By Christian Stafford, news correspondent
After nearly two weeks of widespread newspaper delivery problems caused by a switch to a new distribution company, the Boston Globe rehired to its original provider, Publishers Circulation Fulfillment, Inc., on Monday to help deliver papers in some areas. Delivery rates have improved slightly since then, according to Globe representatives.
Subscribers began complaining of missing newspapers on Dec. 28 when ACI Media Group took over as the paper’s distributor.
A Jan. 2 email to Boston Newspaper Guild employees from Scott Steeves, president of the newspaper’s union, said that The Boston Globe is in “crisis mode,” according to the Boston Business Journal.
“I’m sure you’ve all heard about the papers not getting delivered this past week,” Steeves wrote. “We are looking for people to work tonight delivering papers in the Newton area.”
ACI Media Group did not respond to request for comment.
Boston Globe crime reporter Evan Allen was one of several reporters who helped deliver the Globe during the crisis, starting with the Sunday, Jan. 3 edition.
“[Court reporter] Milton Valencia and I delivered 147 Sunday papers,” Allen said. “Throughout the week, we were still delivering individual papers to different customers.”
According to Allen, the Globe subscribers she delivered to welcomed her despite going several days without receiving a newspaper.
Allen apologized on behalf of The Boston Globe for the recent lack of deliveries.
“The major feeling in the newsroom is that we’re all really, really sorry and unhappy that this happened. I know that the managers are doing everything that they can to fix this incident,” Allen said.
Northeastern University School of Journalism Associate Professor Dan Kennedy has been following the Globe’s crisis since it first started.
“The first day of the new carrier was Monday, Dec. 28. I saw problems on Twitter almost immediately,” Kennedy said. “My sense at first was well you know […], it’s a new carrier, they’re gonna have some problems, they’ll get it straight in a few days.”
According to Kennedy, the Globe plans to move its printing presses from its headquarters in Dorchester to a facility it is building in Taunton – a move that Kennedy believes could cause even more problems if the company fails to properly prepare.
“If they think that they can print in Dorchester one day and Taunton the next day, that’s gonna take a lot of planning,” Kennedy said.
According to sophomore journalism and media screen studies major Isaac Feldberg, some of the areas hardest hit by delivery issues include the towns of Newton, Peabody and Pembroke.
Feldberg said he has been watching the recent events unfold while working at the Globe for his co-op since Dec. 28.
“I first heard about the incident in a flurry of emails that started going back and forth,” Feldberg said.
He was on the email chain that was organized to rally Globe staff to help deliver papers but did not help with the deliveries.
Brenda Wrigley, a Saugus resident, was one Boston Globe subscriber affected by the recent delivery problems.
“In a two-week period, I received the Sunday paper, and I received one the previous Tuesday but didn’t find it in the bushes until Thursday,” Wrigley said.
After being a daily Globe subscriber for more than three years, Wrigley cancelled her subscription in response to the delivery issues.
“It’s really disappointing because this paper has a wonderful history and reputation,” Wrigley said. “This incident has severely damaged the reputation of the Globe to earn back the trust of the community.”
Photo courtesy Luc De Leeuw, Creative Commons