Will the Boston Globe need to cut $20 million more?


Although details have yet to emerge, early morning bargaining sessions with the 600-member Newspaper Guild at the Boston Globe appear to have resulted in a deal involving big pay cuts, layoffs, and weaker job guarantees to cut at least $20 million from its costs. But if my calculations are correct, that means the Globe will lose $65 million this year instead of $85 million. That does not seem like a good result -- just less bad than before. Then again, things are not good at the other end of the media spectrum as Clear Channel Communications, home of Rush Limbaugh, is inches from bankruptcy.

The New York Times (NYT) is losing money and demanded that its money-losing Globe cut $20 million by May 2. That deadline came and went but by May 3, two of its seven unions had agreed to $7.5 million in cost cuts. The Newspaper Guild claims it had proposed a plan that would have cut over $10 million that day but Globe management rejected it -- probably because it preserved lifetime job guarantees for newsroom staff with over 17 years tenure. So they went back to the bargaining table and reportedly reached an agreement that looks like it will keep the Globe open.