Our Boston Globe/John Henry Watch (Landsdowne Street Air Rights Edition II)

September 28, 2013

As the hardreading staff noted yesterday, Thursday’s Boston Globe failed to mention the paper’s relationship to Red Sox principal owner and soon-to-be Globe owner John Henry in a piece about the Sox getting a sweetheart deal for rights to Fenway Park’s adjoining streets.

Friday’s Globe follow-up, however, came to Jesus.

Despite objections, Red Sox win rights to street use


Despite objections from residents and one board member, the Boston Redevelopment Authority on Thursday authorized a $7.3 million deal to let the Red Sox use two public streets near Fenway Park for gameday concessions and seating over the Green Monster.

The arrangement grants the Red Sox permission to close a 17,000-square-foot strip of Yawkey Way for concessions for as long as the baseball team plays at Fenway. It also gives the team air rights over Lansdowne Street to allow for seating over the ballpark’s famed left-field wall . . .

The principal owner of the Red Sox, John W. Henry, is purchasing The Boston Globe and related properties from The New York Times Co. for $70 million.


Better, yes?


Our Boston Globe/John Henry Watch (Landsdowne Street Air Rights Edition)

September 27, 2013

(Two-Daily Town is proud to introduces this new feature tracking the Boston Globe’s disclosure of Red Sox principal owner John Henry’s Globe purchase)

The hardreading staff is, as you may have gathered, an eternal optimist. But this piece in Thursday’s Boston Globe gives us pause.


Screen Shot 2013-09-27 at 12.54.13 AM


Nut graf:

Cahill said the BRA is attempting to “give away rights to a public street without reasonable public notice, without public advertisement, and without utilizing a public process.” There were no public hearings about the deal, though the board will vote during a public meeting.

Cahill also said the city should not sign a lifetime contract with the Red Sox and should seek a slice of the revenue generated by the team’s use of Yawkey and Lansdowne — a total of about $4.5 million annually, according to the team.


Sweet(heart), yeah?

The problem here isn’t the Globe story – reporter Callum Borchers does a perfectly reasonable job of examining both sides of the issue. The problem is, nowhere does the Globe disclose that Red Sox principal owner John Henry is the boss of them – something the Globe should absolutely overdisclose.

Crosstown, the Boston Herald is less, shall we say, nuanced.

NEL_9829.JPGCrying foul over Boston Sox deal

Watchdogs to review $7.3M pact

Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino balked yesterday at intervening in a proposed $7.3 million deal between the BRA and the Red Sox for air rights over Lansdowne Street and game-day concessions on Yawkey Way as the state Inspector General’s office said it would review the deal and an independent watchdog group called it “financially irresponsible”

“Why should I?” Menino asked. “It’s a good deal. (The Boston Redevelopment Authority) got much more money than they got in the past. Think about what the Red Sox mean to the city: jobs, taxes, vitality, heads on beds.”


The Herald piece doesn’t mention the Globe’s opaque coverage of the story.

Not sure that will be the case for long.


Labor Unions Blast Boston Globe in Boston Globe Ad

June 4, 2021

Contract negotiations between Boston GlobeSox owners John/Linda Henry and the Boston Newspaper Guild (the employee union for The Boston Globe) have been limping along for two-plus years, thanks in no small part to the hardball tactics employed by law firm Jones Day, which is to unions what bowling balls are to tenpins.

As a result, three local unions – the Greater Boston Labor Council, the Greater Boston Building Trade Unions, and the Communication Workers of America – joined forces to run this full-page ad in yesterday’s edition of the $tately local broadsheet.



Those who venture to DearGlobeReaders.org find this right off the top.



The website also features press releases about the paper’s proposed outsourcing and elimination of “just cause” protections against arbitrary firings or suspensions. In addition, there’s this accusation: “Behind closed doors, subscriber money is being squandered on attacks against the journalists who bring you the news each day, as many of us put our own safety on the line to do so.”

Those personal stories are reflected in the Boston Newspaper Guild’s Twitter feed as well.



Sorry to be the skunk at the garden party for the umpteenth time, but if past is prologue, this protest is destined to go pretty much nowhere. None of the NewsGuild’s previous efforts to generate public pressure on the Globe seem to have moved the needle at all.

We’re a long way from the days when average Americans got exercised over the corporate looting of local newspapers the way the good citizens of Atlanta did in the 1980s, which was chronicled in the documentary Fear and Favor in the Newsroom.

When muckraking Atlanta Journal-Constitution editor Bill Kovach resigned in 1988 over “irreconcilable differences” with the management of the Cox media chain, several hundred readers and employees of the AJC draped themselves in black and marched to the paper’s headquarters, where they deposited a newsprint-stuffed coffin labeled “Here lies the truth.”



But here lies the new truth: That is something you will likely never see in Boston. Or much of anywhere else in the U.S. for that matter. It really is a shame.

John Henry Uses Herald to Whack Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy

July 27, 2014

The Boston Herald’s Michael Silverman got an email interview with Boston GlobeSox owner John Henry, which, of course, was Page One news for the feisty local tabloid.


Screen Shot 2014-07-27 at 2.33.48 PM


The email exchange between Silverman and Henry was pretty much what you’d expect.

Henry takes stock of perplexing Sox

The Red Sox are genuinely perplexed.

Barely more than two weeks ago, principal owner John Henry was told by his general manager that the Red Sox “are probably the IN4Z7200.JPGbest team in the division. We just aren’t playing like it.”

The reasons behind the team’s incredibly underwhelming and disappointing caliber of play for most of the first four months of the season are not clear to Henry and the front office. With the trade deadline looming Thursday, Henry and his baseball operations people have been trying to get a better handle on what’s gone wrong and discover if there’s time left to fix it.


It’s not exactly riveting stuff – when Silverman asks if the Sox are sellers or buyers, Henry replies, “We’ll see what happens (this) week.”

Ya think?

But there is one juicy item in the piece: A not-so-veiled reference to this from Boston Globe scribe (and Henry employee) Dan Shaughnessy last Sunday (reproduced in full for, well, full effect).

When did Boston go so soft on the Red Sox?

At this hour, your Boston Red Sox enjoy a friendlier environment than almost any of the 30 teams in baseball. The Sox have a chance to finish in last place for the second time in three years, win a playoff game in only one of six seasons, and still be perceived by their fans as “perennial contenders.’’ The Sox can play nine games under .500 for the first 95 games and still have a Nation of believers thinking they can win the division, or compete for the phony second wild card. Sox owners can pare payroll ($72.5 million scheduled to come off the books for next year), stay well below the coveted luxury tax threshold, and listen to regional applause while fans pay the highest ticket prices in baseball. The Sox can get folks to buy into the notion that it’s foolish to compete in the open market for the services of their best pitcher. Sox tickets and merchandise are hotter than they were at this time last summer and Pat Moscaritolo, president of a Boston tourist group, says, “For the past 10 years that I’ve been tracking visitor spending and the economic impact of the Red Sox, it’s almost unaffected by the team’s performance.’’

The Sox were positively surging with five wins in six games against terrible/mediocre teams (aggregate 21 games under .500) as they prepped for the Royals Saturday night. The KC-Boston matchup is a good one, since it sometimes sounds like the Sox want to be a middle-market team. Like the Royals of recent decades (29 years since making the playoffs), the Sox now sell the fans on “watching the kids.” Don’t people realize that EVERY team has a farm system stocked with young players who’d love to play in front of sellout crowds in the moribund final months of a season? It amazes me how soft this baseball market has become. In 1978 fans and media crushed the Sox for a 99-win season that concluded with eight consecutive pressure-packed victories. The Boston manager was unmercifully booed on Opening Day the following year. Now everything is awesome because the Boston ballpark is a tourist destination and fans fall in love with the hype of every young player coming through the system. Swell. When did we become St. Louis?


Ouch. The only thing Shaughnessy left out? That the principal owner of the GlobeSox etc. etc.

Regardless, how much fun is it that Henry employed his own crosstown rival to dope-slap his wayward minion, saying this:

 “Fans continue to sell out Fenway. They’ve suffered through some really bad games this year, but they continue to show up and the mood at the park among the fans is very positive when I walk through the stands. Before Tom [Werner], Larry [Lucchino] and I arrived I believe fans had less patience.

“A loud curmudgeon I know accuses them of being soft, bad fans — but anyone paying attention knows the mood has changed at Fenway over the years. People expect good things from the Sox and really love being at Fenway. This team accomplished something very special last year therefore the fans aren’t about to not give them the benefit of the doubt.”


Love that double negative. Wonder what Mr. Shaughnessy thinks.

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.

Wait! Boston GlobeSox Owner John Henry IS Gettin’ Cozier with Marty Walsh

June 29, 2014

To recap one more time again:

Last Wednesday, this full-page ad appeared in the Boston Globe:


Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 1.10.20 PM


That got the headscratching staff to wondering who paid for Marty’s Mash Note to the Boston Public Schools. So we sent a note to the Boston Globe Foundation (see lower left in the ad) asking just that: Did Mayor Walsh (read: Boston taxpayers) foot the bill? Did the Globe Foundation? Did no one?

And here’s what Globe lifer Ellen Clegg replied:

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.


(The hardquizzing staff followed up with an email that asked Ms. Clegg these questions: 1) When you donated the ad to the Boston Public Schools, did you know it would take the form of a letter from Mayor Walsh? 2) Who did the creative/production of the ad? 3) Given the ad’s content, did you have any concerns that it would look like you donated the ad not to the BPS but to Mayor Walsh, appearing to compromise the Globe’s arm’s-length relationship with him?

(We have yet to hear back.)

Meanwhile, as the redoubtable Dan Kennedy pointed out to us, the redoubtable Dan Kennedy pointed us to this piece in Commonwealth Magazine, where it seems to us Ms. Clegg told a very different story to CommonWealth Magazine (which, frankly, came late to the party):

Globe Foundation gives full-page ad to Walsh

Mayor approached CEO Sheehan for space

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.


Yes, well, Ms. Clegg might want to focus on her own message(s). Clearly, she gave us a mere bag of shells.

Wish you hadn’t done that, Ms. Clegg. Makes a fella lose all faith in himself. (See 4:45)



The hardreading staff will call Ms. Clegg tomorrow and try to clarify all this, because turning your newspaper into a mayoral Make a Wish fund is a lot different from “donating an ad to the Boston Public Schools.”

But don’t hold your breath.

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?

Boston.comment: KidVid Says Site Redesign Is ‘Crap’

May 25, 2014

From our Late to the House Party desk

The new! improved? boston.com has met with decidedly mixed reviews, some of which the site itself is showcasing, as the redoubtable Jim Romenesko reports.



The kids in this video are reading actual complaints that Boston.com got after its recent redesign. Here are some of the “child actors’” lines:

* “I can’t find anything I’m looking for.”
* “I feel like I’m looking at a children’s picture book.”
* “My wife and I hate your website.”
* “I think my grandmother might like this site.”
* “Is this an April Fool’s joke?”


And etc.

(Romenesko: “That’s the son of Boston.com news and homepage editor Hilary Sargent on the right; the other two belong to Boston Globe CEO Mike Sheehan.”)

And the whole thing belongs to boston.com, which “owns” the redesign in its YouTube video.



The hardreading staff’s favorite: “Boston.com is like the squirrelly uncle you put up with on holidays.”

Squirrel on, DotComniks.


Boston Globe a Day Late, Dolor Short in the Latest Jared Remy Jailhouse Rumpus

May 11, 2014

From our Late to the Pity Party desk

Yesterday’s Boston Globe featured this reporticle on page B8:


Screen Shot 2014-05-11 at 1.41.26 AM


And etc. But here’s how it appeared on the Globe’s website:

Jared Remy implicated in 2d alleged jailhouse attack

Jared Remy, already charged with murder in the death of his girlfriend and with attacking another inmate at the Cambridge jail where he is being held, could face charges in an alleged assault on a correctional officer.

A spokesman for Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian confirmed Friday that Remy is being investigated in an alleged assault on a correctional officer April 25, but he declined to release any details of the incident.


Koutoujian wasn’t so coy in Friday’s Boston Herald.


Screen Shot 2014-05-11 at 1.29.37 AM


Note especially this nugget from Laurel Sweet’s piece in the feisty local tabloid:

Accused killer Jared Remy is in more jailhouse trouble, with the sheriff saying the 35-year-old hurled a milk carton at a correction officer assigned to watch over him in solitary confinement.

The alleged outburst at the Cambridge Jail was called to the Herald’s attention through an internal investigation report Remy mailed to the paper along with a letter. Remy is the son of Red Sox legend Jerry Remy, a color commentator for Red Sox games.

Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian said yesterday he “absolutely” intends to press charges.

The officer claims that at 4 p.m. on April 25, “While sitting in front of Isolation cell 1 D/T Remy began to threaten this reporting Officer and after approximately 2 minutes D/T Remy threw a closed milk carton at this reporting Officer hitting me on the collarbone,” the report states.


Not to get technical about it, but the Globe failed to include 1) those details; 2) a thuggish photo of Remy; and especially 3) credit to the Herald either in print or on the web.

Not to mention the Globe piece noted that Jared Remy “is the son of famed Red Sox broadcaster Jerry Remy,” but failed to note that Red Sox owner John Henry also owns the stately local broadsheet.

Bad form on all counts, Globeniks.

Bad form.


Remy Smartin’ in Boston Dailies?

March 25, 2014

Well, yes and no.

Jared Remy’s certainly hurting after the Boston Globe blowtorched him on Page One Sunday. (In that piece, it should be noted, the stately local broadsheet yet again failed to disclose that Red Sox principal owner John Henry also owns the paper. Or is the hardreading staff the only one who still cares about that kind of stuff?)

Jerry Remy? Jury’s still out.

Start with Gerry Callahan’s full-throated support in today’s Boston Herald.

Red Sox job is Jerry Remy’s call

At what point do you give up on a kid?

When exactly do you throw up your hands, turn your back and walk away from your own child?_CE29101.JPG

Jerry and Phoebe Remy are the parents of a 35-year-old monster with a long history of hurting women — particularly pregnant ones — but they haven’t reached that point yet. Their son Jared is evil to the core, but they still visit him in jail. They presumably pay for his lawyers. They probably hope and pray he will once again come before a pliable Massachusetts judge and avoid the harshest penalties allowed by law.

Somehow this doesn’t sit well with many Red Sox fans who think Jerry Remy should no longer be allowed to sit in the NESN booth with Don Orsillo and talk about baseball.



But it sits okay with Callahan, who ends his piece this way: “Jerry Remy admits he made mistakes and he knows things will never be the same for Remdawg Inc. But he shouldn’t be stripped of his livelihood and sent home to stare at the walls. Jared should go to prison for the rest of his life. Jerry should go back to work, and, finally and at last, give up on his rotten, hopeless kid.”

Crosstown at the Globe, not everyone is so forgiving. Alan Wirzbicki in a point-counterpoint with Alex Beam:

[I]f Jerry Remy sold used cars, then maybe none of it would matter. The questionable decisions an employee makes with his own paycheck are usually his own business.

But Jerry Remy doesn’t sell used cars. His job is to be a particular TV persona — the gentle, chuckling color commentator on Sox games. Playing that role has made him popular. But now that’s not an image that he can project without turning New England’s collective stomach.


Now it’s Beam’s turn:

I understand that when most people read the story of Jerry and Jared, they see an entitled, well-off sports celebrity gaming the legal system on behalf of his wild and dangerous son. I see something different: a complicated, confusing morass, of biblical pain inflicted on a family that wants to balance its love for a disturbed davis_st2278_sptschild against society’s legitimate expectations of personal safety.

Jared is in jail, where he belongs. I’m sure his father and his family are living in a special kind of hell. If the sins of the son are visited on the father, well, that’s not what I call justice.


But it’s what a letter to the Globe editor does. Here’s Frank Hannon of Melrose:

CONCERNING THE return of sportscaster Jerry Remy to the booth as his son, Jared, awaits trial in the murder of his girlfriend: Perhaps charity demands that NESN be given the benefit of the doubt about what the network knew of the elder Remy’s role in the repeated enabling of his son. However, the Globe’s expose of the monumentally sordid circumstances of Jared Remy’s record removes all doubt (“For Jared Remy, leniency was the rule until one lethal night,” Page A1, March 23).

Who will be able to watch Remy without being reminded of the unimaginable havoc wrought by his son? Even for crass economic reasons alone, let alone the basic duty of social responsibility that NESN owes the community — and yes, there is such a thing — how can NESN possibly allow Remy to stay on the air?


If you’re looking for a tiebreaker, try the redoubtable Dan Kennedy at Media Nation.  He has an interesting conversation going on in the comments thread.