How to save The Boston Globe

The newspaper industry is in deep trouble. How so? It costs a lot to write, print, and deliver a newspaper, and with more people getting their news for free online and a plunge in advertising, costs are higher than revenues. The New York Times Co. (NYT) bought my local newspaper, The Boston Globe, in 1993 for $1.1 billion and is now threatening to shut it down unless its unions agree to $20 million in cost cuts. I don't think this is a viable plan -- instead The Boston Globe should stop producing its paper version and charge for access to its online content.

The Boston Globe is suffering from drops in circulation and advertising, and it has 13 unions boosting its costs. How bad is the pain? Its average weekday circulation fell 10 percent to 323,983 for the six months ending September 2008. Advertising revenues across the industry declined 16 percent in 2008. And the Boston Newspaper Guild -- whose members include 700 editorial, advertising, and business employees -- is being asked to take pay cuts and put an end to company pension contributions and lifetime job guarantees.