Boston Globe's Death Is Now An OptionS

So this finally happened: the New York Times Co. is threatening to close the Boston Globe if the union there doesn't agree to several harsh money-saving moves. In this case, it's not a bluff.

Once upon a time, the Globe was a guaranteed moneymaker. Now it's a guaranteed money-loser, and there's no way anybody's going to buy it from the NYT Co. Last year the Globe lost $50 million; this year they'll probably lose $85 million. Now the company wants $20 million in concessions from the union:

The possible concessions include pay cuts, the end of pension contributions by the company and the elimination of lifetime job guarantees now enjoyed by some veteran employees, said Daniel Totten, president of the Boston Newspaper Guild, the Globe's biggest union, which represents more than 700 editorial, advertising and business office employees.

Fun NYT Co. management wizardry fact: "The company paid $1.1 billion for The Globe in 1993, the highest price ever paid for a single American newspaper." Shucks. The paper's already been gutted, but what are you gonna do? The union will likely have to give in to the concessions—even if they cut $20 mil, they'll still lose another $65 mil this year. The Boston Globe has an even bleaker outlook than the New York Times itself. Forget a "lifetime job guarantee"; start thinking about the Peace Corps. [Globe, NYT]