unify the union--kind of like management's late-breaking math error did last week.
I've got a different take. The pay-cut proposal strikes me as the Times Co.'s way of saying: You won't compromise on lifetime-job guarantees? Here's what your intransigence will get you.
Readers of this blog know I've been alternately critical of and sympathetic to Dan Totten--the head of the Boston Newspaper Guild, the sole remaining holdout in negotiations with Globe management and the NYT Co.
Given my own inconsistency, I'm not quite ready to say that today's Herald story proves that Totten is a leech who's been using his post to enrich himself.
The request was made in a memo dated May 3, which suggests that it preceded the temporary break in negotiations earlier today. I'm trying to get Globe management's response and will post it here if and when I do.
May 3, 2009TO: Gregory L. Thornton, Sr. Vice President/Employee RelationsFROM: Daniel B. Totten, President/BNG
May 3, 2009
TO: Gregory L. Thornton, Sr. Vice President/Employee RelationsFROM: Daniel B. Totten, President/BNG
Here's a run-down of the concessions the Boston Newspaper Guild has formally offered to management (advance apologies for any formatting problems).
On-the-record Boston Newspaper Guild Proposal to The GlobeMay 3, 2009
On-the-record Boston Newspaper Guild Proposal to The Globe
THIS PROPOSAL IS MADE WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF VOLUNTARY MID-TERM NEGOTIATIONS. THE GUILD RESERVES ALL RIGHTS IN SUCH REGARD.
So says a new statement from Globe spokesman Bob Powers. The Boston Newspaper Guild is the lone holdout; Powers' statement seems to confirm that job-security issues are the big obstacles:
We are very pleased to have reached agreements with six of the seven unions that were involved in recent negotiations. This includes agreements with the drivers, mailers, pressmen, the electricians, machinists, and technical services group.
Whatever you're doing right now, stop for a moment and read Scot Lehigh's pitch-perfect takedown of Jay Severin. It tells you everything you need to know about the WTKK host and his recent suspension. It's also Lehigh at his best.
Friday night plans? Not too late to change 'em! I'll be on the weekly "Beat the Press" segment of Greater Boston tonight, discussing the latest Globe funkiness; coverage of killer swine flu and the related suspension of world-class anti-Mexican Jay Severin; and John Henry and Linda Pizzuti's...candor. Please tune in, or watch online at your leisure.
According to this year's list of finalists for the Livingston Awards--which honor the best young American journalists working in all platforms--Boston's got five of the top fifty. The lucky (or talented) few: Laura Crimaldi of the Herald; Tracy Jan and Farah Stockman of the Globe; and Paul Kix and Francis Storrs of Boston magazine. Congrats to all.
Earlier today, I argued that the combination of the Times Co.'s late-breaking math adjustment--coupled with the Times Co.'s apparent refusal to extend its negotiating deadline for the paper's unions--suggested bad faith on the part of the company.
According to a Globe staffer, that's now the prevailing interpretation among the paper's journalists, who until now have been relatively amenable to the Times Co.
According to the Globe, the Herald, and several of my sources, the accounting error that's thrown a last-minute wrinkle into negotiations between the Times Co. and the Globe's unions was clearly management's* fault.
If so, what should we make of this? I see two possibilities: A. the number-crunchers handling the negotiations for the Times Co.