‘Boston Globe’ Publisher Explains Job Reduction Plan

By: Joe Strupp

Most of the 160 job reductions slated for The New York Times Company’s New England Media Group will likely come from The Boston Globe, according to Globe publisher Richard H. Gilman. Although that division of the Times Company includes the Worcester Telegram & Gazette and Boston.com, Gilman said the majority of job losses will be at the Beantown daily.

“A considerable number will come from the business department of the Globe,” Gilman told E&P Tuesday, shortly after the Times Company announced that at least 35 Globe newsroom jobs would be lost as part of a companywide job reduction plan.

Gilman added that the Worcester paper and Boston.com may see few if any reductions. “I’m not certain whether there will be any newsroom reductions there,” he said about Worcester. When asked about the Boston Web site, he said, “I’m not aware at this point of what their plan is, if any.”

Calls to the Boston Newspaper Guild were not immediately returned.

The cost-cutting plan announced Tuesday would eliminate some 500 jobs throughout the Times Company’s many operations, including 45 newsroom jobs at The New York Times, and an untold number at the International Herald Tribune and other divisions within the company. Times officials declined to provide any more specifics about how many jobs would be cut at each outlet, adding that they will likely come through a combination of layoffs and buyouts to be determined.

“It will be some combination of those two things,” Gilman said when asked how the 3,000 employees under his operations would be affected. “We will not have those decisions until the first part of October.”

Gilman, who has been publisher for six years, declined to provide more specifics on what prompted the massive cutbacks. He said only that it was the result of industry woes that have affected nearly all newspapers.

“Major metro newspapers across the country are experiencing difficult market conditions this year,” he said. “We are no exception to that. Steps we’re taking are prudent ones given the current business climate.”

When asked if the cutbacks were the result of Boston-based problems or more companywide financial woes, Gilman said only, “We all equally take on the challenge that we have in moderating our expenses in the face of soft revenue.”

Gilman would not speculate on how the cutbacks would impact the paper’s day-to-day operation or prompt changes in the news product. “We are always looking for more efficient ways to operate over time,” he said. “We have faced challenges like this in the past and have found ways to make the necessary adjustments.”

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