Ask John Henry: Seriously? Boston Globe Publisher?

January 31, 2014

UnknownThe John Henry Era at the Boston Globe is off to a, well, Henryesque start (see also John Henry Red Sox and John Henry Liverpool).

Yesterday’s press release from the stately local broadsheet:


Boston (Jan. 30, 2014) – John Henry Jr., owner of The Boston Globe, will assume the additional title of publisher and Mike Sheehan, the former Hill Holliday chief executive who has been consulting at the Globe, will become Chief Executive Officer, it was announced today. Sheehan will oversee all day-to-day business operations at the Globe while Henry concentrates on strategy

In October 2013, Henry purchased The Boston Globe and its websites, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette and its website, and Globe Direct, a direct mail operation. With the purchase, he became the third owner in the 141-year history of the Globe. Today, he becomes the ninth publisher.

“My main role as publisher is to ensure that the Globe has the right management and that management has the resources to accomplish its mission,” Henry said.



Then there’s this:

Sheehan, 53, joined the Globe earlier this month as a consultant to help improve advertising sales. As CEO, he will oversee the business side of The Boston Globe.


So, to recap:

The Globe’s owner is the paper’s publisher and an adman is its CEO.

Not good news for Globe readers.

Not good at all.


What Can the Globe Do for Brown?

January 30, 2014

Bury the lede, mostly.

From today’s Page One:


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From Metro page 2:


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It’s Good to Live in a Two-Guinness Town

January 30, 2014

From our Late to the Drinking Party desk

The local dailies were on rare equal footing in the ad department yesterday, as both ran the same full-page Guinness advertisement.

Boston Globe, page 9:


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Boston Herald, page 3:


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There’s also a companion TV spot that’s a total knockout.



Except it will no longer appear on TV because “U.S. Olympic Committee rules generally ban marketers who are not official sponsors from featuring Olympic competitors . . .  This year’s ad blackout runs from Jan. 30 to Feb. 26,” according to The Drum.

Our loss.

Whose gain?

The Five-Ring Circus.


Herald Devalues Patrick Speech

January 29, 2014

Last night Gov. Deval Patrick (D-Lame Duck Dynasty) delivered his last State of the Commonwealth speech, and today’s Boston Herald is on it like Brown on Williamson.

Start, quite naturally, on Page One:


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Inside, the Gov guff spreads across two pages (and a warm Two-Daily Town welcome back to the entirely random Little Green 1!).


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Howie Carr’s column features his usual mail-in mutterings, while Joe Battenfeld’s piece begins “There is no ‘I’ in team, but there definitely is one in Patrick.” (As my brother Bob says, there may be no I in team, but there is Eat Me.)

Then there’s the obligatory tsk-tsking editorial, and an editorial cartoon from the ever-clever Jerry Holbert.


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Combined, it’s a Full Herald, the journalistic equivalent of a Full Newark (white necktie, white belt, white shoes).

Attention-getting, but tough to look at for too long.


Herald Radio Sports Team Strikes Out

January 28, 2014

Looks like Jen Royle and Jon Meterparel are gone from Boston Herald Radio.

Boston Herald shameless print promo from last week:


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Boston Herald shameless print promo from yesterday:


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The writing was on the wall-to-wall promotion earlier this month. Royle had the stage on January 17 with her column in the print edition.


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But Chris Villani took center stage two days later.


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And now Villani has the 3 pm-6 pm timeslot that no one listens to.

(Who the hell is Chris Villani? See here.)

Meanwhile, @Jen_Royle is roiling the Twitterverse.


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More to come, obviously.


For Once, Boston Globe at a DisADvantage

January 27, 2014

As the hard reading staff has noted on numerous occasions, it’s normally the Boston Herald that gets shortchanged in the full-page-ad department, especially in terms of advocacy ads.

But not today.

Page 11:


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The outfit that funded the ad, Alzheimer’s Impact Movement, describes itself as “a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization working in strategic partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association to make Alzheimer’s disease a national priority.”

And Ed Markey? He’s co-chair of the Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer’s Disease. So good idea to suck up to him, although not sure why the Herald is the place to do it.

Regardless, here’s another thing today’s Herald has that the Globe doesn’t: coverage of Chet Curtis’s wake yesterday.


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Nice coverage, unfortunate photos.

Finally, the Herald has also cornered the market on Romney Redux reporting, with the normally level-headed Kimberly Atkins speculating that two-time presidential loser Mitt Romney might go for the hat trick.


So the feisty local tabloid goes two-for-three today. Better than average, yes?


Globe Comes Sort of Clean on ‘In the news’ Ads

January 23, 2014

As the hardreading staff noted the other day, the Boston Globe has crowbarred advertisements into its front-page In the news index.

Boston Globe Carves Out New Ad Space on Front Page

First it was the strip ad at the bottom of Page One. Now the Boston Globe has inserted advertising into its In the news index that occupies the lefthand side of the front page every day.

Monday’s Boston Globe:

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And etc.

Tuesday’s In the news was pretty much the same.


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But Wednesday’s edition had a Come-to-Jesus addition.


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Now, we’re under no illusion that the Globeniks pay any heed to the hardreading staff. But they would pay attention to the redoubtable Dan Kennedy of Northeastern University and Media Nation, who tweeted this on Tuesday:


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That, we’re thinking, might have made a difference.

Then again, here’s today’s installment:


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So the Globe removed “Advertisement” and added “Citizens Bank.”

Hey, Dan: Time for another tweet?


Walsh? Welsh? Let’s Call the Whole Bet Off

January 22, 2014

From our Tomato/Tomahto desk

Boston magazine’s Steve Annear had it first in a blog post yesterday.

Mayor Walsh Bucks Broncos Jersey Bet

He was supposed to wear the jersey at the U.S. Conference of Mayors, but he canceled the trip because of the snowstorm.




Mayor Marty Walsh has the snow to thank for saving him the embarrassment of wearing a Broncos jersey in front of his fellow mayors from across the country.

Citing the impending storm that’s set to drop up to 10 inches of  snow in the Boston area through Wednesday afternoon, Walsh canceled his trip to Washington, D.C., where he was scheduled to attend the U.S. Conference of Mayors.


And scheduled to wear the Broncos jersey at some point during the three-day conference.

But he punked out.

Today’s Boston Herald picked up the story (sorry, BoMag – no credit for you!) and added this wrinkle from Boston University’s Thomas Whalen:

“It’s probably not a good idea for Boston’s newly elected mayor to be wearing a Broncos jersey … but a bet is a bet. And he’s welshing on a bet. Does he keep his word? It’s not a good way to start.”


Waiting to hear from the Welsh Anti-Defamation League. Except there isn’t one. But this is a good Mike Royko piece.


Boston Globe Carves Out New Ad Space on Front Page

January 21, 2014

First it was the strip ad at the bottom of Page One. Now the Boston Globe has inserted advertising into its In the news index that occupies the lefthand side of the front page every day.

Monday’s Boston Globe:


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And the interloping ad:


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Yes yes – the Boston Herald also posts ads on its front page.


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But the Boston Sports Clubs ad is clearly set off from the Herald’s editorial content. Which the Globe’s Citizens Bank interloper clearly is not.

Paging John Henry. Paging Boston Globe owner John Henry.


Car Dealer Gets Ad-itorial Package from Boston Globe

January 20, 2014

From our What a Coincidence! desk

Several weeks ago the hardworking staff over at Campaign Outsider posted an item headlined Sign o’ the Time: Everything for Sale at Newsweekly, which included this ad from the December 29 Boston Sunday Globe:




Imagine our surprise, then, when we saw this in yesterday’s Boston Sunday Globe:

Seven things you should know about Ray Ciccolo



Over the last half century, Village Automotive Group has grown into one of the state’s largest automobile dealers, with more than 400 employees at eight locations. President Ray Ciccolo recently chatted with Globe reporter Erin Ailworth about how it all started. Here’s what she found out:


Ciccolo was only 24, but he already owned two coin-operated launderettes when he walked into the Gene Brown Rambler/Volvo dealership in Newton Centre looking to buy a “little, fuel efficient” Volkswagen to replace an old Buickhe had rebuilt from junkyard parts. Instead, he listened to a friend working at the dealership. Ciccolo left with a gas-guzzling Lincoln Continental — it got just three miles to the gallon — and plans to purchase the business . . .


And etc.

Not to get technical about it, but there are really eight things you should know about Ray Ciccolo.

We’re not saying there was any explicit pay-for-play arrangement here, but it’s hard to believe that a business editor wouldn’t know if an interview subject had run full-page ads in the paper, especially such self-aggrandizing ones. That might give the average editor pause, yes?

Well, in this case, no.

Coals to Newcastle, there’s also this on Page One of today’s Globe Score section.


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When Globe owner John Henry gave a speech to the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce the other week, he talked about new sponsored sections like Score that would deliver added valued to advertisers. That led the hardreading staff to wonder what exactly Globe sponsors would get .

We’re wondering even more now.