Leave it to the tabloid sensationalists at the New York Times Co. and in the Boston Globe newsroom to make labor negotiations exciting. Their complex labor deal to save the paper is TOP SECRET.


And puzzling: The Boston Newspaper Guild says the tentative, 3 a.m. deal is being kept under wraps "out of respect for our members." Apparently newspaper writers and editors are touchy about, um, news reaching the public in a rapid fashion, before it's gone out through proper channels.

At least some people in the newsroom had the decency to leak: According to the Globe's story on the deal, which was reached at 3 am ET, the union gave ground on language guaranteeing lifetime employment to 200 members. There are presumably wage cuts, as well; the union on Sunday offered 3.5 percent wage reductions and a longer, 40-hour workweek.

Union members must still vote to approve the deal. By the time that occurs, details will presumably be made public. For management, the bottom line will be $20 million in annual savings at a paper that loses four times that. Just $65 million to go, Times Company.