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Boston Media Jobs Saved by Deal

Posted on May 8, 2009

The Boston Globe‘s largest union and The New York Times Co. reached a tentative deal this week, which could save several Boston media jobs and thwart any threat to shut down the paper.

According to an article by MartketWatch, under the deal, the Boston Newspaper Guild agreed to a substantial pay cut, unpaid furloughs and modifications to the lifetime job guarantee provisions that protect almost 200 employees.

“We have completed negotiations with the Guild but have agreed not to release any details until the leadership speaks with Guild members on Thursday, May 7,” the Globe’s newspaper said in a statement.

The New York Times Co. demanded $20 million in concessions a month ago, which it now has, meaning the company won’t have to shut down or sell the paper. Prior to the deal, the company had deals in place with three other unions and felt it had enough progress to opt out of the formal procedure of giving 60 days notice, meaning the paper could have immediately shut down.

The Boston Globe, acquired in 1993 for $1.1 billion, has been in a downward spiral for many years, with steep declines in retail and classified advertising that are even worse than the national average. The paper could lose $85 million this year.

In the first quarter of 2009, ad revenue declined by 32 percent at the New England Media Group, which includes the Boston Globe. At the same time, The New York Times Co.’s newspaper properties posted a loss of $54.3 million.