Hard Times at Boston Globe

The photo may look as though it’s left over from coverage of Salem at Halloween, but it’s actually scarier than that. It’s New York Times Co. chief executive Janet L. Robinson. Here’s a quote from the Globe article featuring the photo.

Company officials… singled out “significant losses at the New England Media Group” as a major factor in the Times Co.’s weak performance in three months ending March 31… While every segment of the company’s business was battered by the steep advertising decline in the first quarter, the New England group, dominated by the Globe, turned in the weakest performance. Advertising revenue tumbled 31.6 percent for the New England group.

That makes it sound as though the Globe is dragging down a media firm that would otherwise be buoyant. But the graphic that accompanies the corresponding article in the Herald gives more detail. The 31.6% decline is $55.7M. For NYTCo as a whole, the decline is $334.7M, or 27%.

Other numbers also point to the Globe being about a sixth of NYTCo, and doing slightly, but not massively, worse than the rest of the company. No wonder Universal Adam put it thusly: New Yorkers blame Boston for their problems.