Boston Herald Radio All Pimped Out to Advertisers

February 20, 2015

As the hardreading staff noted several months ago, the Boston Herald is not exactly covert in its catering to the few advertisers it manages to attract.

The Herald Runs on Dunkin’

As our Walt Whitman desk attests on a regular basis, the Boston Herald is a past master at using its newshole to promote . . . that’s right – the Herald. And now apparently, the fuzzy local tabloid is offering the same sort of ad-itorial package to its advertisers.

Witness the latest installment of the paper’s daily plug for Boston Herald Radio, the webcast that up to several people a day listen to.

 

screen-shot-2014-09-29-at-12-08-46-pm

 

Nice bit of venial synergy for Dunkin’ Donuts, eh? Lede of the “interview” at left:

Todd Wallace, field marketing manager for Dunkin’ Donuts, joined Boston Herald Radio’s “Morning Meeting” with Hillary Chabot and Joe Battenfeld to talk about the iconic coffee chain’s new products.

 

Now comes this piece from the Nieman Journalism Lab’s Joseph Lichterman about local newspapers that hope online radio can become significant revenue generators. Along the way, Lichterman nails the coffin shut on the thirsty local tabloid’s unabashed willingness to pimp out any part of its editorial content to advertisers.

Advertising has also been slow for Boston Herald Radio, but the station has been able to introduce new forms of advertising by integrating advertisers into segments of its shows. Last fall, a marketing manager for Dunkin’ Donuts appeared on the Herald’s morning show to promote Dunkin’s new dark roast coffee.

“Sales love it, we love it in programming, and the clients love it,” said Herald Radio executive producer Tom Shattuck.

 

The first and third of those make perfect sense. But . . . we love it in programming?

That’s just sad.

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Boston Herald Radio Daze

August 6, 2013

It’s official. The Boston Herald is no longer a newspaper. It is merely a promotional vehicle for the Herald’s Garage Broadband Radio webstream.

Today’s edition of the dicey local tabloid features four – count ’em, four – pages devoted to BHR, starting with Page One.

 

Picture 4

 

(The hardreading staff has changed its mind about the Little Green Numbers Facebook group, partly because we don’t want to give the Herald the exposure, but mostly because it’s a pain in the ass to create a Facebook group.)

Then there’s the obligatory two-page spread flacking the radiostream.

 

Picture 6

 

And then there’s this special bonus page.

 

Picture 7

 

The thing is, when you go to the Herald website the way it keeps telling you to, you see this:

 

Picture 8

 

And if you click on Listen Live you get this:

 

Picture 3

 

And if you click on the Play button you get this:

Nothing.

How fitting is that, eh?

 


Damn! We Forgot to Listen to the Boston Herald Radio Debut!

August 6, 2013

The Boston Herald launched its new Garage Broadband Radio station yesterday, which the dicey local tabloid’s Monday edition trumpeted in a full-page newsvertisement.

 

Picture 2

 

(The hardreading staff is thisclose to starting a Boston Herald Little Green Numbers Facebook group).

You can access BHR here.

But we don’t necessarily recommend it.


Boston Herald Auctions Off More Editorial Content

October 10, 2018

As the hardreading staff has noted on numerous occasions, the Boston Herald has routinely employed its kissin’ cousin, Boston Herald Radio, as a launching pad for stealth marketing. The digital broadcast platform, which boasts up to several listeners daily, is a convenient venue to interview advertisers, providing content that the Herald has reprinted with diminishing disclosure.

Representative sample from earlier this year:

 

 

It’s no accident that you can barely read the “Sponsored Content” disclaimer at the top of the page. That’s how stealth marketing works best.

Now, however, the sneaky local tabloid has gone one step further with its ads in sheep’s clothing, as evidenced by page 3 of today’s edition.

 

 

(To be clear graf goes here)

To be clear, both sides of that page are advertisements, despite this attempt to make the left-hand side seem just like  a regular interview.

The Center for Wellbeing clinical director Dr. Jeffrey Donatello joined Boston Herald Radio’s “The Rundown” program yesterday to talk about his company’s use of stem cells in Portsmouth, N.H., to help with arthritis. Here are excerpts . . .

 

Uh-huh.

(To be fair graf goes here)

To be fair, the web version of the adterview is labeled “Sponsored Content.”

 

 

But that doesn’t excuse the lack of disclosure in the print edition, which a lot more people will see.

Moral of the story: When it comes to the stealthy local tabloid, caveat reader.


Boston Herald – Not the Globe – Gets Family Juul Ads

August 6, 2018

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and Juul Labs are currently arm-wrestling over kids and e-cigarettes.

Two weeks ago the AG went public with her concerns about teens being the target of Juul e-cig ads, as the Boston Globe’s Jerome Campbell reported.

AG suspects e-cigarette maker JUUL of marketing to minors

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey has begun investigating the popular vaping company JUUL Labs Inc., saying that it appears to be marketing its products to minors.

“Just when teen cigarette use has hit a record low, ‘juuling’ and vaping have become an epidemic in our schools with products that seem targeted to get young people hooked on nicotine,” Healey said at a news conference Tuesday.

The company’s vaping devices are designed to appeal to young consumers, Healey said, with a sleek, high-tech appearance and a variety of protective skins that make them look like school supplies.

 

Healey’s investigation focuses on “whether California-based JUUL adequately monitors its website ‘to see how effective they are at preventing minors from accessing JUUL or JUUL compatible products.’” Campbell notes that according to a 2016 US surgeon general report, e-cigareete use among high school students spiked 900% between 2011 and 2015.

(It says a lot that high schoolers have verbified “juul,” as Jia Tolentino points out in this smart New Yorker piece.)

Meanwhile, Juul Labs is in the middle of a campaign that is, according to a spokeswoman, “committed to providing parents with key facts about JUUL, vaping and nicotine. To that end, we selected a handful of print, digital and radio outlets initially in a variety of markets across the country, including Boston, and we will look at other outlets in the future.”

(For more from the company, see this press release.)

The print outlet here is the Boston Herald, where this full-page ad has run four or five times in the past month.

Of course the “cigarettes are for adults” is the oldest reverse-psychology gambit in the tobacco industry playbook, but why get technical about it.

A companion series of ads prominently features 1) adults, and 2) the potential public health benefits for America’s forty million smokers.

 

 

The ad points you to juul.com/pat for that guy’s story, but good luck cutting through the cyberhaze there.

So back to the “What Parents Need to Know About JUUL” campaign, which entails “[an] initial investment of $30 million over the next three years dedicated to independent research, youth and parent education, and community engagement efforts.” It also entails this radio spot that provides parents with Juul Facts to pass on to their kids.

But here’s one fact Juul Labs doesn’t mention, via this piece from Business Insider’s Erin Brodwin.

Adult customers say they find the high nicotine content as satisfying as conventional cigarettes, but the Juul also has a growing number of teen fans, whose developing brains are uniquely vulnerable to addiction. Those teens could become a new generation of smokers, researchers warn.

“This is really the genie you can’t put back in the bottle,” Matthew Myers , the president of the nonprofit Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, told Business Insider.

 

Or put back in the e-cig either.


Boston Herald Plants Advertising Deeper Into News

February 3, 2018

The sneaky local tabloid just keeps getting sneakier.

As the hardreading staff has noted on multiple occasions, the Boston Herald’s publication of stealth marketing (a.k.a. “sponsored content”) has steadily become more and more – ah – stealthy, as the labeling of same grows smaller and smaller.

(Pop quiz: Is that an oxymoron, or are we?)

For example, here’s how sponsored content for intimate apparel retailer Rigby & Peller was labeled in March of 2016.

 

 

Then there’s this advertorial for the Massachusetts State Lottery from a year ago.

 

 

And now comes this from yesterday’s edition of the stealthy local tabloid. (Inexplicable Little Green 1 at no extra charge.)

 

 

Do we detect a pattern emerging here?

All of those ads in sheep’s clothing originated in interviews on Boston Herald Radio, which has up to several listeners but which more importantly provides the Herald with a steady stream of stealth marketing opportunities.

Given the Local Dailies DisADvantage the thirsty local tabloid labors under, that just might be the best it can do.


Boston Herald Printing Woes Come Closer to Home

September 15, 2017

For much of the past week, the Boston Herald has been running this Notice to our readers that whacks the Boston Globe – which prints the feisty local tabloid – for, well, not printing the feisty local tabloid.

 

 

As of Wednesday, the S.S. Globe was still listing to port, a fact Globe editor Brian McGrory conceded to WGBH’s Boston Public Radio in a rather roundabout manner (round about 1:41;00).

We’ve been on a difficult run over over here. We’ve had many many good nights putting out the newspaper; we’ve had some bad nights too. This all stems from we opened up a new production plant in the city of Taunton back in the spring; we had to leave Morrissey Boulevard because we’re in the process of selling that property, and it’s proven more difficult than we anticipated to get quality newspapers out in a timely way, and it’s gone on for quite a while.

Decisions were made over here this week to try to get new leadership in place in production and the result is some very very good high quality people are no longer here at the Globe. And that doesn’t mean they didn’t have a major contribution to this place over many many years – they should be proud of what they’ve done. But the decision was made by people at a higher pay grade than me that we needed new leadership. I expect that’s gonna work out well.

 

Uh-huh. Asked whether the Globe is making progress toward fixing the snafus, McGrory said this:

“We think we’re making progress, yeah. We’ve had some very very good stretches – a week, two weeks at a time with some improving quality but then we’ll have significant setbacks. We did this past weekend on Saturday night. A lot of papers didn’t get to our subscribers on Sunday, which is obviously a really important day for us, and, you know, amid the progress there are setbacks and it’s really really frustrating.

“But the overall trendiness are showing improvement, but we need it to come faster and we need to be more consistent. We owe it to our most loyal readers, who are the most sophisticated newspaper readers in this country.”

That’s it – not a word, or a question, about the damage inflicted on the Herald. Just 10 pounds of baloney in a five-pound bag.

Meanwhile, how’s the Good Ship Lollygag doing at the end of the week?

Well, the hardreading staff didn’t get its copy of the Herald this morning. So you tell us.


Boston Herald Runs Topless Ad!

March 14, 2017

As the hardreading staff has chronicled in painful detail, the Boston Herald just can’t get any love from the local full-page ad set. All those corporate image, memorial, congratulatory, and damage control ads routinely migrate to the Boston Globe and bypass the thirsty local tabloid.

But today’s edition of the Herald does feature this full-page ad.

 

 

We’re not exactly sure why the vintage Caddy is pictured in the ad – would you really buy time on Boston Herald Radio to sell a used car? Maybe it’s a visual pun, you know, drive sales?

Anyway, memo to Kathleen Rush and Joe LoPilato:

1) Love the car.

2) Why’s it there?

Thanks in advance.


Boston Globe ‘Names’ Outs Howie Carr, Stiffs Two-Daily Town

February 10, 2017

Twice this week the hardreading staff has noted that Boston Herald columnist Howie Carr, a charter member of the Donald Trump coat holder brigade, is also now a member of Trump’s swanky Florida resort Mar-a-Lago.

We also noted that neither Boston daily had reported on Carr’s quantum leap in social status, ending yesterday’s post this way: “Hey – you Namesniks at the Globe: Wanna grab a piece of this?”

Apparently they did, since this appears under Mark Shanahan’s byline in today’s snakey local broadsheet.

Trump backer Howie Carr joins Mar-a-Lago

Conservative talk-show host Howie Carr fancies himself a man of the people, albeit one who went to an exclusive prep school (Deefield Academy), attended a fine liberal arts college (University of North Carolina), and resides in a wealthy Boston enclave (Wellesley). So it should be no surprise that, like any other average Joe, Carr has become a newly-minted member of the Mar-a-Lago Club, President Trump’s posh Palm Beach, Fla., retreat. Politico.com reports that Carr and his second wife, Kathy, are a few of the regular folks who’ve become Mar-a-Lago members since Trump moved into the White House. The Carrs must have really scrimped and saved to be able to swing the club’s initiation fee, which recently doubled to $200,000. We tried to reach Carr on Thursday to talk about the many perks and privileges he’ll be enjoying at Mar-a-Lago, but no luck. The right-wing radio host was an early supporter of Trump’s peculiar brand of populism and their friendship has only grown. Indeed, Carr was among 800 ordinary Americans who spent New Year’s Eve with Trump at the Mar-a-Lago Club.

 

Politico.com reports? Like all of a sudden you read the Politico Playbook item buried in last Monday’s edition?

C’mon, man – credit where credit’s due, eh?


Boston Dailies Ignore Howie Carr Joining Mar-a-Lago

February 9, 2017

As the hardreading staff noted the other day, local radio squawker Howie Carr is among Donald Trump’s latest pigeons – sorry, members – at his swanky Florida resort Mar-a-Lago.

Funny thing is, neither of local dailies has noted the same.

Carr is a Charter Coat Holder for Trump, and he’s been quick to use his Boston Herald column to Trumpet his bromance with the hairdo-in-chief (see here and here for representative samples). Carr is also fond of casually mentioning his Palm Beach residency, as he did on Monday.

Globe prints fake news in Super Bowl blunder

There’s fake news and then there’s FAKE NEWS!screen-shot-2017-02-09-at-3-02-45-pm

Today’s early edition Boston Globe made a historic blunder with its Super Bowl coverage, running the headline: A BITTER END.

Above it is “Super Bowl LI.” LI meaning “51” in Roman numerals, but now it has another meaning, wouldn’t you say? You can’t have a LIE without LI.

These fake-news collectors’ items are on sale all over Florida. If you’re reading this in at least some parts of the Sunshine State, you can probably still buy one at your local Publix supermarket. (Not in Palm Beach – my neighbor just bought all five copies for me.)

 

But so far, nothing from Carr on his quantum leap in social status. And we still don’t know if Carr got the Coat Holder Discount for the newly calibrated $200,000 Mar-a-Lago membership fee.

Hey – you Namesniks at the Globe: Wanna grab a piece of this?