New York Times Company Alerts Boston Globe Union of Intent to Shut Down Plant [Updated]


As negotiations ran down to the wire last night over millions of dollars in cost-saving concessions between the New York Times Company and the Boston Newspaper Guild over the fate of the Boston Globe, management notified the union that it intended to file legal paperwork to shut down the paper in 60 days. The notification is required by federal law for a company of the Globe’s size. Once filed, it doesn’t mean that the paper will definitely shutter, and labor leaders called the move “representative of the bullying manner in which the Times Company has conducted itself during these negotiations.” “Filing the [shut-down] notice is a difficult step that we would like to avoid,” Globe management said in a statement. “But, unfortunately, given the state of the negotiations, it is one we must be prepared to take.” According to the Times, circulation at the Boston paper is down 14 percent over the past six months, and it is on track to lose at least $85 million this year. An agreement has already been reached with the Teamsters, one of the several labor unions involved in the talks. If one can’t be achieved with the remaining three, the 137-year-old broadsheet will likely close — even though Arthur Sulzberger Jr., who purchased it for the New York Times Company in 1993, is said to be very unwilling to take that step.

Update: According to the Globe, the New York Times company reached agreements with six of the seven unions involved, and will not file the closing notification.
N.Y. Times to File Notice It Will Close Boston Globe [WP]
At Deadline, No Deal Yet on Boston Globe’s Future [NYT]
Agree or else, Globe tells unions [Boston Globe]