Hark! The Herald! (Adriana Cohen Plugola Edition)

May 4, 2015

From our Walt Whitman desk

You have to hand it to the Boston Herald: The selfie local tabloid finds endless ways to celebrate itself in its purported news pages.

Exhibit Umpteen, from today’s edition:


Talbots, Adriana Cohen help 
unemployed women find Success

Fashion is all about looking good. Who knew it can be used to do good, too?Adriana Cohen in a spring dress from Talbots/photo courtesy Talbots

Starting today, I’m going to be wearing stunning spring ensembles provided by Hingham-based retailer Talbots on my Boston Herald Radio show, “Boston Herald Drive.”

Each day, a new outfit, and you can view every one right on the Herald’s homepage. And after I’ve worn these fabulous dresses, jewelry and accessories generously donated by Talbots, I’ll be giving them to Dress for Success in Boston.


Put aside for a moment the whole concept of showcasing “stunning spring ensembles” on radio. And ignore the factory-installed bromides such as “There’s no doubt that the fastest way out of poverty is a good paying job. It’s the surest path to prosperity and achieving the American Dream.” (Ya think?)

Why the hell is this occupying a full news page in the flouncy local tabloid?

(To be sure graf goes here)

To be sure, this is a good cause and all involved should be applauded.

In a house ad.

Not in a bylined piece by (God help us all) a newspaper columnist.

Not to get technical about it.

Hark! The Herald! (Flack Scratch You Back Edition)

April 23, 2015

From our Walt Whitman desk

For years, the hardreading staff has noted in awe the ability of the Boston Herald to celebrate itself and sing itself in the paper’s purported news pages.

But Wednesday’s edition of the selfie local tabloid might represent its greatest achievement yet: An interview with the Herald’s editor by the Herald’s favorite flack.

To half-wit:

This purported column by barely read Talkers magazine publisher Michael Harrison about barely heard Boston Herald Radio.

Forward-looking Herald charting a new course

Boston Herald Editor-in-Chief Joe Sciacca is a newspaperman with truth in his heart, ink in his blood and digital Screen Shot 2015-04-23 at 12.40.50 AMvibrations in his brain.

Along with a multigenerational team of information practitioners, Sciacca has transformed what was purely a print publication into a multimedia news organization that spawned its own online radio station.


Seriously? Truth in his heart? Multimedia news organization?

Think the up to 17 Boston Herald Radio listeners know that?

You do the math.

Boston Herald Pitches Purcell Property

February 21, 2015

From our Walt Whitman desk

Call him Pat Pursell.

Boston Herald publisher Pat Purcell is a minority investor in National Development’s $200 million Ink Block project on the South End site that was home to the Herald for 53 years.

As the hardreading staff has noted, the selfie local tabloid relentlessly heralded last month’s opening of a new Whole Foods market on the site, which will also include luxury condos and apartments, retail shops and restaurants. One of those pieces disclosed Purcell’s financial stake in the development, but we’re not sure the others did (we tried to check, but they’re archived at $3.95 a pop).

Regardless, now comes yesterday’s full-page pitch (in article form) for the next Ink Block phase – two apartment complexes.


Screen Shot 2015-02-21 at 1.36.23 AM


Pitch-perfect graf:

Rents in the three buildings range from $2,529 to $2,804 for studios, $3,234 to $4,304 for one bedrooms, $4,104 to $4,704 for two bedrooms and $5,404-$5,804 for three bedrooms. Garage parking costs $325 a month.


Disclosure of Purcell’s financial interest in the project is conveniently buried in the middle of the piece.


Boston Herald Radio All Pimped Out to Advertisers

February 20, 2015

As the hardreading staff noted several months ago, the Boston Herald is not exactly covert in its catering to the few advertisers it manages to attract.

The Herald Runs on Dunkin’

As our Walt Whitman desk attests on a regular basis, the Boston Herald is a past master at using its newshole to promote . . . that’s right – the Herald. And now apparently, the fuzzy local tabloid is offering the same sort of ad-itorial package to its advertisers.

Witness the latest installment of the paper’s daily plug for Boston Herald Radio, the webcast that up to several people a day listen to.




Nice bit of venial synergy for Dunkin’ Donuts, eh? Lede of the “interview” at left:

Todd Wallace, field marketing manager for Dunkin’ Donuts, joined Boston Herald Radio’s “Morning Meeting” with Hillary Chabot and Joe Battenfeld to talk about the iconic coffee chain’s new products.


Now comes this piece from the Nieman Journalism Lab’s Joseph Lichterman about local newspapers that hope online radio can become significant revenue generators. Along the way, Lichterman nails the coffin shut on the thirsty local tabloid’s unabashed willingness to pimp out any part of its editorial content to advertisers.

Advertising has also been slow for Boston Herald Radio, but the station has been able to introduce new forms of advertising by integrating advertisers into segments of its shows. Last fall, a marketing manager for Dunkin’ Donuts appeared on the Herald’s morning show to promote Dunkin’s new dark roast coffee.

“Sales love it, we love it in programming, and the clients love it,” said Herald Radio executive producer Tom Shattuck.


The first and third of those make perfect sense. But . . . we love it in programming?

That’s just sad.

Free the Boston Globe Photog Five!

February 17, 2015

As the hardreading staff noted the other day, the 2014 Boston Press Photographers Awards have been awarded and, not surprisingly, the Boston Herald was quick to Walt Whitman its tally of four first place prizes.

Crosstown, the Boston Globe has been less energetic in promoting its ten major awards, not to mention its four-plus stellar shooters.


Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 1.10.51 PM


So the hardreading staff will do what the stately local broadsheet has failed to: deliver the good news about their shutterbug stars.

Jessica Rinaldi won four awards on her own: Photographer of the year, Best in Show, News Feature Story, and Portfolio. Representative sample:


Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 1.13.04 PM


Barry Chin won two: Sports Feature and Sports Portfolio.


Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 1.14.15 PM


John Tlumacki won two: Feature Picture Story and Video Multimedia.


Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 1.15.17 PM


Pat Greenhouse won for General News.


Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 1.13.45 PM


And the Globe shooters also won Team Entry.


Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 1.16.28 PM


Plus, both local dailies scored numerous seconds, thirds, and honorable mentions.

Congrats to all!

Hark! The Herald! (Boston Press Photogs Edition)

February 15, 2015

From our Walt Whitman desk

The Boston Press Photographers Association has given out its annual awards and the Boston Herald is pleased to tell you – in a two-page spread no less – that it took home four first prizes.


Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 3.15.54 PM


You can find samples of the flashy local tabloid’s shutterbugging here. And here’s the Herald’s shoutout to the winners:

Staff photographer Mark Garfinkel scored two first place awards in the Spot News and Politics categories. TheVictim Assist veteran lensman won the prestigious Ramsdell Trophy for a dramatic photo of a terrified woman, left, trapped by twisted metal and shattered glass in a car accident as first responders work to free her. His winning photo in Politics shows Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria and his wife, Stacy, right, celebrating the approval of a proposed casino in a city referendum.

Patrick Whittemore’s stunning photo of a Snow Owl in the blustery winter drifts in Newburyport was judged the best in the Animal class and Chitose Suzuki’s shot of an eerie early morning re-enactment of the Battle of Lexington Green was the top winner in the Pictorial category.


Crosstown at the Boston Globe, the stately local broadsheet garnered eight first place awards by our count, including Best in Show for Jessica Rinaldi.


Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 3.29.51 PM


Rinaldi also walked away with Photographer of the Year honors. The Globe just hasn’t gotten around to reporting it yet.


Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 3.37.19 PM


We’ll check tomorrow’s edition for further details.

Hark! The Herald! (Whole in Their Head Edition)

January 12, 2015

From our Walt Whitman desk

The selfie local tabloid seems determined to run a Whole Foods/Herald story as often as possible.

It started with this piece last Wednesday.

Whole Foods design honors Herald legacy


In the South End landmark where ink once flowed and the Boston Herald’s presses roared, shoppers will now enjoy frangipane tarts, cooked-to-order ramen and a milk + honey spa at Boston’s newest and most innovative Whole Foods.

The 50,000-square-foot gourmet supermarket is part of National Development’s Ink Block project on the site that was home to the Herald for 53 years.


(Boston Magazine’s Eric Randall immediately had a smart piece chronicling the Herald’s “screeds against the half of the country that columnist Howie Carr sometimes collectively refers to as ‘Whole Foods nation'” along with a roll call of the Herald’s Whole lotta love.)

Then Saturday’s Herald featured this update from Donna Goodison:

It’s a Whole new story at 
old Herald site


Whole Foods Market debuted its newest Boston store in the South End Friday — its second largest in the region and considered a flagship for its North Atlantic division — and co-CEO Walter Robb sees room in the Hub for another of its size.

“We’ve seen the city evolving, so we have lots of plans,” the Boston native said. “The opportunity to come in here and get 50,000 square feet — that’s hard to do these days, and I do think there’s another one (in the future pipeline).” . . .

Its South End supermarket is in National Development’s $200 million Ink Block project, the former Boston Herald headquarters site for more than half a century, and it memorializes the newspaper’s history throughout its decor.


Of course it does.

Then yesterday, there was this thoroughly readable piece from Peter Gelzinis:

From press to produce

The legendary author Thomas Wolfe was misinformed when he wrote “You Can’t Go Home Again.”117A1228.JPG

I’m here to say you can. But when you do, you’ll discover home has been transformed into the biggest Whole Foods store in Boston.


It’s a sweet trip down Memory Lane with Bert McNeil and Mike Bello, Danny and Dennis Messing, and especially Gelzinis himself.

But there’s also a subtext to all that Wholesomeness: “Herald publisher Patrick J. Purcell [is] a minority investor in the $200 million Ink Block project, which also will include luxury condos and apartments, retail shops and restaurants.”

So – a Whole lotta money involved.

And today?

Wholly absent.

But we don’t expect that to last long.


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