Boston Herald Is Shaking Down Its Home Subscribers

September 14, 2018

As one of the up to several Boston Herald home subscribers, the hardreading staff just received a letter telling us that the costly local tabloid will very soon be even costlier.

Increase-their-nut graf:

The Boston Herald appreciates your readership and hopes you have been enjoying your subscription. This letter will serve as notice that effective 2018-10-04, your new weekly rate will be $11.00 for the subscription term you have selected. As a home delivery subscriber, your subscription includes access to our website and E-edition replica.

 

Quibble #1: The Boston Herald website is free to all.

Quibble #2: Even by our admittedly calcified mathematical skills, the new weekly rate equals $572 per annum. At said Herald website, anyone can subscribe to the print and digital editions for about $250 less.

 

 

Quibble #3: This particular paragraph in the letter.

All home delivery subscriptions will include up to 4 SPECIAL EDITIONS annually. Each SPECIAL EDITION will be between $1.75 to $9.99 depending on the SPECIAL EDITION. If you prefer not to receive these SPECIAL EDITIONS, you must call Customer Service at the number above to OPT OUT. If you do not OPT OUT, the SPECIAL EDITIONS will be automatically billed to your account and your SUBSCRIPTION TERM will be shortened. Subscribers will be charged Sunday rates for Thanksgiving Day home delivery.

 

Smart move, considering that “[r]esearchers have learned that options and services too often falter because they’re designed to depend on people taking some kind of action. Studies show that relying on inaction yields better results,” according to this Association for Psychological Science report.

As our kissin’ cousins at One-Daily Town have diligently chronicled, the Boston Herald’s owner, Digital First Media, is determined to strip the Herald like a car left overnight on the Cross Bronx Expressway.

Apparently, Digital First feels the same way about Herald subscribers.

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Boston Globe Indulges Sean O’Malley’s Cardinal Sin

September 11, 2018

The rumpus over Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley’s shoddy mail handling features a new chapter today, and the coverage in the Boston dailies finds them in the same church, very different pews.

Start with story placement. The Boston Herald goes dead-center front page.

 

 

The Boston Globe goes Metro Page One below the fold (and totally buries the story on BostonGlobe.com).

 

 

Inside, the Herald gives the story two full pages.

 

 

The Globe gives it an 11-paragraph jump. And no critics of O’Malley show up until the seventh of them.

[The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors] members are “trying to make the church the very safest place possible,” O’Malley said.

Mitchell Garabedian, a Boston lawyer who has represented many clergy sex abuse victims, was unmoved by O’Malley’s remarks.

“The Catholic Church, with its miserable history of covering up clergy sexual abuse, fails to admit that clergy sexual abuse must be investigated before it can be properly prevented,” Garabedian said Monday in a statement. “The Catholic Church’s failure to investigate clergy sexual abuse is just meant to continue the wholesale cover up of the abuse.”

 

Was unmoved? In Mary Markos’s Herald piece, Garabedian fairly blowtorches Church leaders.

“It is not credible, not reasonable to believe the leaders of the Catholic Church — the very entity which participated in sexual abuse and its cover-up — is now going to prevent sexual abuse and cover-up in the future,” Garabedian said. “Not only that, they don’t know how to prevent sexual abuse, they’ve shown through their actions that they really don’t care about preventing sexual abuse.”

 

Just an average day in a two-daily town.


Boston Herald Editorial Cartoon Is, Well, a Joke

September 9, 2018

Ever since the shrink local tabloid cashiered its estimable editorial cartoonist Jerry Holbert, the paper’s syndicated substitutes have left much to be desired.

But today’s cartoon is flat-out dopey.

 

Memo to cartoonist Chip Bok: That was Cory Booker’s I Am Spartacus moment. Not to get technical about.

Doesn’t count that you fixed it on your website.


Boston Globe Redesigns Nameless Names Column

September 6, 2018

As you splendid readers might – or might not – have noticed, former Boston Globe Names stalwarts Mark Shanahan and Meredith Goldstein were deleted from the sort-of gossip column several months ago. Last known sighting was June 18.

 

 

After that, the column had this stripped-down look.

 

 

Until yesterday, that is, when Names got a bit of a facelift.

 

 

Most of the content has been outsourced to Boston.com writers, chief among them Kevin Slane. Nice chance to make a name for himself.

Meanwhile, memo to Boston Herald Track Gal Olivia Vanni: Now’s the time to hit up your bosses for a fall makeover, no?


Boston Herald’s New E-Edition: E Stands for Exit

September 5, 2018

The Not-So-Boston Herald has, over the past handful of months, 1) moved its printing from the Boston Globe’s Taunton press to the Providence Journal’s plant in Rhode Island, and 2) announced the paper’s move from Fargo Street to Braintree later this year.

Despite the Herald’s sunny-side-up promotion of its new printing press (“our loyal customers can look forward to a more reader-friendly paper”) and new home (Free parking! Convenient shopping! On-site Leanbox (whatever the hell that is)! Amenities! Miles from Boston!), it sure doesn’t feel like good news.

But this – which hit our email in-box last evening – sure does.

Here’s our question: Is the hardreading staff eligible to win? (We’re guessing not, since no one at the feisty local tabloid can stand us.)

Anyway, here’s the new format.

 

 

Not to get technical about it, but that was the E-Edition at 12:10 this morning, which seemed a bit, well, out of step.

(It’s all sorted now, though, as my morning E-Editon email informed me. Oddly, the print edition of the slightly local tabloid had no mention of the new digital paper. It also lacked last night’s baseball scores. The E-Edition, at least, had some but not all. Stick that in your email, eh?)


Something Rotten in MA-3 Video Hit on Rufus Gifford

August 27, 2018

To beat or not to beat? That is the question editors at news organizations have to answer when they come into possession of anonymous attacks on political candidates.

Today, Boston Herald editors chose the former.

Rufus Gifford, former U.S. Ambassador to Denmark and current candidate in the MA-3 Democratic congressional primary, got whacked by the sketchy local tabloid in this Hillary Chabot column.

Gifford: Political Hit ‘Out of Context’

Video compilation smears 3rd District contender

Top Democratic congressional contender Rufus Gifford says politicians “are pretty good at faking it,” discusses his lack of ties to Boston and details the exhausting process of walking a red carpet in a cringeworthy video released yesterday.

The video, a compilation of Gifford’s own words from Netflix reality series “I Am the Ambassador,” was posted Saturday on an anonymous Dropbox account as an apparent political hit on Gifford. It casts him as an elitist outsider, complete with VIP access to New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft at Gillette Stadium.

“If I was in L.A. or D.C., I’d probably know more people than I would in Boston ’cause I’ve never lived here as an adult and I’ve never worked here,” Gifford says while watching the game in a luxury suite. He then answers his cellphone.

Punchline: “‘Yeah, it’s a great game. We’ll leave at half time,’ Gifford says.”

Ouch.

Gifford told the Herald that it’s “really unfortunate and extremely disappointing” that someone “would . . . twist my words, take them out of context, and use them in a nasty campaign smear.”

He likely also thinks it’s really unfortunate that the Herald decided to report on the video.

To be sure graf goes here.

To be sure, editorial calls like this one are tough to make, and the Dropbox video would absolutely be newsworthy if it came from one of the other candidates in the 3rd District race.

But given the obscurity of the video and its questionable provenance, somehow this feels more like like the Herald making the news than reporting it.

Two be sure graf goes here.

Before any of you splendid readers level the same charge at the hardworking staff, please consider that 1) we’re engaged in media criticism, not reporting, and 2) we don’t have 40,000 readers.

We should live so long.


Ads in Boston Dailies Drive Facebook Clustertruck

August 17, 2018

Of course it’s a glorious day in Boston media when anyone decides to run a full-page ad in both local dailies, given how often the thirsty local tabloid is overlooked by marketers.

So mark today on your calendar, since this ad appears in both the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald.

 

 

 

Apparently, the best part of Facebook is located here.

 

 

The obvious question is, what the truck is that?

Fortunately, Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise reporter Cheryl Cuddahy explains in this piece.

Like a good food truck? You’re in luck

Rolling hills and vistas are your view as you unplug for a while and enjoy food of every style and culture at the second annual Clustertruck Food Truck Festival coming to Lancaster [next week].

More than 25 food trucks and 35 mobile businesses from around New England will converge on Kalon Farm to serve, fresh, locally sourced foods and to sell their artisan crafts.

The Clustertruck Food Truck Festival will be celebrated Saturday, Aug. 25, from noon to 6 p.m., at Kalon Farm, scenically located at 339 Seven Bridge Road, Route 117.

 

The festivities will include food, wine, artisans, and contributions to local charities. What’s not included is Facebook’s connection to the event beyond this one sentence: “For more information on The Clustertruck Food Truck Festival, visit www.theclustertruck.com or find the festival on Facebook.”

So we trundled over to the Clustertruck website but we still don’t get why Facebook is spending tens of thousands of dollars to advertise that particular festival. Business Insider ran this piece in April about Facebook’s Here Together campaign in the wake of the Cambridge Analytical scandal, but so far at least, we can’t find anything on Get Together.

Truck us, eh?