The Boston Globe may have just a couple hours to live. In April, the New York Times Company, which owns the Globe, said they would be forced to close the paper if the unions representing Globe staffers can’t agree to $20 million in budget cuts by midnight tonight. As the deadline approaches, the future of the 137 year-old paper is still in doubt.
> Update, Saturday a.m.: “The Boston Globe received an eleventh-hour reprieve early this morning when its owner, the New York Times Co., agreed to extend the deadline for unions to agree to $20 million in concessions until tomorrow.” Boston Globe
Earlier this week, there were reports that hedge fund manager John Henry, who is the principal owner of the Boston Red Sox, was considering buying the Globe. On Thursday, the Sox released a statement shooting down those rumors saying that no “affiliates of the Boston Red Sox are involved in any sales discussions or negotiations with regard to the acquisition of the Boston Globe.” Also on Thursday, Globe publisher P. Steven Ainsley, sent out a memo to staff that was optimistic about the negotiations calling them “substantive” and saying he believes the paper will “emerge from this difficult period in better shape than when we entered it.”
Since then, the negotiations were complicated when the NYTCO revealed to the unions that they had made a $4.5 million accounting error in their original calculations of the cuts at the Globe. Because of the error, which he describes as a “huge, huge mistake,” Boston Newspaper Guild president Dan Totten says the Times Company should “credit us with the three weeks we spent negotiating in good faith” and extend their deadline. With midnight fast approaching, it remains to be seen whether or not the NYTCO will give the unions extra time. If the Times Company sticks to their guns, the Globe may indeed shut down if the two sides can’t agree to a deal. We’ll keep you posted with any further developments in this story.
Disclosure: Hunter Walker worked as a corporate communications intern at the New York Times Company from August 2006 to May 2007.