Update: This post was originally titled "The Herald's excellent, incendiary Times Co. scoop." Alas, "scoop" was a poor term to use: a reader notes that Times Co. CEO Janet Robinson's salary was making the web rounds last week, and that Globe publisher Steve Ainsley's salary was cited by The Boston Channel yesterday
--The Herald reports that the Globe is raising the price of its print edition, to $1.50 on weekdays/Saturdays (outside of eastern MA) and to $3.50 ($4 outside of Eastern MA) on Sundays. The people who made this decision have financial skills I can't claim. But how will this not exacerbate the migration of (formerly) paying print readers to the web?
A reliable source tells DQM that the New York Times Co. has threatened to close the Boston Globe if the paper's unions don't agree to $20 million in concessions in the next 30 days. Possible concessions include pay cuts, the end of pension contributions by the NYT Co., and the elimination of the lifetime job guarantees some union members enjoy.
Thanks to a reasonably successful buyout program and last week's layoffs of 20 editorial part-timers--including five part-time photographers--today's layoffs hit the Globe newsroom with less force than they might have otherwise.
Today's union casualties are as follows: "Names" columnist Paysha Rhone; sports copyeditor Ginger Deshaney, Globe West reporter Rachani Rathi; and business reporter Nicole Wong
Some thoughts on the pay-cut program announced today by the New York Times Co., parent company of the Boston Globe:
--At the Globe, at least, management's push for a union pay cut isn't new. It was happening eight months ago. At the time, though, there was talk of a 10 percent reduction, twice what's being bandied about now.
Dan Kennedy offers five proposals for Morrissey Boulevard, including making Boston.com the primary news vehicle (rather than the newspaper) and finding a way to get a whole lot more out of Metro Boston.
I'm not sure about Dan's second suggestion, which involves a steep increase in print-edition prices--he mentions $2 for weekdays and $5 for Sunday--and an accompanying push to add value for print purchasers and subscribers.
Just had an interesting conversation with David Mehegan, who's taking the current newsroom buyout and leaving the Globe after 33 years. Mehegan currently covers publishing and literary affairs for the paper; he's previously been book editor, a writer for the Globe's Sunday magazine, a copy editor for the op-ed pages, and a part-timer on the night desk.
Yesterday I reported that Gail Caldwell, the Globe's Pulitzer-winning book critic, was taking the latest buyout offer and exiting the paper. But she's not the only big name leaving.
Mary Jane Wilkinson, the paper's managing editor/administration, is also departing Morrissey Boulevard. While Wilkinson's name will be less familiar than Caldwell's to most readers, the internal significance of her exit will be more profound, since--along with managing editor/news Caleb Solomon--she's one of editor Marty Baron's two top lieutenants.
I'm hearing from multiple Globe sources that around 25-30 editorial staffers have applied for the latest newsroom buyout.
That's more than some people expected; as in past buyouts, a bunch of people apparently decided to jump ship just before the deadline, which was last Friday. But since the paper plans to cut 50 newsroom jobs altogether, it won't be enough to avoid substantial layoffs--which, I've been told, could begin quite soon.
Back when Jim Marzilli's bizarre, threatening, harrassing behavior was still big news, I argued that the Boston media weren't delving deeply enough into what was going on inside Marzilli's brain.
In the wake of this Globe story, I won't be able to make the same complaint about coverage of Christian Gerhartsreiter, a/k/a Clark Rockefeller.
You might think the Boston Herald would just ignore the recent wackiness involving Jim Aloisi, since it was triggered by that Globe scoop involving the dubious State House job held by Carol Aloisi, Jim's sister.
Not at all! Just flip to p. 18 of today's Herald, and you can read all about it. Here's the news brief in question:
I think that's a fair synopsis of the statement Aloisi issued today, regarding both his recent assault on the Globe and other impolitic things he's said since becoming transportation secretary. But you can judge for yourself:
I believe it is important to clear the air and move beyond the recent controversies. Since becoming Secretary of Transportation my passion for realizing the Governor's reform efforts has caused me to use language I have later regretted.
You know today's Globe story about Carol Aloisi's questionable State House job? The one that caused great dismay over at Blue Mass. Group?
Well, Jim Aloisi--the state transportation secretary, Big Dig veteran, and brother of Carol--doesn't like what the Globe wrote. Or, it seems, the way the story played out at BMG.
Interesting juxtaposition on Romenesko today. First, there's an item from Alan Mutter's Newsasaur blog on the political implications of newspaper closings; among other things, a new study finds that closures make it easier for incumbents to win election.
And then, right below Mutter's item, there's a San Francisco Chronicle piece on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asking Attorney General Eric Holder to make it easier for struggling newspapers--like, say, the Chronicle--to merge with other struggling papers in order to survive.
If you read Boston.com's current most-emailed item--"Children's bath products tainted with likely carcinogens"--and would like to see the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics report that generated the item in question, here's where you need to go.
I actually think Boston.com is quite good, and steadily getting better.