Boston Globe Herald Hostage (Unions Due Edition)

August 9, 2013

Among its many and varied talents, the Boston Herald has an uncanny ability to find the cloud inside the silver lining. Especially when it comes to crosstown rival Boston Globe.

To wit, today:

_AN18604.JPGIt’s wait, see for Globe’s unions

Union bigs at The Boston Globe said they’ll keep an open mind about new owner John Henry even as they face the unpleasant task of immediate negotiations over new contracts.

“I think guarded optimism is the right term,” said Martin Callaghan, the president of the Boston Newspaper Printing Pressmen’s Union. “John Henry seems to be saying the right things, but ultimately it comes down to who he surrounds himself with. We don’t necessarily view him as a newspaper guy, so it’ll be interesting to see if he keeps the current management and who he brings in for day-to-day operations.”

 

Union contracts at the Globe expired seven months ago.  They won’t be addressed until Henry takes full ownership, but we’re not sure the following was a good omen:

Henry toured the Globe newsroom Monday and met with editors and reporters, but hasn’t held any meet-and-greets with either the pressmen or delivery drivers.

 

Uh-huh. You think dealing with the MLB Players Association is tough, Yacht Boy? Wait till you sit down with the Teamsters.

 


Boston Globe Herald Hostage (‘More Higher Bid’ Edition)

August 4, 2013

As you’d expect, the Boston Herald is on John Henry’s purchase of its crosstown rival like Brown on Williamson. Here’s today’s double-barreled shot at the Globe (don’t ask about the little green numbers – dunno):

Picture 5

 

To get a sense of the first runner-up in the Boston Globe’s automatic markdown sale, check out the lead story:

San Diego PublisherSan Diego bidder questions Globe buy

A losing Boston Globe contender is claiming his San Diego media company outbid Red Sox owner John Henry — and would have gone even higher — a bombshell allegation that he says could delay the deal and leave the New York Times Co. open to shareholder backlash.
“We bid significantly more than Henry,” said John Lynch, the CEO of U-T San Diego, one of the Globe finalists. “At the end of the day, I’m certain our bid was higher and could have been a lot more higher if they had just asked. I’m just stunned. I thought this was a public company that had a fiduciary duty to get the most by its stockholders. … From the beginning, I don’t think they wanted to sell to us.”

 

Maybe they had grammatical objections. Or maybe it was U-T San Diego owner Douglas Manchester’s reputation for “aggressively influencing his paper’s editorial content.”

Regardless, Lynch added that “there are going to be ramifications to it because we spent a lot of money that we didn’t need to spend or are interested in spending if there wasn’t going to be a fair auction.”

Speaking of unfair, here’s Howie Carr’s contribution to the rumpus (and by unfair we don’t mean to the Globe, but to Herald readers who pay good money for this recycled slop):

2STU7713.JPGFriendly advice for new media mogul

There’s a sucker born every minute.

That’s the first thought that comes to mind about John Henry’s purchase of The Boston Globe and other assorted media dinosaurs for $70 million in cash. In other words, as someone noted yesterday, John Henry’s 164-foot yacht may well be worth more than his crumbling newspaper empire . . .

We’ll know John Henry’s gone native if he shows up on Morrissey Boulevard tomorrow wearing a bow tie.

Speaking of which, the Globe’s rumpswabs are surely in a dither this morning. So many new rear-ends to kiss, as Alexander Cockburn once said when his newspaper changed hands. Don’t worry though — they don’t call them bow-tied bumkissers for nothing.

 

What, is there some hackbot that assembles this crap? Get some new material, man.

The Globe, for its part, tries to play it straight with this front-page splash:

 

Picture 8

 

And this may be the reason the U-T San Diego more higher bid didn’t cut it with the Times Co.

henry-big-4766Adding the Globe to his Boston constellation

Red Sox owner had two advantages in his bid: a local profile and a cash offer

Red Sox principal owner John W. Henry, who early Saturday signed a deal to buy The Boston Globe from the New York Times Co., prevailed over a half-dozen rival bidders for two main reasons: He was rooted in Boston and had plenty of cash.

Henry agreed to pay $70 million for the 141-year-old Globe, its websites, and affiliated properties, the Times Co. said. The deal followed weeks of negotiations that culminated in a marathon session Friday night, with Henry and his lawyers ensconced in his suite at Fenway Park, trading calls and messages with Times Co. officials as the Arizona Diamondbacks edged out the Red Sox.

 

Regarding the other bidders, the Globe piece says this:

[Henry’s] was not the highest bid for the Globe, according to people involved in the process. But his offer was appealing to the Times Co. because it was cash, unencumbered by financing issues or a bevy of investment partners. One executive working for the Times Co. said the key was who was best able to get the financing together and close the deal relatively quickly.

 

Not surprisingly, both papers have stories about the potential conflict of interest the sale creates (Globe here, Herald here).

As the Big J journalists say, time will tell.


Boston Globe Herald Hostage (Fire Sale Edition)

August 2, 2013

Pop Quiz: How many kidney punches can you count in the lede of this Boston Herald story today?

1STU9781.JPGThe Boston Globe drags down Times

Falling revenue at the Boston Globe’s media group only heightens the urgency for The New York Times to finally unload the newspaper — even at a disappointingly low sales price — before it can drain any more of the company’s attention and resources, newspaper experts told the Herald.

“That paper’s still struggling,” said Ed Atorino, a media analyst for The Benchmark Co. “They can’t wait to get rid of it, so I see them giving it away to somebody. It’s been going downhill, taking up a lot of management time. It’s really been a disappointing asset. I think they wanted to sell it a long time ago and couldn’t.”

 

The piece says Globe revenues were down 7 percent last quarter: ad revenue fell 10 percent, circulation revenue 2 percent,  other revenues 14 percent. The Herald doesn’t mention  where it got those numbers, although it attributed them to “Times execs” in a previous piece.

The feisty local tabloid also doesn’t mention its own dismal numbers during the past year: a knee-buckling 11.6% decline in daily circulation and  a 10.8% dip on Sunday.

Then again, that would just be pulling its punches.

(Answer to our Pop Quiz: Twelve.)

 


Boston Globe Herald Hostage, Day 4

February 24, 2013

The Schadenfreude Gazette is so desperate for new ways every day to bash the Globe over its impending sale, the feisty local tabloid is willfully ignoring reality just to get in some cheap shots. Today’s case in point (no idea why the “1” is upper right, but couldn’t get rid of it):

Picture 1

 

Let’s skip over Howie Carr’s bulk-mail offering (“I have next to nothing in common with the pampered pukes of Morrissey Boulevard — I went to a state college, I’m not in the Social Register, I don’t have a trust fund, I wasn’t born and raised on Park Avenue, I never summered in the Hamptons” blah blah blah) and go right to the alleged news report.

121611globemh01.1Murdoch, Times have mutual interest in bid

Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, reported to be on The New York Times Co.’s shortlist of suitors for its Boston Globe, would be a bargain hunter looking to get the Hub newspaper on the cheap from his archrival at the Times, who in turn could use the News Corp. chairman’s bid to drive up the price of other offers, according to media analysts.

“The perception is that Rupert is the leading buyer of newspapers in the country if not, I suppose, the world. So obviously … if you are selling a newspaper, you certainly want him in the action,” said Vanity Fair contributing editor Michael Wolff, author of “The Man Who Owns the News: Inside the Secret World of Rupert Murdoch.”

 

This is just refried slop from yesterday’s edition, complete with quotes from the reptilian Michael Wolff. It also recycles this piece from the Wall Street Journal:

The Wall Street Journal, which Murdoch’s company bought from the Bancroft family for $5 billion in 2007, cited sources in reporting Friday that the Times Co. is “hoping to draw a bid” from Murdoch — even as the Times has been in talks with another potential buyer who submitted a 
$100 million bid last month.

 

Problem is, they forgot to crib the most important part:

News Corp.’s ownership of a television station in Boston would rule out purchase of the Globe, given regulatory rules that prohibit companies owning a newspaper and a TV station in the same market, said a person familiar with the situation.

 

But hey – why let facts get in the way of a good poke in the competition’s eye, eh?


Boston Globe Herald Hostage, Day Three (Volume 2)

February 23, 2013

The print edition of The Schadenfreude Gazette has arrived at the Global Worldwide Headquarters of Two-Daily Town, so here’s a better look at today’s offerings:

Picture 1

 

The hardreading staff previously noted the feature story. A taste of the others:

As it went down on Twitter …

Globe reporter Mark Shanahan — @MarkAShanahan — tweeted yesterday’s town hall gathering, where New York Times. Co. vice chairman Mark Golden discussed plans to sell the broadsheet with Globe employees. Here is Shanahan’s report:

‘Sorry for the way this unfolded. It was not our intention,’ says @nytimes about being scooped on its plan to sell @bostonglobe . . .

 

And:

Herald’s commenters plot future for broadsheet

With a for-sale sign planted outside the Boston Globe, would-be media moguls of every stripe were set free this week to sketch their plans for a bold entry into the New England media landscape.

All they needed was $100 million, give or take.

“I would buy the Globe in a heartbeat if I had the money,” said George during yesterday’s Friday Throwdown news chat. “And I would take the editorial page from far left to common-sense middle of the road.” . . .

 

And – THIS JUST IN from the feisty local tabloid’s website (picked up from the Wall Street Journal):

STON7943.JPGReport: Times gets $100M Globe bid, wants Murdoch deal

The New York Times Co. is pushing for a deal for the Boston Globe with media mogul Rupert Murdoch, but has also received a bid for the beleaguered broadsheet for more than $100 million, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The bid came from Rick Daniels, a former Gatehouse Media New England president and ex-Globe executive, and private equity firm Boston Post Partners, represented by managing director Heberden Ryan, the Journal said. The Herald first reported that Boston Post Partners has long been a key player in the sale of the Globe.

 

Of course, current FCC regulations prohibit cross-ownership of a TV station and newspaper in the same market, and it’s unlikely Murdoch would trade Fox 25 for the Globe.

Meanwhile, crosstown at the stately local broadsheet, there’s this in today’s print edition, back on Metro B5:

Michael Golden_1Globe staff briefed on plans to sell paper

Executive vows responsible handover

New York Times Co. vice chairman Michael Golden told Boston Globe employees Friday that the company has a duty to seek the highest bidder in a sale but aims to leave the newspaper in responsible hands.

“We have no intention to send the New England Media Group to the slaughterhouse,” he said in one of three town-hall style meetings with employees.

Golden came to Boston to discuss the Times Co.’s plan to sell the Globe, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, and their related websites. In the meetings, he made no promises about what kind of suitors the Times Co. would consider.

 

When asked by the staff whether the Times Co. has a duty to find “a good steward of New England’s largest newspaper,” he replied “we will take what we consider to be the best bid.”

Uh-oh.


Boston Globe Herald Hostage, Day Three

February 23, 2013

Another day, another dolor for the Boston Globe.

As gleefully recorded by The Schadenfreude Gazette:

STON1787.JPGTimes sidesteps Globe layoff question

A top New York Times Co. official reportedly didn’t rule out layoffs at the Boston Globe but assured a swift sale during tense meetings with employees yesterday, while the first potential bidder for the 141-year-old broadsheet emerged — Bay State auto magnate Ernie Boch Jr.

“I grew up not only reading the Boston Globe but doing business with the Boston Globe,” Boch told the Herald yesterday after throwing his hat in the ring. “I feel it has lost its way over the last few years. I feel I have the right recipe to put it back on track.”

Last night, Boch tweeted: “Print is not dead!”

 

C’mon down, Ernie Jr.!

But – to stick with the automotive theme – it’s just as likely the Times Co. will sell to a private equity firm that will strip the Globe for parts like a car left overnight on the Cross Bronx Expressway.

Stay tuned for further details.


Boston Globe Herald Hostage, Day Two

February 22, 2013

The Schadenfreude Gazette is at it again today:

Picture 1

 

Obligatory two-page spread:

Picture 2

 

Helpful chart:

Picture 4

 

Oh, yes – don’t forget Jerry Holbert’s editorial cartoon:
holberts 02-22 cartoon

 

Highlight of the Herald’s coverage: Jessica Heslam’s interview with the reptilian Michael Wolff about News Corp. Dark Knight Rupert Murdoch as a potential buyer:

“Rupert would be terrifically interested in the Boston Globe,” said Vanity Fair contributing editor Michael Wolff, author of “The Man Who Owns the News: Inside the Secret World of Rupert Murdoch.” “Rupert is now in the process of shopping for American newspapers but doing that in the context of that this is the bottom of the market.”

So what would be the right price for Murdoch?

“Practically free,” Wolff told me. “Assuming that there is cash flow, he would buy it on a heavily, heavily, heavily, heavily discounted basis. Rupert, at this point, is an economic buyer.”

 

But an unlikely one, says old friend Mark Jurkowitz, associate director of the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. “The prospect of Rupert going head-to-head with the Boston Herald seems somehow un-American. That’s his baby. … That would surprise me.”

Crosstown at the stately local broadsheet meanwhile, Globe columnist Kevin Cullen has a message for the Heraldniks:

The change that is coming is about business, not journalism. As for the delight fully delusional people who see a change of ownership as a death sentence, the natural consequence of the Globe being part of the vast left-wing conspiracy, please, sit back, crack another cold one and adjust your tinfoil hats. Ask Sal DiMasi, John Tierney, and Mike McLaughlin, just recent examples, if they think the Globe goes easy on Democrats.

The Globe isn’t going anywhere. It’s changing owners.

 

Message: Stick that in your pipe, Howie.


Hark! The Herald! (Useless Print Edition Edition)

March 22, 2018

Umpteenth in our never-ending series

On numerous occasions the hardreading staff has referred to a Boston Herald subscription as Biggest. Waste. Ever.

And now we’re back.

Page 3 of today’s selfie local tabloid is entirely devoted to this piece bylined “Herald Staff,” the designation routinely employed in passing off press releases as actual news.

Herald moves print production to Providence Journal

The Boston Herald is now being printed in Providence, which means our loyal customers can look forward to a more reader-friendly paper.

Beginning this week, the Herald is being printed at the The Providence Journal’s flexographic newspaper printing facility, which was North America’s first entirely flexographic printing facility when it opened in 1987. The Journal selected the flexo process because it creates a paper with vibrant color reproduction and uses an environmentally friendly, water-based ink that won’t have the paper rubbing off on your hands.

 

More reader-friendly?

Here’s what this reader got on today’s Scoreboard pages.

The redoubtable Dan Kennedy at Media Nation called this one several days ago: “I’m hearing reports from inside the Herald that the switch will require deadlines so early that evening sports stories may not make the print edition.”

Bingo.

(To be sure graf goes here)

To be sure, the Herald at times gave readers the same short shrift when the Boston Globe printed it.

(Two be sure graf goes here)

Also to be sure, the e-Edition of the spotty local tabloid did have yesterday’s results.

But we’re shelling out good money for the print edition while getting less news for the buck all the time.

So, Heraldniks, we say this as you celebrate your new printing setup: Not a providential beginning. Not by a long shot.


John Henry Held Hostage by Boston Herald, Day One

December 14, 2017

From our Hark! The Herald! desk

It’s always entertaining – and sometimes enlightening – when the Boston Herald covers itself, and this story in today’s edition is no exception.

Judge approves Herald to continue business as usual

The Herald’s lights will stay on and it can pay most of its bills during the bankruptcy process, a Delaware judge ruled, as the newspaper enters Chapter 11 bankruptcy eyeing a late February sale to GateHouse Media.

Judge Laurie Selber Silverstein yesterday gave interim approval for business at the Herald to continue mostly as usual, including paying for utilities, payroll and insurance policies, as lawyers piece through the newspaper’s bankruptcy filing and GateHouse’s $4.5 million offer.

 

But not to pay the selfie local tabloid’s printer. “Herald bankruptcy attorney Bill Baldiga said the judge delayed approving payments to The Boston Globe for amounts owed for printing, delivery, inserts and paper returns, given uncertainty about the totals.”

What’s absolutely certain, though, is that the Herald owes the Globe “an estimated $600,000,” according to the former’s bankruptcy filing reproduced in the Boston Business Journal.

So it might not be a coincidence that Globe publisher John Henry wrote this mash note atop today’s editorial page.

Pat Purcell’s service to Boston

Patrick J. Purcell, longtime owner and publisher of the Boston Herald, is someone who has spent most of his adult life tending to the most essential task of our democracy: leading civic conversations in Boston that are sometimes contentious but are invariably important. While his efforts on behalf of journalism for the city are very well known, the personal impact he has had on so many over decades isn’t as familiar.

Our city knows Purcell as the driven media executive who bought the Herald from Rupert Murdoch in 1994. But he’s also unfailingly described as a loyal friend and devoted family man, who landed here after a colorful career in New York and became a Bostonian to his core.

 

Of course, Henry wouldn’t be so crass as to include an invoice in the editorial, although he did mention the Globe’s printing facility:

“I was giving Pat a tour of the Globe’s new print facility in Taunton about a year ago and as we walked through, people would seek him out just to shake his hand and thank him for things he had quietly done for them personally, or for something he had done to help a family member or associate.”

Guilt . . . guilt . . . guilt . . .

The bankruptcy court will address payments to the Globe on January 4. We’ll see if Henry’s still feeling this collegial after that.


Hey, Kevin Cullen: The Globe’s Not Here!

January 4, 2016

The hardlyreading staff held hostage: Day 8.

Random notes from around the Globe:

• Today’s edition of the Boston Globe plunks its delivery woes right on Page One.

 

Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 9.34.28 AM

 

Crosstown, the Boston Herald has yet to mention the meltdown. We don’t care who prints the fraidy local tabloid – that’s just journalistic malpractice.

 

• Are we the only ones who think the new Globe ePaper is a classic case of schlimmbesserung? You know, to make worse by trying to improve?

 

• Kevin Cullen’s front-page piece today is a hoot. Favorite part:

Whatever they pay the delivery people, it’s not enough, and it’s more than a little depressing to think this debacle has been brought about by a desire to pay them even less.

 

Interesting Twitter exchange yesterday in the wake of Cullen’s piece going online. First:

 

Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 9.47.39 AM

 

Then:

 

Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 9.49.10 AM

 

Huh.

 

Rapid strides! Today’s “delivery delay” list is down to 112 zip codes (from 117 yesterday).

 

• Free the Zippy the Pinhead One!

 

More, most likely, to come.