White Collar Reset: A magazine editor loses his livelihood


Reading about the salary-cut standoff at The Boston Globe this week made me nostalgic for a time, way back at the beginning of the recession, when I, too, had a salary worth fighting over. The Newspaper Guild rejected a proposal by the parent New York Times Company (NYT) that would have effectively cut wages by about 10 percent, a move that caused management to unilaterally impose a 23 percent cut. One reporter who said she had voted for the original plan, commented, "I can't afford to gamble with a fourth of my pay. How am I going to pay my mortgage?" To which my reaction was: Just wait.

It was just about eight months ago that the parent company of the magazine where I was the editor-in-chief cut my salary by 50 percent. As with the Globe, the across-the-board measure was part of a desperate, last-ditch effort to stanch the flow of red ink, although in our case it was said to be "temporary," which proved to be true in a sense. Three months later, the company declared bankruptcy, and I officially joined the thousands of magazine journalists now out of work in New York City.