The Boston Globe and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette are offering more buyouts. “I think the following line is on the save/get key of every editor in America: This may be the last buyout we offer,” writes Globe editor Brian McGrory. “At some point, good or bad, that statement will be true.”
The upbeat part of his memo: “The company has no debt. We have no pension obligations, which were left with the New York Times. We don’t have an owner looking to ratchet up margins. We have an innovative spirit. We have a deep, deep reservoir of talent and ambition. We’re simply looking to turn a modest profit, which the ownership will then invest in the enterprise.”
The Post-Gazette union’s memo follows McGrory’s.
From: “McGrory, Brian”
Date: July 29, 2015 at 1:39:06 PM EDT
To: [Boston Globe staff]
In the worst kept secrets category, the Globe is launching another buyout program next week, this one specific to the newsroom. Similar to last year’s, we’ll use it as an opportunity to direct more resources to digital, a vital undertaking. Different than last year, it will also help us cut costs as we continue our transformation into a predominantly digital, subscriber-based news operation that will thrive for many years to come. If we fail in our savings goal through buyouts, we’ll be faced with the difficult prospect of layoffs in September.
Everyone in the newsroom will receive a buyout letter as early as next week. There’ll be nothing terribly fancy about the math. It’s two weeks for every year of service – the same as severance. I think the following line is on the save/get key of every editor in America: This may be the last buyout we offer. At some point, good or bad, that statement will be true./CONTINUES Read More
A Romenesko reader tells me that Boston Globe editor Brian McGrory informed his editors earlier today that “special dispensation” is needed for stories over 1,000 words. I asked McGrory about this and he said that “it’s not an outright ban [on long stories], but a very strong dose of guidance.”
Any memo to share? “No memo, just word of mouth. I did write a sternly worded memo last August that offered the same guidance, and we got lengths down for a few months, only to see them float back up again.”
Were you inspired by Digital First Media editor-in-chief Dave Butler’s memo about story lengths and rethinking old news rules, which was posted here earlier this month?
“I somehow missed the Butler memo, so no, that didn’t inspire me. What inspired me was looking at the scroll bar on the right that never seemed to move fast enough, or turning to a jump page in print and seeing a massive block of type.”
* Earlier: “Do we really think every story must be 25 inches?” (jimromenesko.com)
* A commenter says “if you can’t say it in 300 words, don’t” (facebook.com)
In what is being called a “historic agreement,” Teamsters unanimously approved a plan Sunday to have the Boston Globe print and deliver the Boston Herald. About 50 jobs will be lost. Herald publisher Patrick Purcell says:
The cooperation among the Herald, Globe and Teamsters Local Union 259 is unprecedented in Boston, recognizing that it makes sound financial sense to consolidate print and delivery functions.
Media companies are facing numerous challenges, and a streamlined approach to operations will ensure the economic viability of both newspapers and allow each of us to serve our readers and advertisers with a distinct voice.
Boston Globe publisher Christopher Mayer says in a statement that “although a Globe subsidiary already distributes some copies of the Herald, the deal reflects a heightened level of cooperation between the two organizations with benefits to each.”
* Herald, Globe reach printing, distribution deal (Herald)
* Boston Globe, Herald strike deal on distribution (Globe)
“The New York Times has decided to get out of the podcast business,” listeners of The Caucus podcast were told last week.
That’s not exactly right, I’m told.
“Yes, we’re re-evaluating our podcast schedule for the coming year,” a Times spokeswoman tells me. “Some will continue, but many will be discontinued. Among those that will continue: Book Review, Science Times and the Front Page.”
John Geddes, managing editor for operations, says in a statement:
We’ve been producing podcasts for more than eight years. We’ve learned a lot by doing them and many have a loyal following. But a recent assessment of where the newsroom puts its resources came to the conclusion that there may be other venues and programs that may be more advantageous in connecting with our audience.
Boston Globe editor Marty Baron says in a tweet that his paper dropped podcasts years ago. “Big time commitment, little gain,” he writes.
The NCAA has asked US Patent and Trademark Office to stop the Boston Globe from trademarking “Munch Madness,” which is the paper’s annual “tournament of restaurants.” The college basketball folks fear that people might confuse the Globe’s promotion with their “March Madness” tournament.
I asked Globe editor Marty Baron for his reaction. He emailed:
We have a hard time imagining any confusion. It’s not as if folks are going to confuse foul and fowl, free throw and free-range, or MVP and EVOO.