Globe says readers to pay for Web site
The Boston Globe will soon begin charging for its Web site, publisher P. Steven Ainsley told the paper’s union bosses yesterday as the Globe’s parent New York Times [NYT] Co. confirmed in a regulatory filing that the money-losing Hub broadsheet is for sale.
News of the Globe’s intention to charge for Boston.com came a day after News Corp. [NWS] Chairman Rupert Murdoch announced his company would start charging for content at all of its news Web sites, including the New York Post, The Times of London and The Sun, a popular British tabloid. News Corp. already charges for some access to The Wall Street Journal’s Web site.
Globe spokesman Bob Powers said charging for Boston.com appears inevitable.
“It’s going to happen one way or another,” Powers said. “We are looking at several different options, and the goal would be to generate revenue.”
Ainsley also told Globe union bosses the combination of price increases and labor cost reductions, including $20 million in union concessions, have put the paper on better financial footing.
He said union concessions, plus $8 million in Globe management givebacks and the $18 million the company expects to save by closing its Billerica printing plant, have all helped, sources said.
The Times’ quarterly report filed yesterday shows the company spent $30 million to close its Billerica printing plant. Sources have told the Herald that at least one outside party was interested in the plant, but was rebuffed.
Ainsley refused to answer questions about the potential sale of the Globe at yesterday’s meeting, saying his Times Co. overlords had ordered him to keep mum.
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