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Posts Tagged ‘Robert Powers’

The Boston Globe May Be For Sale As Tense Labor Talks Continue

Boston Newspaper Guild president Dan Totten responded on Tuesday evening after the New York Times Company, which owns the Boston Globe, announced a 23 percent pay cut for Guild members at the struggling newspaper. In addition to trying to cut costs, the Times Company may also be seeking to sell the Globe, which posted a $50 million operating loss last year and is poised to lose another $85 million in 2009. According to an article published in the Globe, two sources who are interested in buying the paper say the NYTCO has hired Goldman Sachs to review offers for the Globe. Cutting costs at the paper would help relieve financial pressures at the Times Company, which recently reported losses of $74.5 million for the first quarter of this year and could also make the the Globe more attractive to prospective buyers. Last month, the Times Company threatened to close the Boston Globe unless the paper’s unions agreed to $20 million in cuts.

The pay cut came after the Guild, which is the largest union at the Globe, voted on Monday to reject $10 million in budget cuts proposed by the Times Company by a narrow margin of 277 to 265. The Globe has released a statement saying management is disappointed that the Guild rejected their original proposal, which would have led to and 8.3 percent wage cut and elimination of lifetime job guarantees for about 190 Guild members. The plan called for Guild members who lose their lifetime guarantees to receive a $33,000 payment and severance if they are laid off. Guarantees have been a major sticking point throughout the month of talks between the Globe’s management and unions. The Boston Newspaper Guild also released a petition calling for the NYTCO to “to negotiate in good faith and agree to third-party mediation.” Reportedly, potential buyers for the Globe won’t be submitting bids until the Guild situation is resolved– and that could take quite some time.

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Boston Globe Reporters Rally to Save Their Paper

boston-globe-logo.jpgWith the Boston Globe potentially facing an imminent demise, Globe reporters and the Boston Newspaper Guild have teamed with local politicans to host a rally at noon “in support of saving the Boston Globe.” The event was billed as featuring “journalists and business staff” from the paper, along with Boston City Council President Mike Ross and union leaders. At the rally, members of the public were invited to sign a petition saying they are “committed to saving the Boston Globe from the threat of closure.”

This morning, the Globe’s crosstown rival, the Boston Herald, published a story claiming that the rally raises “concerns about potential conflicts” because the Guild organized the event with the powerful Boston lobbying firm O’Neill and Associates and sought the participation of area politicians. Massachusetts State Senate Minority Leader Richard Tisei told the Herald that he was invited to attend, but “would feel uncomfortable.” The Herald also spoke with Poynter Institute scholar Bob Steele, who said it “puts pressure on the principle of journalistic independence,” when reporters ask politicians for support. Massachusetts senator John Kerry has also spoken out in support of the Globe, calling for Senate committee hearings on the future of the newspaper industry in response to the crisis.

Earlier today, we spoke with Scott Allen, an investigative reporter who’s been at the Globe for almost 17 years, to get his take on the mood in the newsroom…

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