Sunday, April 05, 2009

Questions for the NYT & Globe

Why $20 million? David says the paper's operating at a loss of $1 million a week. The NYT seems to say it's even more, now. If it's that bad, are they just content to eat the remaining $30-50 million? Seems to me that's not a good business plan, especially considering the NYT remortgaged its HQ in NYC for hundreds of millions, to have spare cash. That spare cash is out the door quickly if the Globe's truly losing that kind of money. It just seems like there's something we're missing.

How poorly is the NTY doing? What's the Globe earning for its website? Why isn't the company able to leverage more from that, despite the fact that is one of the nation's most successful newspaper websites, far exceeding its distribution numbers? Has the Times investigated whether it could sell the paper? Finally, what's the paper's debt service, especially debt taken from when they bought out the Globe? How much of that represents the $20 million/year the NYT is asking the Globe to eat? Perhaps buying each other out is a bad business model.

Via the second link, the unions are open to making major concessions. They just want to make sure management feels the pinch, too. Note management did take a recent hit. For the next nine months, they're taking a 5% pay cut -- but also getting 10 extra (paid) days off for the year. Kinda seems like a wash to me. The union should not be alone in taking this $20 million hit.

Update: I'm not the only one who thinks there's something fishy here. Either the NYT is fudging the numbers, or they've run the Globe to the ground to such an extent that it probably should die. If it's truly the latter, not only is it inept, but it's truly unforgivable.

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