Boston Globe delivery problems could last up to 6 months, distributor says

got a double-whammy of bad news regarding its switch to a new delivery service.

Boston Globe staffers helped deliver the Sunday print edition amid delivery service woes.
Boston Globe staffers helped deliver the Sunday print edition amid delivery service woes. –Suzanne Kreiter / The Boston Globe

Delivery problems with The Boston Globe’s new circulation service affected up to 10 percent of newspaper subscribers, and it could take four to six months before service returns to normal, the Globe reports.

That’s a double-whammy of bad news for the Globe, which last week switched delivery companies from Publishers Circulation Fulfillment to ACI Media Group.

Globe chief executive Mike Sheehan said the switch was part of a plan to provide better service, and that ACI brought “material’’ cost savings. Sheehan told the Globe he would not have made the switch if they had known the severity of the coming service problems.

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“Ten percent of our people not getting papers?’’ he said. “That was never communicated to us. That goes far beyond any reasonable definition of disruption.’’

However, ACI executive Jack Klunder said the company had warned the Globe of coming disruptions. Klunder said service will get back to normal in four to six months.

“We were adamant that these guys communicate to the readers early and often about the disruption that would take place,’’ Klunder said. “We were pretty clear about that and I’m not sure the communication plan was as graphic as I suggested it should be.’’

In a show of good faith, teams of editorial and business staffers for the Globevolunteered to help deliver the Sunday paper.

One key problem with the service was made clear when the volunteers were handed a delivery route “that appeared to have been prepared by someone under the influence of methamphetamine,’’ columnist Kevin Cullen wrote Monday morning.

“The route wasn’t circuitous. It was circus. If you handed an Etch-a-Sketch to a really drunk guy and told him to turn the knobs, that’s what our route would look like,’’ he wrote.

Gallery: Old newspaper ads in The Boston Globe

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