Yes, the Times Co. still owns the paper--but the Boston Globe has still changed quite a bit since last year's Times Co. shutdown threat. I ponder the flux in this week's Phoenix. Please take a look.
Big Boston-media development: in today's Globe, Beth Healy reports that former Globe publisher Ben Taylor has backed his cousin Steve's bid to purchase the paper their family owned for more than a century.
As I noted in this week's Phoenix, employees of the Boston Globe's newsroom are surprisingly willing to forgive and forget the acrimony that followed the New York Times Co.
My first thought, when I heard about the tentative agreement struck
by management and the Boston Newspaper Guild last night, was that Guild
head Dan Totten must be patting himself on the back right now. After
all, Totten's non-endorsement of the contract proposal rejected by the
Guild last month was predicated on the assumption that he could get a better offer from the Times Co
The New York Times has a new, full-screen photo blog called "Lens"--and it might not exist without Boston.com's "The Big Picture." From a write-up in Photo District News:
Lens draws some inspiration from The Big Picture a
photo blog published by Boston.com, which is also owned by The New
York Times Company. The Big Picture pioneered a wide-screen
layout that took advantage of improving resolutions of computer
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.
In an email sent this morning--the day before the Times Co.'s May 1 concede-or-close deadline--Globe publisher Steve Ainsley talked up recent sacrifices by Globe management; expressed empathy for the paper's union members and the sacrifices they're being asked to make; and spoke with what seems like guarded optimism about the course of management-labor negotiations.
This step was announced in two emails today, one from Times Co. vice chairman Michael Golden and one from Globe publisher Steve Ainsley. Here they are; note the possible implications of the move for Boston's nonprofit community:
Dear Colleagues,It is with sadness that I write to tell you that The New York Times Company Foundation is suspending grant making and the matching gifts program.
Earlier tonight, Dan Totten--head of the Boston Newspaper Guild, the paper's biggest union--emailed his membership regarding Friday's "Save the Globe" rally at Faneuil Hall. The email follows; note, in particular, the emphasis on getting Globe journalists to the event.
As I've previously written, the divide between the Guild's newsroom and non-newsroom members is one of the more interesting subplots of the current Globe crisis.
Advertising revenue for the NYT Co.'s New England Media Group--which includes the Globe and the Worcester T&G--dropped nearly 32 percent in the first quarter of 2009 compared to the same period in 2008.
By way of comparison, the New York Times Media Group's ad revenue fell about 27 percent. Which is pretty bad too, and will only increase the Times Co.
I may have missed the biggest precondition set by the Boston Newspaper Guild earlier today re: its concession talks with the New York Times Co.--and the AP may have, too. Sharp-eyed readers tell me that the Guild statement effectively says the union has no intention of discussing the paper's lifetime job guarantees or their possible elimination.
Here's the latest statement from the Boston Newspaper guild, the Globe's largest union, on what it is and isn't prepared to offer in negotiations with the NYT Co.
The requests that jumped out at me are flagged in the title of this post: the Guild wants to negotiate publicly, enter into a revenue-sharing agreement with the Times Co.
DQM was just forwarded a copy of a survey the Boston Newspaper Guild sent to its membership, apparently today, seeking employee thoughts on how to proceed in negotiations.
I've pasted the survey below; apologies in advance for any formatting funkiness. Note that respondents are given the possibility of linking wage concessions to similar concessions by management, which strikes me as eminently reasonable, given the fat, non-outcome-driven compensation that top execs at the Times Co.
The Boston Newspaper Guild is the biggest union at the Globe, and the union that's currently being asked by the NYT Co. to make the biggest sacrifices to prevent the paper from closing. As such, it's poised to help shape the future of Boston journalism, for better or worse. But only one member of the Guild's seven-member executive committee--Kathy McCabe, the union's recording secretary, who's a correspondent for the Globe North section--actually works as a journalist.
In which I discuss the deafening silence from the Times Co.; the Globe's solicitation of character references from the MA political establishment; and the bogus claim that the Globe's in trouble because it's a liberal rag. Please take a look.