In Other Things That The Internet Has Done to Journalism

We’re killing the Boston Globe:

Lifetime-job holders in The Boston
Globe’s biggest union who get axed would get $33,000 plus severance
under a proposed deal – but that’s a drop in the bucket compared with
the windfall publisher P. Steven Ainsley would enjoy.

Ainsley stands to pocket a staggering $1.5 million if he gets terminated, according to TheNew York Times [NYT]
Co.’s 2009 proxy statement. That includes $500,000 in severance,
$714,070 in non-qualified deferred compensation and $323,357 in
retirement benefits.

The publisher of the beleaguered broadsheet would get more than $1.2
million should he resign or retire, and just over $1 million if a new
owner takes control, the filing shows.

Ainsley, who came to the Globe in 2006 from the Times Co.’s Regional Media Group, made $1.9 million in 2008.

(I know, I know, Boston Herald hatchet-job, so take it with a grain of salt.)

A while back a couple of commenters asked if there wasn’t some financial upside for executives in letting newspapers fail, and I wouldn’t go so far as to say this would be a financial upside, but it certainly isn’t a downside, either. Whenever I find myself wondering why the powers that be seem to have so little determination to keep a newspaper running, I read something like this and remember that not only do they stand to get huge severances and in some cases bonuses plus “extra” compensation, but once you pass a certain level in a company you’ll pretty much never be unemployed.

So really, what the fuck do they care? They’ll find something. It won’t be their kids having to drop out of college because they can’t make tuition anymore, or them selling the house because they can’t afford the payments. They’ll walk away with millions. What possible motivation is that to make it work? If you told me I had a $1.5 million severance waiting for me I’d get myself fired so fast your head would spin. And if you told me you had a $1.5 million severance waiting foryou while I had to take a 10 percent pay cut? Well, you can imagine what I’d say to that:


Via Romenesko.