Unthinkable, it is, and the unions are caught right in the middle. What’s valuable here? What’s the price to maintain the value?
The notion that Boston, home to some of the country's top universities, could lose its major daily would have been unthinkable before the recent nationwide plunge in advertising revenue. That dive has triggered a wave of newspaper bankruptcies and the closing of the Rocky Mountain News and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
A Globe shutdown would leave the city with only one daily newspaper, the tabloid Boston Herald, which has just 10 news reporters and is battling its own financial difficulties.
"From the moment the Times Co. purchased The Globe in 1993, it has treated New England's largest newspaper like a cheap whore," former Globe columnist Eileen McNamara wrote last month in the Herald. "It pimped her out for profit during the booming 1990s and then pillaged her when times got tough. It closed her foreign bureaus and cheapened her coverage of everything from the fine arts to the hard sciences."
McNamara, who now teaches journalism at Brandeis University, ridiculed Sulzberger as "the boy genius whose crack management skills have helped drive the parent company of two of journalism's most respected newspapers to the brink of bankruptcy."
The Globe says the parent company is seeking $10 million in savings from the Newspaper Guild -- the paper's largest union -- as well as $5 million from the mailers, $2.5 million from the drivers and $2.2 million from the pressmen.