Herald puts up paywall, trims payroll more
Newspaper declines to comment on its actions
THE BOSTON HERALD is putting up a paywall and continuing to reduce its payroll.
Two long-time employees recently filed posts on Facebook indicating they will be laid off in June along with a number of coworkers. The Facebook posts said their jobs are being outsourced to Michigan. At least one editorial employee is also being let go.
Kevin Corrado, the publisher of the Herald, and Joe Sciacca, its editor, did not respond to emails seeking information.
Jerry Sharp, a 25-year employee who works in the ad layout department, said he and three of his coworkers were notified that their department was being outsourced to Michigan on June 15.
Sources say at least two reporters have also been told they are being let go.
The continued downsizing comes as the Herald attempts to bolster subscription revenues. The newspaper raised its print subscription rate last year and recently erected a paywall on its website, requiring readers to purchase a digital subscription to continue reading stories. A woman in the paper’s circulation department who answered the phone on Thursday confirmed digital content is no longer free.
The Herald was purchased out of bankruptcy by Digital First Media in March 2017. Jobs were offered to 175 of the Herald’s 240 employees, according to Boston.com, but it appears staff reductions have continued since then. The Boston Business Journal reported in August that nine advertising jobs were being eliminated, reducing the payroll to 110. It reported in October that 14 jobs were being eliminated, reducing the payroll to around 100.
Digital First Media, which in turn is owned by Alden Global Capital, a New York hedge fund, owns about 100 newspapers across the country, and is known for relentless cost cutting.In an editorial this week, the Herald urged readers to subscribe to the publication. “Our goal is to continue to provide the great work you’ve come to expect from our reporters and photographers, our columnists and sportswriters, and to keep Boston a two daily newspaper town – a rarity in America,” the editorial said. “Your subscription is an investment in local journalism. Your support will keep the Herald’s voice alive. If you believe in our cause, join us in our mission.”
The editorial did not mention the staff cuts at the newspaper.