Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

New York Times Tells the Boston Globe It Doesn’t Have to Sell the Boston Globe

boston-globeThe cash-strapped New York Times (NYT), which has put the Boston Globe and its other New England properties up for sale, wants you to know that it’s in no way having a fire sale.

That’s the message Chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr. and Chief Executive Janet L. Robinson tried to deliver to the Globe’s employees this morning, reports…the Boston Globe.

Given that the Times engaged in some white-knuckled negotiating to get the paper’s unions to agree to big pay cuts and other concessions, repeatedly said that the Globe is bleeding red ink and has extended the bidding deadline for prospective Globe buyers, that seems like a hard message to deliver. Especially if you’re delivering it to crabby, ink-stained wretches.

The Globe, however, says the meeting was “largely civil.” But not entirely:

Today’s meeting, which lasted just over an hour, marked the first time Times Co. executives have met with Globe employees in more than a year. A common complaint among Globe employees was that the most senior Times Co. executives did not travel to Boston for a face-to-face meeting with employees at which they might have explained the paper’s financial condition and made the case for sacrifices.

The meeting today was contentious at times, as classified sales employee Jeanne Shimkus drew a smattering of applause when she attacked the Times Co. executives for imposing cuts on employees and questioned their credibility. “I have no respect for anything you say. And I don’t believe a word you say,” Shimkus said.

Sulzberger quickly moved on to the next question. “If you have no respect for anything I say, and you don’t believe anything I say, then we don’t have the basis for a conversation and a dialogue,” he told her.

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Nobody was excited about paying top dollar for a movie about WikiLeaks. A film about the origins of would have done better.

— Gitesh Pandya of comments on the dreadful opening weekend box office numbers for “The Fifth Estate.”