What is it about the Metro that makes the local press so bad at what they do? First there’s a rumor that the struggling commuter daily is going to be sold any day now. To show how grim things are for the Metro, the Globe reports that the paper’s circulation dropped from 180,000 to 170,000.
The numbers, though gleefully parroted by open-source mongoloid BostonNOW, the Metro‘s competition, turn out to be bogus. The broadsheet is forced to issue an embarrassing correction afterward, noting that the Metro‘s circ is actually up a bit, to over 186K (higher than the Herald‘s).
That was about a week and a half ago. This week, more reports started careening about, concerning a horrific bloodletting at the Metro. The Herald says the publisher, Stuart Layne, was fired in the headline (he merely resigns in the story), but they play it safe on specifics, saying simply that “several” staffers will get the boot.
The Globe, however—and this is where we point out that the Globe and the Metro are both owned by the same company—does the Herald one better: The publisher will be pushed out, the report predicts, eight sales reps will be canned, and the paper’s Gameday Sox section will be no more.
Pretty grisly, right? Wrong.
You’d think that if you worked for the company that owns the Metro, your sources would be a little better. According to a high-ranking source at the Metro, Layne really did resign, seven staffers were laid off in total (only two were salespeople), and Gameday is not being discontinued.
According to the source, after a good year in ’06, the paper went a little crazy with the new hires, and, in light of a tough fourth quarter last year, had to cut costs and eliminate some redundancies to make for better (ick) synergy with the Globe.
Said synergy could prove fruitful, provided the Globe can resist the urge to feed the Metro‘s competitors—particularly BostonNOW, whose inimitable prose stylings makes the third-grade Metro look like Anna Karenina—any more bum information about them. You wouldn’t think that was too tall an order, but, like they say, these are strange days in the media.
Source URL: https://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/2008/01/23/metro-not-that-screwed/
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