Globe Writing Own Obit With Recent Cuts

Photo of the old Boston Globe office by Tony Fischer Photography. Used under a Creative Commons license.
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The Boston Globe made some significant cuts this week, including a plan to outsource its death notices. According to the Boston Business Journal, the obituary department move will save about $200,000 a year for a department that generates about $8 million a year in revenue. “It’s a short-sighted way to save $200,000…They’re not going to have the relationship with funeral homes,” a union source told the BBJ.

Quick Exit For ‘Quick Study’

The Globe also cut five newsroom positions. Part of that shakeup will include the end of the four-year experiment with Evan Horowitz’s lightly-read “Quick Study” column. While the BBJ said the layoffs include one reporter, the newsroom’s librarian and two “longtime” newsroom assistants. Rounding out the bloodletting was the elimination of 10 jobs in the paper’s already decimated classified advertising department.

It’s not clear it Horowitz was let go or will be reassigned. He came to the Globe after working as an analyst at a think tank and a professor of 19th century British and French authors. “Quick Study” was wonky to begin with when it launched four year ago, but in recent months has increasingly focused on the minutiae of national politics.

The Spin

The “Quick Study” cut notwithstanding, the cuts seem to continue a trend by the Globe to continue to scale back local coverage. Good newsroom assistants are invaluable — or at least they were once invaluable — and the elimination of the librarian suggests the paper isn’t all that concerned with the depth of its coverage.

Still, Globe flak Jane Bowman tried to spin it as a forward-looking move.

“There has been tremendous investment in the future of The Globe for the benefit of our readers, our community and our organization,” she wrote in an email, citing the new mobile app, the “Last Seen” podcast in partnership with WBUR, and another podcast about Aaron Hernandez, the first-ever put out by the Globe Spotlight team.

Okay….find me a dozen people that actually listen to that Hernandez podcast and three who willingly wrote positive reviews on the Apple Store for that crap app and I’ll give you my next paycheck (keep in mind, I work in journalism so it’s not that big of a prize).

More on this story at BBJ.

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