‘Boston Globe’ Publisher Explains Cuts

By: E&P Staff

The Boston Globe will be cutting jobs as part of The New York Times Company’s overall elimination of 190 jobs announced today (see story elsewhere on this site). What follows is a memo from Richard Gilman, publisher of the Globe and president of the New England Newspaper Group, posted at media writer Dan Kennedy’s page at the Boston Phoenix online :


Dear Colleague,

Just moments ago, you received a letter from Arthur and Janet about workforce reductions at The New York Times and here at the Globe and other New England Media Group properties.

We’ve been talking about a portion of these reductions for months now as part of our Streamline to Grow initiative. However, during the past few weeks we have broadened the reductions in response to the current challenges we face in advertising at The Times and the Globe and the cloudy economic outlook for the remainder of the year.

These steps are simply good management, and I’m confident that none of the staffing changes will affect our ability to produce a quality product. For instance, as the New England Media Group has grown, we have created some duplication. Streamline to Grow focuses on eliminating that in financial and technology roles.

Many of the affected positions – approximately one-third – already are vacant. Notification of the other jobs to be eliminated will be made between now and, in the case of Streamline to Grow, the end of July. In some cases, because of contractual obligations, we will begin with voluntary separation programs and move to non-voluntary reductions where necessary. In a few other instances, the reductions will have to be entirely non-voluntary. However, severance packages will be equitable for all departing employees and will be based on years of service and current salary.

We realize that these steps create anxiety, even among our top performers. We can’t eliminate that entirely but let me reiterate a few important points: more than one-third of the affected jobs are already vacant; the bulk of the STG reductions will occur in financial and technology roles; in non-STG impacted jobs, all those in full-time exempt positions who are affected will be notified today; and finally, virtually all of the remaining reductions will be made in part-time positions. If you are not in any of these categories, there is a very high likelihood that you will not be affected.

As we move forward to complete the overall plan, we will continue to communicate with you about what is ahead. …

As Arthur and Janet mention in their message, conditions in the media marketplace remain difficult. But keep in mind that we have successfully made it through similar challenges in the past. I am entirely confident that we will do so again.

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