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Globe layoffs: fact or fantasy?

According to Metro Boston, the Globe is in for some truly nasty attrition--"hundreds of layoffs" is the phrase that caught my eye--as well as a per-copy price hike from 50 to 75 cents.

But is it true? Here's the response that a Globe spokesman provided to DQM:

Metro Boston’s front page story today claiming that the Boston Globe is planning "hundreds of layoffs" is factually incorrect. There are no plans for a staff reduction of the size cited in the Metro. As we have said many times in the past, we are always looking for operational efficiencies and will make staff reductions in accordance with those efforts when and if appropriate. 

The Metro also erred in reporting the extent of a proposed price increase for the daily newspaper. The newsstand price of individual copies of the Globe will increase from 50 cents to 75 cents on Feb. 4. Contrary to the Metro report, the increase affects only newspapers sold in the Greater Boston area. The daily Globe is already priced at 75 cents at locations beyond 30 miles of the city. The price increase does not affect home delivery copies of the paper.

Obviously, this raises a couple questions. Like: if there are no plans for "hundreds" of layoffs, are there plans for any? And: if so, how many? (It also raises the question of why people would pay an extra quarter for the Globe when they can read it for free online, but that's another story.)

One more thing: since the New York Times Co. owns both the Globe and a 49 percent stake in Metro Boston, it might seem odd that the two publications have had some difficulty reporting on developments at their corporate siblings. But look on the bright side: that's also a reassuring sign of aggressive intra-Times Co. reporting.

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