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.


Turn the Boston Herald Sideways, It Sorta Disappears

January 16, 2020

Since Digital Worst – sorry, First – Media bought it in 2018, the Boston Herald has been, to borrow a phrase from the great Raymond Chandler, thin as the gold on a weekend wedding ring, officially making the Herald the flimsy local tabloid.

And getting flimsier all the time.

Take yesterday’s edition: Of the paper’s 48 pages, four-and-a-half were given over to house ads such as this one.

 

 

Something under two pages were occupied by display – that is to say, paid – ads.

That’s non-business-as-usual for the fading local tabloid, which is suffering  knee-buckling decreases in both circulation and ad revenue.

As the redoubtable Don Seiffert noted in the Boston Business Journal last month, “[a]s of September 2014, the Herald had weekday print circulation of 60,960. As of this past September — six years later — that number was down to 33,337. Over the past year, the Herald’s weekday print circulation fell 16 percent.”

The paper’s Sunday circulation is even lower than its weekday readership, a distinction few metro dailies can claim.

Bottom line: The Boston Herald is disappearing in slow motion right before our eyes.

No wonder the hardreading staff has kissin’ cousins at It’s Sad to Live in a One-Daily Town.

And it will be, whatever you might think of the dodgy local tabloid.


Boston Globe Rejects Anti-Impeachment Ad

December 16, 2019

A recent item in Politico’s Morning Score noted that “nearly $11.3 million has been spent on television ads in Democratic incumbents’ districts [between October 1 and December 6], according to data provided to Score by Advertising Analytics. A whopping $9.4 million of that has come from Republican groups, led by American Action Network’s $4.4 million.”

Representative anti-impeach ad from AAN, targeting Rep. Susie Lee in NV-03.

 

 

Of course, one group’s charade is another group’s sham – witness the theme of this full-page newspaper ad from America First Policies.

 

 

According to an AFP press release, $276,750 of the $2 million advertising campaign is going to a variety of newspapers.

But not the Boston Globe.

The stately local broadsheet rejected this version of the ad according to a Fox News  report last night. (It’s in two pieces due to technical difficulties.)

 

 

Nuts to you graf:

The Boston Globe told Fox News that the ad “does not meet our advertising acceptability standards” but that it was “open to reviewing a reworked version.” The paper also insisted that it accepted opinion advertisements “regardless of our editorial position on any given subject.”

However, according to America First Policies, the “modifications” the Globe suggested included removing the word “sham” and using a “better picture” of Pappas.

 

AFP, in turn, told Fox News that “more than two dozen papers approved its printing, including the Chicago Tribune, the Des Moines Register and the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Kelly Sadler, the group’s communications director, added this: “We know the Boston Globe’s editorial board is pro-impeachment, but had no idea that bias extended to its sales department.”

The hardreading staff awaits the next shoe to drop.


Boston Herald Subscription: Biggest Waste Ever (VIII)

December 2, 2019

As one of the Boston Herald’s 17 home subscribers, the hardreading staff noted numerous times over the past few years how the print edition of the skimpy local tabloid was often missing late-breaking news and – especially – sports scores.

That deficiency became even more glaring when the Herald shifted its printing a year and a half ago from the Boston Globe’s Taunton facility to the Providence Journal’s Rhode Island press, moving deadlines up to, oh, tea time.

(That contributed in no small part to our dropping the print subscription after several decades and going all-digital.)

But at least the Herald E-Edition would deliver the the later stuff.

Not any more.

Here’s the E-Edition reporting on the New England Patriots’ unthinkable (lookin’ at you, Dan Shaughnessy) loss to the Houston Texans last night.

 

 

As it says at the bottom of the left-hand page, you can get full coverage of last night’s game here.

But at that point, why would you bother?