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Globe to print, deliver Herald

Cost-saving move lets tabloid cut 53 jobs

The Boston Globe will print and deliver the Boston Herald, starting this month, as the tabloid seeks to cut costs and prepares to move from its headquarters in the South End, the two newspapers said.

Under terms of the deal, the Herald will pay the Globe an undisclosed sum to print and distribute its editions in the Boston area, enabling the Herald to eliminate the jobs of 53 truck drivers and other delivery personnel through layoffs and buyouts.

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The union that represents drivers at both newspapers, Teamsters Local 259, voted unanimously to ratify the arrangement yesterday. The Globe is scheduled to begin printing and distributing the Herald Jan. 23.

A Globe subsidiary already distributes some copies of the Herald, but the new deal represents an unprecedented level of cooperation between the longtime competitors, with each to benefit in different ways. While the Herald saves on labor expenses, the Globe will take on more printing and delivery work, a growing part of its business.

Other functions of the newspapers, including editorial operations, remain separate.

‘‘This is an advantageous business opportunity to print the Herald and expand the area in which we currently deliver their newspapers,’’ the Boston Globe’s publisher, Christopher M. Mayer, said in a statement. ‘‘Given the overlap in our distribution, this just makes sense to do at this time.’’

The agreement comes as the Herald gets ready to relocate at the end of the month to an office building on Fargo Street in the Seaport District.

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The Herald’s publisher, Patrick J. Purcell, has entered into a joint venture with National Development to redevelop the paper’s current 6.6-acre site next to the Southeast Expressway. National Development, based in Newton, is planning a mixed-use project with retail stores and hundreds of residences.

In a statement, Purcell said the arrangement with the Globe ‘‘makes sound financial sense,’’ allowing the newspapers ‘‘to serve our readers and advertisers with a distinct voice.’’

Ralph Giallanella, secretary of Teamsters Local 259, said the union spent several months negotiating the best deal for its members. Details of buyouts and severance packages for laid-off employees were not disclosed.

‘‘You’re never pleased when a significant number of people with families lose their jobs,’’ Giallanella said. ‘‘We just tried to work out the best possible deal we could.’’

Newspapers around the country have entered into similar arrangements to consolidate operations and save money as readers and advertisers have migrated to the Internet for news and other information. In July, the Chicago Tribune reached a deal to begin printing its rival, the Chicago Sun-Times, and several of the Sun-Times’s suburban daily newspapers. The Miami Herald and Sun-Sentinel of South Florida agreed in 2008 to deliver each other’s products to cut costs and improve distribution.

The Globe will print and deliver the city edition of the Herald, Sunday through Friday, with the balance of its papers printed those days at a Dow Jones & Co. plant in Chicopee. The Globe will print the Herald’s full press run on Saturdays.

A Globe subsidiary, RSI, currently distributes some copies of the Herald to Southeastern Massachusetts, including Cape Cod and the Islands, and to parts of NewHampshire and Maine.

In addition to expanding that arrangement, the Globe will distribute several other publications now delivered by the Herald, including New England editions of The Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, and the weekly financial magazine Barron’s.

The Globe already has contracts to print and haul the Patriot Ledger of Quincy and the Enterprise of Brockton, and starting in February, it will handle advertising insert supplements for the Fall River Herald and the Taunton Gazette. The Globe also prints and distributes regional editions of The New York Times.

The Herald job cuts are part of a downsizing trend that has swept through the media industry in recent years. In 2008, the tabloid eliminated more than 130 positions when it closed down its presses and outsourced printing to the Dow Jones plant in Chicopee. The Herald has also cut its newsroom staffing.

Casey Ross can be reached at cross@globe.com.

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