Google: ‘Support Local News’ Except Boston Herald

June 14, 2020

Google’s $15 million Support Local News campaign made its Boston debut today with this full-page ad on A5 of the Boston Sunday Globe.

 

 

Here’s the body copy.

 

 

Poynter’s Kristen Hare noted the other day that the campaign’s heart is in the right place, even though its wallet might be a bit slim.

“Support Local News,” from the Google News Initiative, Local Media Consortium and Local Media Association will spend $15 million in ads in local newspapers, their sites, radio, TV and online-only newsrooms in North America for the next six weeks . . .

Google did not say how much each newsroom was getting. But let’s say there are 3,000 of them and they’re each getting an equal amount, that’s about $5,000 each.

That’s likely not enough to prevent layoffs, furloughs, pay cuts or to save a newsroom on the brink of closing. But it does set an example for brands and advertisers to invest directly into local news, Fran Wills, CEO of LMC, told Poynter.

 

So far at least, the Boston Herald is not one of the lucky newsrooms. So the headscratching staff sent this message to the Googleniks:

“[We’re] curious why you ran a full-page ad in the Boston Globe today but nothing in the Boston Herald. Given that this is one of the few two-daily towns left, one would think you’d look to support both local papers. Any particular reason you’re not?”

We will, as always, keep you posted.


Boston Herald Jacks Up Newsstand Price by 40%

June 8, 2020

Sharp-eyed commenter Mark sent this heads-up to the hardreading staff today.

Maybe it’s the lack of ads, but did you notice that the newsstand price of The Herald went up to $3.50 last week? $3.50! More than The NY Times, the Globe, and almost as much as the New York Daily News and the New York Post together! Who is going to be so devoted to Howie Carr, yet so undevoted to home delivery or ipad reading, as to pay that much every morning?

(For the single copy price of 3 months of Heralds, you can get home delivery for a year. For less than 3 weeks of single copy Heralds, you can read the e-edition for a year.)

 

The truth is, we hadn’t noticed. When we checked, though, we discovered that a week ago the newsstand price of the costly local tabloid went from this . . .

 

 

. . . to this.

 

(Newsstand prices for both the Boston Globe and the New York Times are $3 weekdays and $6 Sunday, if you’re keeping score at home.)

While the hike might be startling, it’s hardly surprising. Herald ad revenues are increasingly anemic, and print circulation is deep into its death spiral, as the Boston Business Journal’s redoubtable Don Seiffert reported last month.

The Herald’s print circulation was just under 30,000 as of the first quarter of 2020, with more than half of that from single-copy sales at newsstands around and outside the city. That’s down 46% from four years earlier.

 

Eye-popping chart:

And then there’s this, also from Seiffert’s piece. “The size of the Boston Herald has gone from about 240 employees at the end of 2017, before its purchase by MediaNews Group, to just a few dozen today.”

So to summarize: The value proposition at the skimpy local tabloid seems to be something along the lines of The Boston Herald: You give us more, we’ll give you less.

Law of diminishing returns, anyone?


Editors at New York Times: ‘What’s a Boston Herald?’

May 25, 2020

Yesterday’s jaw-dropping New York Times front page has rightfully been the talk of the media world.

 

 

Also rightfully, the Times cited its sources at the end of the four-page roll call.

 

 

The publications appear in alphabetical order. Here are the B’s.

 

 

You see who’s missing there? That’s right – the Herald.

The hardcounting staff tallied 264 publications nationwide that the Times consulted for biographical details on the 1000 coronavirus victims who peopled yesterday’s list.

But not the Boston Herald (whose print circulation, the Boston Business Journal’s Don Seiffert reported last week, has fallen below 30,000 – down 46% from four years ago).

See our kissin’ cousins at One-Daily Town for further details.


Boston Globe Recycles Work of Other Newsrooms

April 15, 2020

From our No Credit Where Credit’s Due desk

Let’s stipulate here that the Boston Globe has done yeoman’s work covering the local coronavirus calamity.

But let’s also acknowledge that the Globeniks have occasionally drafted off the work of other news organizations in the process.

Exhibit A: This Page One Globe story last Saturday.

 

 

Moving piece. No mention, though, of the Boston Herald’s Page One story that ran three days earlier.

 

 

Exhibit B: This piece by Steve Annear in yesterday’s Globe.

Separated by coronavirus, 88-year-old Watertown man uses bucket truck to see wife at nursing home

“They could have lifted me 10 stories and it would not have bothered me,” Nick Avtges said. “As long as I got to see her.”

Up until recently — before everything changed — 88-year-old Nick Avtges would wake up each morning, have his breakfast, and then head out to see his wife, Marion, at the Maristhill Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, where she’s been living for the last year. He would stay with her all day, hardly leaving her side.

“He’s been a very devoted husband,” said James Tracy, president and administrator of the Waltham center. “He never missed a day.”

But in March, as the novel coronavirus continued to spread, posing a critical threat to residents at facilities like the one where Marion, 85, is staying, the center went from reducing its visitations to not allowing visitors at all.

 

Once again, no credit to the original story by Joanna Tzouvelis six days ago in the MetroWest Daily News.

(To be sure graf goes here)

To be sure, lots of other news outlets drafted off the MetroWest story without attribution.

But you’d think the Boston Globe – five days later – would be better than that.

Unfortunately, you’d think wrong.


Boston Herald Quarantined From Full-Page COVADS

April 5, 2020

From our Local Dailies DisADvantage desk

As the hardreading staff has noted numerous times, the Boston Herald has long been the wallflower at the local advertising dance.

And so it remains in the time of coronavirus.

To be sure, Kappy’s Fine Wine & Spirits has been a loyal customer lately with full-page ads like this one.

 

 

And Stop & Shop ran this thank you ad today.

 

 

But that’s pretty much it for the thirsty local tabloid.

Crosstown at the Boston Globe, though (wait – that doesn’t work any more since the Globe moved to State Street and the Herald moved to Braintree and anyway everyone’s working remotely so the hell with it) – the full-page ads are coming fast and furious.

Yesterday there was this ad from the Veterans Cannabis Project urging Gov. Charlie Baker (R-Bogart) to designate all adult-use Massachusetts cannabis dispensaries as essential services.

 

 

Auto magnate Herb Chambers also went full-page yesterday.

 

 

Today is even better for the stately local broadsheet. It got the Chambers ad again and the Stop & Shop thank you ad. But today’s edition also features this Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts ad.

 

 

Body copy:

And this Uber ad.

 

 

Body copy:

 

 

Memo to Blue Cross and Uber: Maybe next time send some of that love to the Herald as well.


The Boston Globe’s Saturday Print Edition Scam

April 4, 2020

As the hardreading staff noted the other week, there’s something up with the Boston Globe’s Saturday edition. First there was the abandonment of its WSJr format and return to the paper’s normal configuration, comme çi.

 

 

Then there was this.

The hardreading staff received a call [last month] from the Globe sales department offering us a couple of bucks off our outrageously expensive Sunday print/all access digital subscription for the next three months (which still costs half of our old seven-day print subscription) – plus the Saturday print edition at no extra charge for the next three months and beyond. Plus plus a buck a month thereafter off our old subscription price.

We were supposed to get our first bonus Saturday paper yesterday. We didn’t.

 

That was March 21st. Today marks the third Saturday in a row we’ve failed to get the Globe’s print edition.

We’re not sure what kind of scam this might be. But we’re pretty sure it’s some kind.


What’s Up With the Boston Globe’s Saturday Edition?

March 22, 2020

The hardreading staff is not sure what, but something’s going on at the Boston Globe regarding its Saturday edition.

Exhibit A: The Globe has apparently ditched its five-year-old Saturday format, which at its debut we dubbed WSJr, since it was so clearly a Weekend Wall Street Journal wannabe.

Representative sample from three weeks ago.

 

 

The whole thing was front-loaded – Metro, Nation, World, Business, Opinion all smushed together in the A section. That apparently was meant to clear the decks for a new section – Good Life – which was a thin gruel of lifestyle, arts, and culture.

Coronavirusly or not, the Globe has dumped that Saturday setup and returned to its default format the past two weeks.

Yesterday’s front page:

 

 

Metro and Business now get their own sections (B and D if you’re keeping score at home) and everything seems back to normal.

But there’s more.

Exhibit B: The hardreading staff received a call the other day from the Globe sales department offering us a couple of bucks off our outrageously expensive Sunday print/all access digital subscription for the next three months (which still costs half of our old seven-day print subscription) – plus the Saturday print edition at no extra charge for the next three months and beyond. Plus plus a buck a month thereafter off our old subscription price.

We were supposed to get our first bonus Saturday paper yesterday. We didn’t.

Regardless, we’re wondering why the Globe is doubling down on the Saturday print edition, since you’d think it might be the first to go if the Globeniks decided to scale back.

Actually, since we didn’t get the paper yesterday, maybe they already have.


FreePress to Boston Globe: Drop Coronavirus Paywall

March 19, 2020

According to Free Press, which “was created [in 2003] to give people a voice in the crucial decisions that shape our media,” while the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune and other dailies have dropped their paywalls for coronavirus coverage, the Boston Globe and the Los Angeles Times have not.

Thus, this Free Press post (tip o’ the pixel to Nieman Journalism Lab).

 

 

Here’s some of what Boston Globe Customer Service says about retaining its paywall:

Subscriber support enables the Boston Globe to produce vital reporting that informs and strengthens our community.  Our journalists have been working 24/7 with staff across our organization to provide reliable and helpful information to readers as news on the coronavirus pandemic rapidly unfolds. We are currently offering non-subscribers our lowest rate ever – full digital access to BostonGlobe.com at just $1 for 6 months, commitment-free.

 

(To be fair graf goes here)

To be fair, Boston Globe Media does tout its free coverage at Boston.com, which is sort of CliffsNotes to the Globe, as well as access to some content at STAT and a free newsletter. But that’s hardly the full-court press available at the mother ship.

Which, it seems, is exactly the point the Globe is trying to make.

 


Boston Globe on Verdugo Days Late, Disclosure Short

February 16, 2020

The story of newly minted Red Sox outfielder Alex Verdugo’s involvement it the alleged sexual assault of a minor in 2015 has been out there for over a year, thanks to baseball writer Jessica Quiroli, who chronicled the incident in chilling detail on her blog All Heels on Deck.

Nut graf:

She was one of the 75% of runaways who are female. And, as runaways often do, she found support where she could. Maybe on that February night in Glendale, Arizona, a city nine miles outside of Phoenix, she felt safe when she agreed to hang out with two women, who were a few years older than her, whom she’d met through social media.

Maybe the prospect of hanging out with Los Angeles Dodgers players, in town for Spring Training, sounded like fun. What she ultimately experienced was a twisted night of physical, verbal and sexual abuse. And, once she made her story known, she was subjected to more trauma.

 

The story has also been all over Twitter this past week. But there was nothing in the stately local broadsheet until this story by Peter Abraham and Alex Speier ran in the Boston Sunday Globe (and was buried on the website).

Verdugo explains ’15 police investigation

FORT MYERS, Fla. — New Red Sox outfielder Alex Verdugo acknowledged his involvement in a 2015 incident in Arizona that led to police investigating the alleged sexual assault of a minor by another player.

No charges were ever filed, and, in response to a question from a Globe reporter on Saturday, Verdugo said he was “cleared of any wrongdoing” in the matter.

“With that being said, it was a terrible thing that happened. It was in my past,” Verdugo said. “It was something that I’ve grown from it; I’ve learned from it.”

 

To call that eyewash is an insult to saline solution everywhere.

In addition, a number of significant facts were conspicuously missing from the Globe story.

 

 

One other thing missing: Disclosure of John Henry’s dual ownership of the Boston GlobeSox.

And before you bother pelting me with tweets, a) no, everyone does not know that Henry owns ’em both, and b) even if everyone did know, the disclosure should still be in there.

Yes – every single time.


Mike Bloomberg Even Has Ads in the Boston Herald

February 9, 2020

The chattering classes have no idea how far Mike Bloomberg’s staggering 300-million-going-on-one billion-dollar ad campaign extends.

Here’s conservative hall monitor Rich Lowry in yesterday’s Boston Herald op-ed page.

The level of his spending is truly astonishing — Croesus goes all-in on Super Tuesday. He’s spent more than $300 million on various forms of advertising. By the end, he’s going to make the profligate self-funder Tom Steyer — who managed to pointlessly buy himself onto the Democratic debate stage — look like a penny-pincher.

Bloomberg is running a presidential campaign that Curtis LeMay would love, carpet-bombing the airwaves every single day. He’s single-handedly changed the market for TV ads in many places. He spent $10 million on a Super Bowl spot, or about half of what Joe Biden raised in the entire fourth quarter.

 

And here’s what appears right below that on the Herald’s website.

 

 

Megabucks Mike is also running ads in the Herald’s E-Edition. This is what we got when we double-clicked for the text version of a Sinn Fein piece.

 

 

Most analysts – Lowry included – have focused on Bloomberg’s TV buys. But when a campaign is peppering the likes of the flimsy local tabloid with ads, it’s way beyond carpet-bombing.

Mike Bloomberg has gone nuclear.