Boston Globe’s ‘Anything Can Happen (Satur)Day’

January 22, 2017

From our As the Globe Turns desk

When Boston Globe editor Brian McGrory recently trumpeted the coming reinvention of the local broadsheet (Hey! We can use John Henry’s garage!), the hardreading staff never imagined it would involve flip-flopping between formats for the paper’s Saturday edition.

A little over a year ago, the Globe introduced a new look on Saturdays, which we immediately labeled WSJr.

The Boston Globe unveiled a new look this morning, one that appears very much like a knockoff of the Weekend Wall Street Journal. (Sorry, no WSJ e-paper, so you’ll have to spring for one yourself, or – god forbid – take our word for it.) [Update: The Journal actually does have an e-paper now, praise God.]

Brave New Globe, Page One:

 

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And we noted this editor’s note from McGrory.

 

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So Metro, Nation, World, Business, and Opinion were all smushed together in the A section, while the new Good Life section was pure Wall Street Journalism.

But . . .

Yesterday, for reasons that went unexplained, the Globe reverted to its former format, with this Page One.

 

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And say hello to the old stand-alone Metro section.

 

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So, to recap:

The Boston Globe has a (relatively) new Saturday format.

Except when it doesn’t.

Okay then.

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Globe, Herald Are Tied in Slapping NHL ‘Loser Point’

January 15, 2017

It’s always pleasant when the scribes align at the two Boston dailies, and today is one of those instances. The point of agreement? The NHL system of awarding two points to the winner of an overtime game and one to the loser.

The loser point.

The Boston Globe’s Kevin Paul Dupont and the Boston Herald’s Stephen Harris crosscheck the league’s overtime policy as a leading cause of the stunning amount of mediocre hockey currently on display in NHL games. Under the headline “NHL’s ‘loser point’ never a winning idea,” Dupont writes:

Its existence routinely makes the game action worse, detracts from the entertainment factor, part of a much broader struggle in a sport where the E-factor has taken humongous hits in recent years with the near-eradication of fighting and the lack of goal scoring.

The problem is, coaches coach to the loser point, something not seen in any other sport. And for good reason. It’s awful.

 

Harris doesn’t like the loser point any better. But he notes the possibility of adopting the European soccer and hockey approach.

•    In games decided in regulation, the winner receives three points, the loser gets zero.

•    A team that wins in overtime of any sort — sudden-death or shootout — earns two points.

•    The team that loses in extra time gets one point.

Just imagine the value of wins in regulation — and the motivation that would provide for players to give their all, and not simply hang on until OT.

 

Maybe . . . depending on the standings, yeah?

But Dupont’s not buying it: “One common remedy offered to prevent such third-period “failure to engage” would be to award 3 points for a regulation win, 2 for an OT win, 1 for an OT loss. Count me out, if only on the basis of muddling through the already confusing standings.”

How about this: Two points for an overtime win, no points for an overtime loss. You know – old school. Just a thought.


NBC Boston Spans the Globe (But Not the Herald) II

January 8, 2017

The new TV kid in town has once again wrapped itself around the Boston Globe while stealing the Boston Herald’s lunch money.

This week’s wrapper is similar to the one that ran last Sunday, with the two skinny panels being slightly different.

 

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The two full pages, however, are the same.

 

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Meanwhile, NBC Boston’s heralding continues to be largely Heraldless (the lone exception, as far as we could tell, was a one-third page ad last Tuesday). You would think Channel Everywhere would at least throw an ad into the Sunday Sports section, maybe in the football pages.

But no. Instead, there’s this:

 

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That’s brilliant – can’t you just see that meeting?

“Chester- we need a half-page house ad for B17!”

“How about this one, Boss – our football fans love a good party photo.”

Yeesh.

No wonder the dotty local tabloid can’t get any ad love.


NBC Boston Spans the Globe (But Not the Herald)

January 2, 2017

As the hardwatching staff has noted, the new NBC Boston (not to be confused with the old NBC Boston owned by arch nemesis Ed Ansin) has an uphill climb to establish itself in the local market.

For starters, there are the 20 – count ’em, 20 – different dial positions the new NBC Boston occupies, as this recent Boston Globe ad enumerated.

 

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That’s not broadcasting. That’s Sudoku.

Not to mention, as we previously mentioned:

First off, check out the over-the-air options available to what used to be called “cable decliners”: 8.1, 60.2, 60.5.

Seriously?

Those are the same people who have a VCR flashing 12:00 . . . 12:00 . . . 12:00 . . .

You think they can find Channel 60.5?

 

Regardless, yesterday was the official launch of NBC Boston, which the new enterprise marked by purchasing the Globe’s home delivery plastic bag, as well as wrapping the paper with an ad that included two skinny panels:

 

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And two full pages:

 

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Today NBC Boston got a sort of gift with purchase from the Globe: This front-page Don Aucoin piece.

As NBC preens, WHDH regroups

The muscle-flexing — or perhaps I should say feather-preening, since we’re talking about the Peacock Network — began early Sunday morning as NBC Boston made its debut. And it never really let up.

NBC’s mission: to convince the audience its programs are so popular that viewers will not only embrace its decision not to renew its affiliate agreement with WHDH-TV (Channel 7) but will also follow NBC to its new spot, with its own identity in the Boston TV market.

 

(To be fair graf goes here)

To be fair, Aucoin’s analysis is no puff piece, as he addresses the challenges facing both NBC Boston and NBC’s ex, WHDH. He also details NBC Boston’s marketing flurry yesterday, from “saturating its airwaves with pointed reminders” of the network’s switch to “a daylong stream of ads spotlighting NBC stars.”

Interestingly, the piece does not mention the major ad bucks that went to the Globe itself.

Crosstown at the Boston Herald, meanwhile, NBC Boston has . . . been dark, running not a single ad to guide Herald readers through the numbers salad the new station is serving up.

Hey, NBCniks: Herald readers watch TV too, you know.


How a Two-Daily Town Works (Tito Jackson Edition)

January 2, 2017

Anatomy of a Local News Cycle

On Thursday, this Meghan E. Irons piece appeared on BostonGlobe.com.

In year-end note, Jackson makes his case to Boston

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City Councilor Tito Jackson, who is considering a run for mayor, has posted a polished, well-laid-out case for himself on social media, articulating his 2016 accomplishments.

The message, complete with glossy pictures of the councilor talking to students, rallying crowds, and holding a bullhorn at City Hall, was not specifically addressed to residents in District 7, which he has represented since 2011. Instead it was directed at the entire city.

“Dear Boston,’’ reads Jackson’s message, which appears on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. “It has been an eventful year for us all.”

 

With possibly an even more eventful one to come, if Jackson takes on Boston mayor Marty Walsh.

Then, as surely as day follows night, here came Friday’s Boston Herald, Page One.

 

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The story inside:

More signs Tito to take on Marty

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Operatives working for City Councilor Tito Jackson have registered the website titojacksonformayor.com and have drafted the campaign manager for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, further proof the Roxbury pol is gearing up to take on Mayor Martin J. Walsh next year.

Jackson also just posted a flashy “Dear Boston” online message to supporters citywide — pushed out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram — outlining what could be his platform for running for mayor . . .

Jackson, the District 7 councilor, has said he’s considering a challenge to Walsh and has increased his campaign fundraising and spending over the past several months.

 

Great sidebar: Bill Hyers, the aforementioned campaign manager for Bill de Blasio, is a partner at the political consulting firm Hilltop Public Solutions.

But . . .

Hyers is officially “moonlighting” for Jackson, since Hilltop’s New England office is “firmly in Walsh’s camp for the upcoming election,” according to the Herald.

Bring a food taster to their next office party, eh?

(Other Tito takes in Friday’s pushy local tabloid: A sidebar headlined From the ‘Dear Boston’ letter, and Hillary Chabot’s column Trump could give councilor a boost.)

Follow-up on the Tito Watch in Friday’s Globe: Uh . . . no.

So . . .  on to Saturday’s editions.

Once again the Herald was on Tito like Brown on Williamson, devoting all of page 5 to teeing Tito up (Inexplicable Little Green Numbers sold separately).

 

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Crosstown at Saturday’s Globe: Still no.

So . . . on to Sunday’s editions.

The fading local tabloid featured only this 2017 prediction in a column by Boston Herald Radio yakker John Sapochetti.

• Mayor Martin J. Walsh will narrowly win his re-election bid over Tito Jackson.

 

Crosstown at Sunday’s Globe: Even more no.

So . . . today’s editions.

Tito stories in toto: Zero.

See ya next cycle.