There has been some speculation that the Times is attempting to cut costs at the Globe to sell the Boston paper, which it bought in 1993 for $1.1 billion. Sources have told The Christian Science Monitor that the Times is negotiating with at least one group of investors, although under very strict guidelines, including that any talks be kept strictly private. New York Times Co. spokeswoman Catherine Mathis said in an e-mail: "It is our longstanding policy not to comment on rumors concerning potential acquisitions or divestitures."
The New York Times Co. had originally set a May 1 deadline for the Globe's unions to agree to $20 million in cuts, half of which are to come from the Guild. It extended the deadline through the weekend before negotiations reached an impasse Monday morning. Talks are expected to continue, although specific times have not been disclosed.
At issue have been salary cuts, as well as an end to lifetime job guarantees and other benefit protections.
"It does reflect the sudden changes in the business: Just the concept of lifetime job guarantees obviously seems outlandish today," says Matt Storin, a former editor of The Boston Globe who now teaches journalism at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.
The Boston Globe is what's known as a full-service newspaper, with bureaus around the United States and the world producing news tailored to Boston and New England readers. Mr. Storin says "it's obvious" that doesn't work anymore because of the expense of that type of reporting.