Once Again, Boston Globe Less Than Fenway Frank

March 12, 2014

As the hardreading staff has previously noted (here too), the Boston Globe has been pretty loosey-goosey in meeting its disclosure responsibilities about John Henry’s dual ownership of the Globe and the Boston Red Sox.

And today the Globeniks extended their slump.

Red Sox to open Lansdowne hot dog stand

Some Fenway fans apparently have insatiable appetites — but not necessarily for baseball.

Hoping to capitalize on Red Sox Nation’s hunger for Fenway Franks, the organization plans to start selling the famous hot dogs outside the ballpark, at a chin041313fenway_biz8Lansdowne Street concession stand. Even when a game isn’t on the menu.

Boston’s Zoning Board of Appeals on Tuesday gave unanimous approval for the stand, which will also serve other food and nonalcoholic beverages. The opening date and hours of operation have not been set, but the Red Sox plan to have it up and running this season, said spokeswoman Zineb Curran.


And etc. But nowhere does the piece acknowledge that John Henry’s newspaper is reporting on John Henry’s corporate interests.


Hey, Boston Globe Publisher Henry:  Hasn’t anyone told you that it could be bad for business if people start viewing your paper as the Fenway Gazette & Papi?

We think you know the answer to that.


Globe Still Won’t Chew Over Fenway Food Expansion

February 24, 2014

The Boston Red Sox are engaged in yet another Fenway land grab, as the Boston Herald noted on Saturday.

Fenway franks to go?

Sox seek OK to sell food during non-ballpark hours

It appears Red Sox Nation can’t get enough of Fenway franks.

The team is seeking city approval for a takeout concession on Lansdowne Street, near Gate C, that would be open during non-ballpark hours.040912fenwaynl19

“It would be located within the ballpark in a space next to the WEEI broadcast booth,” Red Sox spokeswoman Zineb Curran said. “It’s a new, small concession stand that would have its own entry door off of Lansdowne Street” . . .

The team’s takeout concept is the latest in a string of non-baseball game money-makers designed to make the most of America’s oldest ballpark, which Red Sox owner John Henry this week said has a shelf life of another 30 years.


The Boston Globe, as the hardreading staff has noted, did not cover this story on Saturday. Or Sunday. Or today.

The stately local broadsheet did, however, report on that 30-year shelf life of Fenway Park.

John Henry says Fenway Park has 30 more years of life




FORT MYERS, Fla. — There is an expiration date on Fenway Park, Red Sox principal owner John Henry said on Wednesday. But it won’t come due for another 30 years or so.

The oldest ballpark in the majors is structurally sound and the only improvements left to make would be to renovate the press box and other areas in the upper section behind home plate.

“You won’t see major changes. Those, I think, have been explored, thought about and accomplished,” Henry said. “Structurally there is an expiration date. Someone at some point in decades ahead will have to address the possibility of a new ballpark.”


Yes, and someone should have addressed Henry’s ownership of the Boston Globe in that sunny-side-up piece last week.

But no one did.

That’s two strikes in one week. Not exactly encouraging.

Herald More Frank Than Globe About Fenway Food Expansion

February 23, 2014

Saturday’s local dailies present a nifty case study for those who worry that John Henry’s purchase of the Boston Globe will crimp the paper’s coverage of their kissing’ cousin Red Sox.

From yesterday’s Boston Herald:

Fenway franks to go?

Sox seek OK to sell food during non-ballpark hours

It appears Red Sox Nation can’t get enough of Fenway franks.040912fenwaynl19

The team is seeking city approval for a takeout concession on Lansdowne Street, near Gate C, that would be open during non-ballpark hours . . .

The team’s takeout concept is the latest in a string of non-baseball game money-makers designed to make the most of America’s oldest ballpark, which Red Sox owner John Henry this week said has a shelf life of another 30 years.


Far longer (we think) than the shelf life of a Fenway Frank. Not to get technical about it.

Speaking of which, from Saturday’s Boston Globe:

Nothing, as of 1:39 Sunday morning.

But the hardreading staff will wait to pass judgment until the Boston Sunday Globe is published, because of this (via the redoubtable Dan Kennedy’s Media Nation):

  • Boston Globe: Weekdays, 245,572 . . . Sundays, 382,452
  • Boston Herald: Weekdays, 95,929 . . .  Sundays, 73,043

A piece in the Sunday Globe would get 50% more exposure than a Saturday piece, and roughly four times the circulation of Saturday’s Herald.

So . . . [snooze graf goes here]

At 11:45 Sunday morning we check out the Globe and . . . nothing.

Not good, Globeniks.

The concern people have about Henry’s Globe ownership is not so much whether Dan Shaughnessy will keep poking him with a stick, but whether the stately local broadsheet will be as vigilant about off-field matters such as these (also from the Herald):

[I]n December, the team won city approval to extend alcohol sales during baseball games and other events and to sell liquor on Yawkey Way.

The request to increase Fenway alcohol sales came less than three months after the Red Sox reached a controversial $7.3 million deal with the Boston Redevelopment Authority for an easement to shut down part of Yawkey Way for concessions during games and other events.


John Henry isn’t just a ballclub owner. He’s a real estate/media/financial mogul. The Globe needs to treat him as such.


Is Boston GlobeSox Owner John Henry Gettin’ Cozier with Marty Walsh?

June 26, 2014

As the hardreading staff has noted on numerous occasions, the relationship between Boston Globe/Red Sox owner John Henry and the City of Boston (read: Tom Menino) over the past several years became increasingly – and profitably – chummy, from Landsdowne Street air rights to Fenway Franks.

But this is something else entirely.

Yesterday, we posted this:

Marty Walsh Hates the Herald

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has always struck the hardreading staff as deep-down a Boston Herald kind of guy. But you can’t tell by looking at the local dailies today.

Boston Globe, Page 9:

Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 1.10.20 PM

Boston Herald: Nada thing.

Of course this logo lower left in the ad might explain that.

Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 1.25.18 PM


Subsequently, the headscratching staff sent this email to the Boston Globe Foundation:

I produce the website It’s Good to Live in a Two-Daily Town and I read with interest Mayor Walsh’s full-page ad in today’s Globe. I also noticed that the Boston Globe Foundation logo was included lower left.

Can you tell me if Mayor Walsh paid for the ad space? Or if the Boston Globe Foundation did? Or if any money changed hands at all?

Thank you for your consideration.

John R. Carroll


So far, we haven’t heard back from the Boston Globe Foundation.

But we do know it’s headed by Linda Pizzuti, a.k.a. John Henry’s Missus.

From Jason Schwartz’s The John Henry Emails in Boston Magazine:

When I got to chat briefly with Linda [Pizzuti, Henry’s wife] after the Chamber breakfast, she described her role at the paper as “evolving.” Is there any greater sense of what exactly her role will be yet?

Linda is fully engaged working on important issues for the Boston Globe. She is leading initiatives to activate our subscriber base connecting the Globe to the community. She is heading up the Boston Globe Foundation. And she serves on a number of internal committees that deal with real estate, circulation, social media and other business issues.

She was the driving force behind our recently launched Globe GRANT program, which gave our subscribers vouchers they are assigning to non-profit organizations for advertising space in the Boston Globe. This program has been very warmly received by charitable organizations and subscribers.


(Henry also writes in the exchange, “Mike [Barnicle] knows everyone worth knowing.” Huh.)

Anyway, we’re hoping to hear from the stately local broadsheet’s stately local do-gooders.

Did Marty Walsh (read: Boston taxpayers) pay for yesterday’s full-page ad? Did Linda Pizzuti? Mike Barnicle? Nobody?

Anyone at the Globe want to say?

More Slop on the John Henry/Marty Walsh Hand-Holding in the Boston Globe

June 30, 2014

So, to recap for the umpteenth- hell, just see here.

The question is this: How did Marty’s Mash Note to the Boston Public Schools wind up as a full-page ad in last Wednesday’s Boston Globe?


Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 1.10.20 PM


On Friday, CommonWealth Magazine (which came late – but smart – to the party) reported the issue thusly:

THE BOSTON GLOBE FOUNDATION donated a full-page ad in Wednesday’s newspaper to Boston Mayor Marty Walsh so he could thank the staff of the Boston Public Schools at the close of the school year.

Ellen Clegg, who heads the foundation, said the mayor personally asked Globe CEO Mike Sheehan for the ad space and the foundation provided it because the message was in keeping with the organization’s focus on education and literacy.


But Ms. Clegg had previously told the hardreading staff this:

The Globe Foundation donated the ad to the Boston Public Schools pro bono, as a public service. When we get a request for support from organizations that fit the Foundation’s mission, we work with the Globe’s advertising department to donate pro bono print ads in space that would normally go to unpaid “house ads.” It’s a great way to engage with the community. Other recent examples of pro bono ads include the One Fund and the MLK Summer Scholars Program, which the Foundation co-sponsors with John Hancock.


C’mon – “[donating] an ad to the Boston Public Schools pro bono” and kowtowing to the mayor of Boston aren’t even in the same zip code.

Regardless, Ms. Clegg perpetuated the split decision yesterday in these post-CommonWealth answers to our pre-CommonWealth questions, which took her initial explanation at face value:

• When you donated the ad to the Boston Public Schools, did you know it would take the form of a letter from Mayor Walsh?


• Who did the creative/production of the ad?

The Globe’s advertising department.

• Given the ad’s content, did you have any concerns that it would appear you donated the ad to Mayor Walsh, raising questions about the appearance of compromising the Globe’s arm’s-length relationship with him?

The Globe’s newsroom is independent from the business side of the organization, and from the Globe Foundation, and had no involvement here.

I’m sure you’ve seen the newsroom’s recent scrub of Mayor Walsh’s hiring record (link below). I have confidence that our journalists will continue to scrutinize public officials and powerful institutions, including City Hall.



Frankly, we’re more interested in scrubbing Ms. Clegg’s record of telling the hardreading staff one thing and CommonWealth another.

From the start of John Henry’s dual ownership of the Boston GlobeSox, the paper pretty consistently ignored conflicts of interest in his business dealings with the Menino administration (see here and here). If Henry is now dancing to Marty Walsh’s tune, he should own up to that, too.