Rule #1: Don’t trust anything Boston Globe executives say these days.
Exhibit A: Here’s what Globe CEO Mike Sheehan said on WGBH’s Greater Boston Monday night:
Mike Sheehan: Part of those options we’re considering are dividing up those [undelivered] areas and bringing in some other distributors to help and getting this solved very very fast.
Jim Braude: You couldn’t undo this and just go back to the prior company?
MS: No – no, ACI is doing a very good job in certain geographies.
Then again, there’s this in today’s lately local broadsheet:
Globe splits deliveries between two companies
After more than a week of confounding problems getting newspapers to subscribers, The Boston Globe has turned to its former distribution partner to handle about half of its home deliveries across the region, Globe chief executive officer Mike Sheehan said on Tuesday.
The deal with Publishers Circulation Fulfillment Inc. follows an unexpectedly difficult rollout for the Globe’s new distribution firm, ACI Media Group Inc., which left tens of thousands of newspapers undelivered in its first week after taking over distribution within the Boston region on Dec. 28.
So, to recap: The Globe tore the sheets with former distributor Publishers Circulation Fulfillment in order to hook up with new squeeze (the drivers) ACI Media, but now the Globe and PCF are friends with benefits.
Not to get technical about it, but Mike Sheehan seems to be telling the truth a little bit at a time.
Rule #2: Don’t expect the Boston Herald to tell you anything about the Globe delivery meltdown.
Once again, the fraidy local tabloid is a day late, dolor short. Ignoring a major malfunction by your crosstown rival is not just bad journalism, it’s bad business. But at least they’re consistent.
Rule #3: Don’t expect the Globe’s publisher to stand the gaffe.
After a long hibernation, Boston GlobeSox owner John Henry – finally – weighs in today with this mealy-mouthed Letter From the Publisher.
We apologize to our loyal readers
The Globe’s responsibility to this community is to bring it the news. I would like to share some news now about why we have failed to meet this objective for many readers over the past 10 days, how we are working to fix the problems, and a bit about the root causes.
First, I want to personally apologize to every Boston Globe subscriber who has been inconvenienced. We recognize that you depend on us, and that we’ve let you down. We’re working around the clock on a variety of fronts to solve this. To that end, I also want to thank everyone at the Globe who pitched in to get some 20,000 Sunday papers delivered last weekend.
Getting a daily newspaper to your front door is a complicated exercise in logistics . . .
And blah blah blah . . .
Helpful hint: Wear asbestos glove while reading the comments.
Rule the Last: When the paper you own goes Chernobyl, don’t turtle for 10 days, then tell us how tough your job is. It’s just not manly.
UPDATE: Totally forgot (since it’s become so routine) – no Globe today. The “delivery delay” list is down to 91, but the hardlyreading staff is still on it.
Quoting Joan Vennochi’s column from yesterday:
“It was also supposed to save $3 million to be reinvested in the news organization.”
It’s an insult to sell it as a benefit to subscribers when it was nothing more than switching to a lowball competitor. Wanna bet it’s the same deal with the recent change of the e-paper interface from the excellent NewspaperDirect platform to the new, infuriatingly clunky “improved” version – unreadable menus, incomplete menu listings, starts with yesterday’s edition, no jumpline links, hidden page thumbnails, etc., etc.
Absolutely right, Bill. See my latest post.
[…] Apparently we are not. From splendid reader Bill from Salem, MA: […]