The demise of The Boston Globe may be closer than most of us thought. According to Boston.com, the New York Times Company, which bought New England's largest paper in 1993, has threatened the Globe's unions with a shutdown in 30 days if the employees don't agree to $20 million in concessions.
The Globe is apparently losing more than $1 million a week, and the Times Co. says it can no longer subsidize Boston's broadsheet, which was founded in 1872 and has won 20 Pulitzer Prizes. The Globe, the country's 14th biggest newspaper, has cut scores of jobs in recent months, but this hasn't been enough to get the paper out of the red.
Like most newspapers around the country, advertising and readership are both down. Dailies in Denver and Seattle shut down in recent weeks, while the two Detroit papers cut back on the number of publication days. Losing the Globe would be a blow to the city. The debate on civic matters would be that much less robust and fewer eyes would be keeping tabs on government at all levels. However, even if the unions go along with the move, it's hard to see how the overall trends get reversed.