Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Boston Globe Staffers - Self-Inflicted Cuts Boost Parent Company Profits

While Boston Globe staffers, believing the hyped up dire situation presented to them, last July, accepted an almost 10% pay cut (combined salaries and benefits) during tough contract negotiations with management. Amidst a down economy, these staffers felt they had no choice when presented with a deal that was repeatedly rejected in previous months. (Boston Globe's biggest union accepts wage and benefits cuts, 7/21/09).

Meanwhile, even while total revenue was down, the $20,000,000 that staffers willingly gave back to the paper, boosted the $90,900,000 in net income that the parent company of the Globe - The New York Times Company - showed on it's books (Times Company Reports Profit for Quarter and Year, 2/10/10).
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Thus, the company was able to further pay down it's debt load, and further benefited from an up-turn in the stock market to aid their pension obligations. As the company ramps up plans to charge for some of it's online content, a 10.3% increase in the fourth quarter for advertising revenues meant $102,000,000 in income for the quarter. This helped reduce the net loss of 4.1% for the entire year, partially attributable to the recession last year. Thus, it would be reasonable to project that online advertising revenues will grow further in the coming quarters, without a recession to bog down growth.

It is unfortunate that staffers were hoodwinked into accepting a substantial cut in salaries and benefits, because the end beneficiary is the corporate profit centers, at the expense of the staffers whose content makes the paper great.

Remember, it's not personal, it's just business. Next time, don't give in, they are profiting out of your pocket-books.

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