Saturday, April 4, 2009

Boston Globe could close next month

The carnage in the newspaper industry continues unabated, and the next casualty may be New England's newspaper of record, The Boston Globe.

The struggling New York Times Company announced yesterday that it will close the venerable Globe unless its unions make $20 million in concessions. Union leaders said they were told the Boston paper would be shuttered if they failed to meet the Times' demands within 30 days.

In terms of newsgathering and, frankly, the safeguarding of democracy, the loss of the Globe would represent an staggering loss to the region. The news suggests that the New York Times itself is fighting for its life, as (former Portland Press Herald editor) Lou Ureneck told the Globe.

Earlier this week, the Chicago Sun-Times' parent company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Of the two newspapers I write for most regularly, one (The Christian Science Monitor) went web-only last week and the other (The San Francisco Chronicle) is facing the possibility of extinction. This winter two more papers founded in the 19th century, the Rocky Mountain News and Seattle Post-Intelligencer, ceased to exist. And, of course, here in Maine our primary newspaper chain remains on death's door.

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