The Boston Globe hires back former distributor to help with deliveries

Meanwhile, John Henry, the newspaper’s publisher, has issued an apology to subscribers.

–Pat Greenhouse / The Boston Globe

The Boston Globe has rehired its former distribution partner to help fix its ongoing delivery issues, Globe CEO Mike Sheehan said Tuesday.

Both the Globe’s new distributor, ACI Media Group Inc., and its old, Publishers Circulation Fulfillment Inc. (PCF), will be responsible for delivering newspapers within Greater Boston starting Monday, January 11, according to Sheehan.

The split service is in response to a difficult rollout for ACI Media, which has left tens of thousands of subscribers without newspapers since the change on December 28.

According to the Globe,Sheehan said ACI Media agreed to the reduced role and negotiations were “not at all contentious.’’

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Financial implications of the deal have not been disclosed.

Globe publisher John Henry issued an apology to subscribers Tuesday evening on the newspaper’s website.

First, I want to personally apologize to every Boston Globe subscriber who has been inconvenienced. We recognize that you depend on us, and that we’ve let you down. We’re working around the clock on a variety of fronts to solve this. To that end, I also want to thank everyone at the Globe who pitched in to get some 20,000 Sunday papers delivered last weekend.

In the apology, Henry explained how the company came to choose ACI Media as its distribution partner and where exactly things went wrong over the past 10 days.

He said ACI Media is highly acclaimed in the business, and that the firm’s bid was “substantially cheaper.’’

“We thought we’d found what we were looking for, but this overnight transition was much harder than anyone anticipated,’’ Henry wrote.

One issue, according to Henry, involved the routing software used by the distribution company being so ineffective that newly hired drivers quit after two days.

Henry pleaded with subscribers to call on their “New England spirit’’ of “steely resolve’’ during the wait for deliveries to be normalized.

“I hope you will have the patience now to bear with us as we iron out this integral part of our business,’’ he wrote.

The Globe has about 115,000 daily subscribers and 205,000 on Sunday. About 90,000 daily and 190,000 Sunday subscribers live within the territory ACI took over last month, according to the Globe.

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