Herald Sox It to Globe

June 29, 2013

It’s no secret that Red Sox owner John Henry is one on the bidders lining up to buy the Boston Globe. Here’s how the Globe itself addressed Henry’s bid yesterday:

At least six groups submit bids to buy The Boston Globe

At least six groups are believed to have submitted bids to buy The Boston Globe, according to several people involved in or briefed on the offers.

The bidders, whose offers were due Thursday at 5 p.m., include several of the names previously reported to have been exploring bids, as well as Red Sox owner John Henry and his Fenway Sports Group . . .

Henry made his bid along with his New England Sports Network co-owner, Delaware North Cos. Delaware is owned by Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs.

The New York Times Co., which is selling the Globe, previously owned a stake in the Red Sox.


Leave it to the Boston Herald, however, to expose the dark underbelly of the potential deal.

4_0John Henry’s Globe bid raises fears

Sports coverage could be affected

Sports-savvy readers could be crying foul if Red Sox owner John Henry’s bid to team up with the owner of the Bruins to buy the Globe wins out, fearing the beleaguered broadsheet would shy away from hard-hitting coverage, according to media experts.

“If he owns the paper, he can give good coverage to the team,” said Edward Atorino, a media analyst with The Benchmark Company. “I know what I would do if it were my paper. I’d certainly want a bias to the positive of covering my team — come on.”


A bias to the positive of covering my team? Smooth analysis.

Of course, it’s a perfectly reasonable concern that the Herald raises, given hard times in the news industry and Henry’s past prickliness. It’ll be fun to see how far the feisty local tabloid can stretch it.

Like taffy, we’re betting.

Herald Once Again DisADvantaged

June 28, 2013

Why do advertisers keep snubbing Boston Herald readers?

Today this open letter to the Boston Bruins and the City of Boston appeared in the Boston Globe.


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Here’s the text of the letter, which is signed by Rocky Wirtz, Chairman of the Wirtz Corporation and Owner of the Chicago Blackhawks, and Blackhawks President & CEO John McDonough:

Hockey is a tough game. As impressed as we were by the strength, talent, and competitive spirit of the Boston Bruins on the ice, we were deeply touched by what happened off the ice. Rarely have we experienced the hospitality you afforded us throughout the playoff series between two incredibly gifted teams.

On behalf of the Chicago Blackhawks organization and the entire Wirtz Corporation, we want to personally express our heartfelt appreciation to your city, the Bruins organization, and especially the citizens of Boston for the remarkable welcome you showed our team and the many Chicagoans who visited.

From Boston’s political leadership to every member of the Bruins organization; from the players to the people on the streets, you demonstrated respect, good sportsmanship, and a genuine love for the great game of hockey.

Like the rest of the world, Chicagoans have been reminded in recent days of Boston’s strength. Please know we tip our hat to your city’s big heart and gracious spirit. You lead by example and have set the bar very high for others to follow.


So – all those hockey fans/readers of the feisty local tabloid got the same message, eh?

Nope. The message they got was, well, nuthin’. You get nuthin’.

This is the second time this week Herald readers got that message. As the hardreading staff noted, this memorial ad for Lt. Stephen F. Minehan, the Boston firefighter who died in a Charlestown warehouse blaze 19 years ago – this ad ran twice in Monday’s Globe, and no times in the Herald.


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We asked the folks at Pyramid Hotel Group, which owns that Marriott at Tudor Wharf, why it ran twice in the Globe but not in the Herald. No one addressed the latter part, but regarding the double play in the Globe one executive said, “It wasn’t intentional.” So the Globe made a mistake? “We’ll have to wait and see when the bill comes in. But I don’t think it was on purpose.”

An advertising executive at the Globe failed to answer our calls. We’re not holding our breath.

Herald to Globe: Tattoo You!

June 28, 2013

The Boston Herald gets the Murder Ink award today with this front page:


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The feisty local tabloid draws a more detailed picture in its lead story on the increasingly lurid Aaron Hernandez investigation.

Police investigating Hernandez in unsolved double slaying

Fallen Patriots star Aaron Hernandez is at the center of a probe into an unsolved 2012 double slaying in Boston while Dartmouth jail officials are scouring the troubled tight end’s wild array of tattoos for any gang ink links, the Herald has learned.

“We’ll be looking at his tattoos to see if there are any symbols that affiliate with gangs,” said Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson, who met with Hernandez yesterday after his bail was denied by a Fall River judge. “We have to always be vigilant around security and not place him somewhere where there are rival gang members.”


That would be Media Whisperer Thomas Hodgson, described this way by one Herald commenter: “Biggest self-promoter out there. Wants to [be] Little Joe Arpaio. What a blowhard.” (Watch his cringe-inducing interview with ESPN here.)

The Herald piece also includes this from a Los Angeles “gang expert” who says Hernandez’ tattoos “appear decorative.”

“It could also be a gang saying, like ‘smile now, pay later,’ ” [she] said, adding Hodgson’s team 
will spot it if they see it.


They’ll spot it if they see it. Beautiful.

Crosstown, the Boston Globe ran this front-page piece:


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Although Globe reporters also talked with law enforcement officials, there was no mention in the stately local broadsheet about tattoos.

Ink one up for the Herald today.


Being Ed Davis

June 28, 2013

Police Commissioner Ed Davis has officially become a litmus test in Boston’s mayoral race.

It started with this piece in Wednesday’s Boston Herald:

STON1329.JPGConley promises to retain top cop

Puts feud with Davis behind him

Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley yesterday vowed to keep Boston Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis if elected mayor, as a rift between the two men appears to have ended.

“Commissioner Davis and I have had a very close working relationship for many years now. We are in constant communication anytime there are issues involving the public safety in Boston,” Conley told the Herald.

In the past, the DA and Davis have clashed over jurisdictional issues and strategies for dealing with Boston’s homicide rate.


That triggered this piece in Thursday’s Boston Globe (which credited the Herald for raising the subject):

Boghosian_11menino3_METHalf of hopefuls for mayor would retain Davis

Following the Boston Marathon bombings in April, Boston Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis was praised for his steady presence during the ordeal and regaled with an honorary degree. His name was even bandied about as a possible candidate for mayor.

Davis decided to sit it out, but his name has remained part of the race, with questions arising about whether he would keep his post under a new leader at City Hall.

Half of the 12 mayoral candidates contacted by the Globe Wednesday said they would ask him to stay on. Five would not commit to keeping him. One did not respond to the question.


(Interesting foreground/background contrast in the photos, yeah?)

Related Globe piece on the mayoral candidate breakdown:

Yes: Felix Arroyo, John Barros, Bill Walczak, Robert Consalvo, Martin Walsh, Dan Conley.

Still deciding: Charles Clemons Jr., John Connolly, Charlotte Golar Richie, Michael Ross, David James Wyatt.

Did not respond: Charles Yancey.

Yet to comment: Ed Davis.

Stay tuned.


June 27, 2013

The Boston Herald always delights in any adversity visited upon the Boston Globe. So it was no surprise that Wednesday’s Schadenfreude Gazette framed the upcoming sale of the stately local broadsheet in the least promising way possible.

Boston GlobeIt’s time to sell the Globe

Bids due tomorrow for daily as experts say price won’t be high

Tomorrow is D-Day at The Boston Globe, as bids for the newspaper’s pending sale are closed by parent company The New York Times, and analysts tell the Herald their expectations for a blockbuster selling price are low.

“I can’t believe it’s making much money, if any money,” said Edward Atorino, a media analyst with the Benchmark Company. “Circulation is declining. Advertising is struggling. Boston online hasn’t really set the world on fire.”

Media expert Ken Doctor of Newsonomics predicted the Globe could sell for between $75 million and $150 million — a far cry from the $1.1 billion the Times paid for the paper in 1993.


Oh, and on the way out, don’t forget to tweest:

[T]he Globe has frequently been little more than an afterthought to Times brass, said Atorino.

“I just don’t think Arthur Sulzberger spends a lot of time worrying about the Globe,” said Atorino.


Wednesday’s Financial Times also reported on the impeding sale, but in a slightly more positive tone (tip o’ the pixel to Jim Romenesko).

1599e14e-5ef8-4aec-be72-373b829fab46.imgBidders line up for Boston Globe sale

Bids for the Boston Globe and related New England media properties are due Thursday, bringing its owner the New York Times Company one step closer to shedding the big city newspaper that has long been a drag on its business.

A handful of local financiers and Boston personalities are expected to submit bids for the group of assets in the $100m range. Evercore Partners, which is managing the sale of the unit, has told people close to the talks that as many as eight parties have expressed interest.


Helpful – if startling – chart:


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The Globe itself had nothing to say about the subject on Wednesday. We’ll keep you posted.

Battle of the Bulger: The Mutter of All Trials

June 25, 2013

The trial of reputed mobster James “Whitey” Bulger proceeds apace this week with the prosecution opening up FBI informant files detailing what came out of Bulger’s  rat trap as he sold out friends and enemies alike. But today’s local dailies have – wait for it –  different versions of Bulger’s reaction to the revelations.

Start with the Boston Globe’s report:

Jurors see FBI files describing Bulger as informant

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James “Whitey” Bulger fed the FBI information for 15 years about everyone from New York Mafia don John Gotti to some of his closest South Boston associates, sometimes blaming others for his own alleged crimes, according to detailed reports presented in court Monday.

FBI informant files shown to jurors at Bulger’s racketeering trial indicate that in 1980 he warned his handler that “an armored car score is going down in the very near future” and named six men involved, including his longtime friend Patrick Linskey of South Boston.

“They expect the score to be in excess of a million dollars,” top echelon informant 1544, code for Bulger, advised the FBI, according to the report. “[Bulger] advised that the weak link is Patty Linsky [sic] and although crafty, Linsky [sic] is a drinker and would be the logical one to tail.”


Then the Globe story adds this:

The files appear to contradict Bulger’s assertions that he was never an informant. The 83-year-old gangster seemed visibly annoyed as he sat between his lawyers in US District Court in Boston, reading portions of the reports as they were displayed on screens.


Actually, not just visibly according to the Boston Herald’s Howie Carr, who relates this (second-hand) story:

Top Echelon Informant? Low Echelon Informant is more like it. Whitey’s official number was BS-1544-TE. Fill in your own joke about the BS.

According to people sitting near the White Rat in the courtroom yesterday, he mumbled, “I am not a (expletive) informant.”


All righty, Whitey. You just keep muttering that.


Arresting Developments in Aaron Hernandez Case

June 25, 2013

Today’s Boston Herald features this report about faulty reporting in the ongoing murder investigation involving New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez:

Ronald C. Meyer DriveAaron Hernandez attorney slams media on false arrest claim

The lawyer for Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez blasted the media last night for “relentless” reporting of a false rumor of an arrest warrant issued against the 23-year-old, when only search warrants were filed with the courts.

Several outlets did report continually last week an arrest warrant had been issued. The Herald was not one of them.


Plug “Aaron Hernandez arrest warrant” into the Googletron, and you get this:


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Note the “CBS Local” included in the search results. Here’s a recap from the Huffington Post:

Conflicting reports surfaced on Friday morning over whether a warrant had been issued for the arrest of New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez in connection with the shooting death of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd.

Citing an unnamed source, WBZ News Radio in Boston first reported early Friday morning that a warrant had been issued and that the NFL star would be charged with obstruction of justice. Hours later, the Boston Globe would report, citing its own law enforcement source, that no arrest warrant had yet been issued in the case.

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And another local player:

Also citing an unnamed source, Bob Ward of FOX 25 had reported earlier on Friday that a warrant has been issued for Hernandez’s arrest. Ward also reported that Hernandez faces an obstruction of justice charge.


Neither today’s Herald piece nor a similar one in the Globe name any names in the false arrest claims. That’s why we’re here.

Globe Doubles Up on Stephen Minehan Memorial Ad at Herald’s Expense

June 25, 2013

Nineteen years ago yesterday, Boston Firefighter Stephen Minehan of Ladder 15, Engine 33 died in a fire on Boston’s waterfront.

On June 24, Lt. Stephen Minehan of the Boston (MA) Fire Department died after leading his company in a successful search for two other trapped firefighters at a blaze in a vacant waterfront warehouse. Minehan apparently became disoriented in the heavy smoke conditions and was separated from his company as they rescued the trapped firefighters. He radioed that he was trapped but several rescue efforts to find him were unsuccessful. He died of smoke inhalation and his body was recovered by his company several hours later.


Boston.com remembrance:


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Yesterday’s Boston Globe featured this ad on page A5 honoring Minehan’s sacrifice:


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Living in a two-daily town, you’d expect a companion ad in the Boston Herald, right?


Instead, the same ad – inexplicably –  ran in the Globe’s Metro section:


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What’s the connection to the Residence Inn Marriott? Tudor Wharf is where Stephen Minehan died, and where a memorial to him was established in 2003.

But, apparently, that’s of no interest to Herald readers.


Hark! The Herald! (Lame Subscription III)

June 23, 2013

The Boston Herald is still desperate to build on its current base of 17 home subscribers, so today it once again ran this recruitment ad:


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Always Relevant, eh? So why did the hardreading staff get a sports page this morning that didn’t have the results of last night’s Stanley Cup Finals game?

The newsstand buyers of the Herald got the story. The electronic edition readers got the story. Home subscribers, though, got the shaft.

On top of that, the heisty local tabloid rubs our face in it with that ad.

Not right. Not right at all.

Globe Floods the Zone with Hernandez Coverage

June 22, 2013

Both local dailies are on the Aaron Hernandez whodunit like Brown on Williamson. The Boston Herald devotes half its front page to it:


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Inside are double-barreled columns from Ron Borges and Joe Fitzgerald (the latter a Never Mind to a piece Joe Fitz wrote about what a great guy Hernandez was upon his arrival at Gillette Stadium.


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There’s also an editorial expressing the appropriate level of outrage (and actually quotes the Boston Globe and agrees with it – stop the presses!).

Meanwhile, today’s Globe also devotes half of Page One to L’Affaire Hernandez:


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But it’s what’s inside that elevates the Globe coverage to obsessive levels.

Here’s how they list the reporting of the main story:


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They had someone down in Hernandez’s hometown of Bristol, CT talking to his high school friends, and they sent Brian MacQuarrie to Florida to report on a shooting last winter that allegedly involved Hernandez.

And the best part of the Globe’s coverage is this Page One subhede: “Hernandez is largely out of view as rumors outdistance real news.”

Can’t wait for real news to catch up.