By: Lucia Moses
TIMES CO. PLANS NEW MASS. UNIT
The New York Times Co. will operate its soon-to-be acquired Worcester, Mass., Telegram and Gazette in a separate unit with The Boston Globe, rather than with the New York Times Regional Newspaper Group of 21 smaller papers. The two papers are likely to pursue clustering strategies, but few details were available at press time.
“There’s a lot of things yet to be decided,” according to Globe spokesman Richard Gulla.
The Times Co. beat out several newspaper companies in a bid to buy the 106,748-daily-circulation T and G from the Chronicle Publishing Co. of San Francisco for 295 million dollars. The sale, cleared recently by the U.S. Justice Department, is not expected to close for several weeks.
According to a memo to staff from T and G Publisher Bruce Bennett, Times Co. President and CEO Russell T. Lewis said the proximity of the Globe and the T and G, which serves central Massachusetts on the edge of the Globe’s market, made them a natural fit. Bennett was away last week and couldn’t be reached for comment.
Lewis has said he sees the possibilities of the two papers gaining clustering efficiencies, which could include sharing printing, circulation, purchasing, and back-office functions, as well as joint ad buys.
T and G representatives said they didn’t have enough information on the operating arrangement to express an opinion on it.
“It’s too early to react to it,” said Tim Schick, administrator for the Providence Newspaper Guild, which represents about 150 T and G editorial staffers. “We don’t know where labor-relations policy will be set, at the Telegram and Gazette or Globe. The devil’s in the details.”
Kathleen A. Shaw, a longtime T and G reporter who heads the newspaper’s union, speculated that the papers’ cooperation could give T and G editorial staffers more opportunity for movement to the Globe.
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