Did John Henry Buy the Boston Times?

October 31, 2013

On a day that the Boston Globe has produced fabulous, comprehensive coverage of last night’s Red Sox World Series Championship win, it might be easy to miss (and churlish to note, some would say) that the New York Times provided 50% of the paper’s A section today. (Associated Press 27%, Boston Globe 22%).

Page A4 was entirely picked up from the Times.


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Don’t get us wrong: We realize the majority of the Globe’s A section has to consist of wire-service reports; that’s the reality of the Texas-chainsaw newspaper business. Beyond that, we recognize the Globe is a big local newspaper with a big local footprint.

Not every day, though, features a World Series win. Almost every day, on the other hand, features an A section that’s Times Lite. Given the financial relationship that Red Sox owner John Henry just ended between the Globe and the Times, the latter’s lingering presence seems, we dunno, weak. And 50% is a lot of lingering.

Media Nation’s Dan Kennedy made a strong case last week about  Why John Henry should dump Times content. Today’s edition only buttresses that.

Boston Herald Subscription: Biggest. Waste. Ever. (III)

October 31, 2013

Well the halfreading staff just got another call from the Heraldniks (rhymes with nudniks) who told us yes, we would not get the Boston Herald delivered to our home today. We should get it tomorrow, though.herald-zap

But good news! As subscribers we have free access to the fusty local tabloid’s E-Edition.

Hey, tell us something we don’t know. As the splendid readers of Two-Daily Town are likely aware, we often find the digital version of the Herald useful.

But – news flash! – we take the paper because we prefer reading it in print form.

Apparently we’ll be doubling our pleasure tomorrow.

Boston Herald Subscription: Biggest. Waste. Ever. (II)

October 31, 2013

From our Or You Could Just Set Your Money on Fire desk

Call us the halfreading staff today. Earlier this morning we got a call from a Heraldnik saying the fusty local tabloid was experiencing printing problems so we might get our home-delivered copy of the Boston Herald this afternoon or maybe (and more likely, we’re guessing) along with tomorrow’s edition.

Seriously? Then again, we have had these kinds of problems before.

Just for the record, here’s Page One of today’s Boston Herald (via their E-Edition):


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And in the interest of fairness, here’s the Boston Globe’s front page:


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That one we got at home.

John Henry Is a Style-Drivin’ Man

October 28, 2013

Maybe it’s just us, but John Henry’s full-page manifesto in yesterday’s Boston Globe feels like the biggest self-indulgence this side of Shake Shack.

Here’s how it starts:

Why I bought the Globe

I HAVE been asked repeatedly in recent weeks why I chose to buy the Globe. A few have posed the question in a tone of incredulity, as in, “Why would anyone purchase a newspaper these days?” But for the most part, people have offered their thanks and best wishes with a great deal of warmth. A number of civic and business leaders have also offered their help. I didn’t expect any of these reactions, but I should have.7cb748e6869749269dc41b14cf239371-93906dba92494b9781882f912559498e-0

Over the past two months I have learned just how deeply New Englanders value the Globe. It is the eyes and ears of the region in some ways, the heartbeat in many others. It is the gathering point not just for news and information, but for opinion, discussion, and ideas.

Truth is, I prefer to think that I have joined the Globe, not purchased it, because great institutions, public and private, have stewards, not owners. Stewardship carries obligations and responsibilities to citizens first and foremost — not to shareholders.


Uh-huh. That’s what they all say at first.  It may or may not be different this time, but here’s what Henry says will be different in his restyling of the Globe:

• “The print newspaper will be attractive and easier to navigate. So too will BostonGlobe.com, which will provide subscribers with news updates and fresh information throughout the day.” Wait wait – back up. The print edition will be easier to navigate? What does that mean – fewer pages?

• “We will provide what we will call the Globe Standard when it comes to curated links that will ensure our readers do not waste their time when they click on news, reviews, writers, columnists, ecommerce, events, opportunities, and social engagement from any of our platforms.” Yeesh.

• “I feel strongly that newspapers and their news sites are going to rely upon the support of subscribers to a large extent in order to provide what readers want.” That sound you just heard is the price of the Globe going up.

The rest is a combination of oversharing and news media bromides. The one thing Henry does not promise is a firewall between the Globe and the Red Sox. Maybe because it was easier to navigate this piece without it.

The Globe/Herald James Taylor Coverup (II)

October 28, 2013

As the hardreading staff noted the other day, both local dailies either missed or glossed over the National Anthem Flub by Sickly Sweet Baby James Taylor at Game 2 of the World’s Serious.

To its sort of credit, however, the Sunday Boston Herald did sort of correct the record (without actually acknowledging the omission).

From yesterday’s Inside Track:

After James Taylor’s mini-flub on the national anthem in Game 2 of the World Series, the pressure was on Game 3 singer Colbie Caillat to hit it out of the park last night — and the “Bubbly” singer was feeling it! . . .

Taylor, a grizzled veteran who’s done three World Series anthems at Fenway, had a little blip in Game 2 when he started singing “America The Beautiful” instead of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”


No such recalibration in the Boston Sunday Globe Names column, though.


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The hardbetting staff is laying plenty of 8-to-5 there never will be.

Boston Dailies Put Up Airball on Bill Sharman

October 27, 2013

As the hardreading staff noted yesterday, both local dailies outsourced their obituaries of Celtics great/Hall of Famer Bill Sharman. We ended the post with this:

Very likely both papers will have remembrances in their sports section tomorrow. But for today, Sharman lost home court advantage.


Actually there was nothing in the Boston Herald, and almost nothing in the Boston Globe.  Just this at the end of Gary Washburn’s Basketball Notes column:

 Jerry West had some wonderful things to say after the death of former Celtic player and Lakers coach Bill Sharman: “This is a very sad day for me. Bill Sharman was, without a doubt, one of the greatest human beings I have ever met and one of my all-time favorite individuals, both as a competitor and as a friend. He was the epitome of class and dignity and, I can assure you, we find few men of his character in this world. We will miss him.”


To varying degrees, that is.

Local Dailies Squeeze Bill Sharman

October 26, 2013

Boston Celtics legend Bill Sharman died yesterday, and both local dailies outsourced his obituary.

The Boston Globe picked up the New York Times obit (apparently the Globeniks are not listening to the redoubtable Dan Kennedy at Media Nation).

Bill Sharman, in Hall of Fame as Celtics all-star and NBA coach; at 87

NEW YORK — Bill Sharman, who was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame twice, first as a sharpshooting guard who helped establish the Boston Celtics dynasty in the 1950s and then as the coach who led the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers to a record 33-game winning streak and Sharmanthe NBA title, died Friday at his home in Redondo Beach, Calif. He was 87.

A perfectionist as both player and coach, Mr. Sharman is also credited with introducing what is now a fixture of the pro and college games: the morning shoot-around, a light game-day workout to loosen up, set strategy, and prepare for the evening’s contest.

For 10 seasons beginning in fall 1951, Mr. Sharman teamed with the playmaking guard Bob Cousy to form one of the NBA’s legendary backcourts . . .


The Boston Herald went for the Associated Press sendoff.

Bill Sharman, at 87, played on Celtics champion teams

LOS ANGELES — Bill Sharman effortlessly straddled both sides of the Celtics-Lakers rivalry, winning championships and making friends from Boston to Los Angeles during a unique basketball career.Screen Shot 2013-10-26 at 3.32.20 PM

Even when he struggled to speak in his later years with a voice worn out from passionate coaching, Sharman remained a beloved mentor and a hoops innovator who saw great success from almost every perspective in more than a half-century in the NBA.

Sharman, the Hall of Famer who won multiple titles both as a player for the Celtics and a coach for the Lakers, died Friday at his home in Redondo Beach, the Lakers announced. He was 87.


Very likely both papers will have remembrances in their sports section tomorrow. But for today, Sharman lost home court advantage.

The Globe/Herald James Taylor Coverup

October 26, 2013

Sickly Sweet Baby James sang both the national anthem and “America the Beautiful” for Game 2 of the World Series Thursday night, as both local dailies kind of reported.

Boston Herald Inside Track:

Growing pains for Sweet Baby James Taylor

Five-time Grammy Award winner James Taylor is doing his part for a Red Sox World Series victory … and he’s getting some heat for it on the homefront!ADP_7076.JPG

“Well, you know it takes a long time for me to grow a beard, and this one is a couple of weeks old, and it’s not really a beard, I just look like an unshaven person,” Sweet Baby James told the Track. “There’s a lot of pressure on me at home to shave this thing off.”

But Taylor, who performed the national anthem and “God Bless America” at Fenway for Game 2 last night, said he’s committed to taking one for the team.


Boston Globe Names column:

Singer James Taylor, who’s been hard at work at his home in the Berkshires on a new album, took the turnpike from Stockbridge to Boston to sing the national anthem (and, with wife Kim and son Henry, “America the Beautiful” during the seventh-inning stretch).


But here’s what just about everyone else reported (representative sample via The Hollywood Gossip):

James Taylor Sings Wrong Patriotic Song to Kick Off World Series

James Taylor sang the Star Spangled Banner prior to Game 2 of the World Series between the Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals last night.

Eventually, that is.

But the veteran artist initially thought he was on hand to belt out a version of “America the Beautiful,” getting a couple of words into that ode to this great nation before course-correcting and serenading fans at Fenway Park with the national anthem.


The hardreading staff will let you know if today’s local dailies admit the omission.

And whether “God Bless America” is the same as “America the Beautiful.”

Oh, wait – it’s not.

Class Notes from Boston’s Op-It Gals

October 24, 2013

Two of the best columnists in town – the Globe’s Joan Vennochi and the Herald’s Margery Eagan (yeah yeah, she’s technically not an op-ed columnist but couldn’t resist the headline) – land on the same square today in their coverage of the Boston mayoral race: The “phony class war” as Vennochi puts it, or the “‘washerwoman’ fixation” as Eagan has it.

From the former:

BOSTON DOESN’T need a phony class war, fueled by labor supporters of mayoral candidate Martin J. Walsh — not when it faces the prospect of a real one.

Forget about new Boston versus old Boston. The real issue is rich Boston versus poor Boston and whether the next mayor cares enough to do something about it.


From the latter:

This “washerwoman” fixation is about politicians battling over who’s had a tougher life. That’s supposed to determine which candidate would make the better mayor, senator or governor — though I’ve yet to see any proof.


Both pieces are worth reading. Vennochi’s conclusion:

Where the next mayor came from matters less than where he wants the city to go — and how many Bostonians get there with him.



[Y]ou can’t fight class warfare if you’re both smart, powerful men in the same class. Vote Connolly or vote Walsh. But prince vs. pauper this race is not.


They’re both right.


Bootin’ Newton Schools a Textbook Case

October 23, 2013

Here’s what greeted the hardreading staff on Page 3 of today’s Boston Herald.


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The ad comes from an outfit called Americans for Peace and Tolerance, which describes itself as “[an]  organization composed of concerned citizens, academics, and community activists. As Christians, Moslems, and Jews, we are united by the need to keep America hate-free. We believe peaceful coexistence among diverse ethnic populations is only possible if we promote  a climate of tolerance and civil society.”

In this case, promoting it with some pretty aggressive advertising. From their website:

APT runs ads in multiple Massachusetts newspapers about hateful education materials in Newton schools

Starting Wednesday, October 23, Americans for Peace and Tolerance will begin to run ads in Massachusetts area newspapers calling on Newton Public Schools to removePicture 2 hateful education materials from their curricula. The ads urge taxpayers to contact Newton School Committee Chair Matt Hills and Mayor Setti Warren and express their concerns. The ads will run in the Boston Globe Boston Herald, the Newton Tab, the Jewish Advocate, and the Boston Metro. For more info on what students are learning in Newton Public Schools, go to www.opennewtonschools.org.


That Open Newton Schools website features this video, among other things.


That’s just one of 35 videos Americans for Peace & Tolerance has posted on its YouTube channel. The APT website lists Dr. Charles JacobsDr. Dennis Hale, and Sheikh Dr. Ahmed Mansour as the directors of the organization.

But wait! There’s more!

Parents for Excellence in Newton Schools has a website with reviews of the book in question, the Arab World Studies Notebook. And the reviews are – surprise! – not good.

The hardreading staff is trying to contact some of the players involved here. Meanwhile, keep an eye out for who besides us reviews this high school drama.