George Snell writes the Times shouldn't wait 30 days:
... The Globe still has more than 200 drivers, a printing plant, and enormous printing and circulation operations. Get rid of them. Move everything online. Firing reporters and editors - the staff of which is already bone-thin from previous lay-offs - to tantamount to suicide at this point. News is the only valuable commodity that the paper owns. It’s the only thing they can sell.
Restructure the editorial staff for a focus on news, businesss and sports from Boston, Massachusetts and New England - only. Get rid of feature writing (movie reviews, record reviews, etc.) and use freelancers. No more cooking, recipes, comics, etc. And then charge a nominal subscription fee for the content - temporary and call it the "Save the Globe" fund if they want. The fee is to shore up finances as they scramble to save the operation. Painful, but necessary.
Then start to experiment, restructure and try to make a go of it as an Internet only operation. Infuse blogging, social media, and user generated feedback. Build forums and wikis. The Globe needs to dive into the Web like no other newspaper before it. ...
... Frankly, I think Times Co. demand for $20 million in concessions from the unions sounds like a classic negotiating ploy, except that not even those concessions are likely to be enough for the newspaper to turn a profit this year, or the next, or the one after. Even when the economy turns around and newspaper advertising picks up again - even if only as a halo-effect - Globe employees may find themselves in a high-inflation economy where their employer still can't turn a profit. ...
The Outraged Liberal wonders what sort of losers are running the show down in New York, what with the news coming out only a few days after the Globe laid off and bought out a good chunk of the newsroom:
... I doubt the Globe will fold up shop in 30 days. I strongly suspect the unions will agree to concessions -- but only after they wring some promises of sacrifice from management too. The industry is indeed dying, but I can't see people voluntarily ending their jobs in this economic environment.
And we can only hope there is a white knight out there to scoop up the pride of New England journalism -- for a bargain price to be sure.
I'll start rooting around in my change bowl and penny collection. Anyone care to join me?
Dan Kennedy thinks the Globe will survive but wonders what's next:
... I don't think anyone believes this is a one-time deal. What will the next demand be?
Paul Levy, who knows something about saving failing organizations, writes Times management needs to be completely open with both employees and the public if it really wants to keep the Globe alive:
... If people believe it is their paper they will read it. Use the forces and opportunities of technology to make it happen so your excellent reporters and columnists can earn a salary and work on the really important functions envisioned in the Constitution.
Laurel Touby: The mother is eating the cubs for survival?
Constantine von Hoffman doesn't think blogs and citizen journalists could fill the gap:
... Just like any other craft, journalism consists of skills that must be learned. While a self-taught electrician may become as good as one apprenticed to someone else I do not want to provide my house for him to do his or her learning on. I do not know if I am a good journalist but I do know I am a damn site better that I was when I started out 24 years ago. I am better because I had people show me how to ask questions, how to listen to answers, how to spot a discrepency, how to verify facts and to face the facts even when it means the death of a really pretty hypothesis. Business and the government have entire departments devoted to nothing but spinning the facts, institutionally those departments are all living for the day when they only have to deal with "citizen journalists." ...