Boston Herald Is Sold(er) Out by Departing Patriot

March 26, 2018

From our Local Dailies DisADvantage desk

First, disclosure: The hardreading staff has been a New York Giants fan since the days the team was called the New York Football Giants. (Don’t bother sending any abusive comments, splendid readers. Being a Giants fan is punishment enough itself.)

So we’re quite happy that former New England Patriot left tackle Nate Solder is Big Town bound, even at the cost of $62 million over four years, with $35 million guaranteed.

Solder’s feelings about leaving town, however, are mixed, as he mentioned in this full-page ad in yesterday’s Boston Globe.

Crosstown at the Boston Herald there was . . . nothing.

Note to Nate: Some denizens of Patriot Nation actually read the Herald. Apparently you won’t miss them – except with your ad dollars. Maybe Herald scribe Karen Guregian should take back the respectful sendoff she gave you yesterday.

Plenty left still to tackle

Solder loss leaves hole, concerns

The Patriots have a question mark in a place no team wants a question mark. They’re below par in the one position they can’t afford to be, especially with Tom Brady the linchpin to their success.

Uncertainty with Brady’s blind side protector? That’s not been a major storyline heading into a season for quite some time. Left tackle has been a strength for nearly two decades, from Matt Light to Nate Solder.

 

For the Herald, advertisers present a different kind of blind side: They don’t even see the thirsty local tabloid.

New slogan for the paper: Ad loss leaves hole, concerns.

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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.


Boston Globe Auctions Off More of Its News Pages

March 12, 2018

As the hardreading staff dolefully noted over the past few years, the Boston Globe’s editorial content has increasingly been playing footsie with marketing partners ranging from Suffolk University to Steward Health Care System to Rockland Trust to the Star Wars franchise.

Now comes Cross Insurance to “present” this page in yesterday’s Boston Sunday Globe Arts section.

 

 

(To be sure graf goes here)

To be sure, the hardreading staff has seen no Cross Insurance tit-for-tad in the $tately local broadsheet. But there is this sponsored content produced by BG BrandLab, the Globe’s in-house shop for producing ads in sheep’s clothing.

 

 

Yes yes – we’re aware that a disclosure line sits atop the website, albeit as inconspicuously as possible.

And if you click on the Information doohickey, this drops down.

 

 

Raise your hand if you ever click on that doohickey. Yeah, us neither.

Regardless of the level of transparency, we’re just uneasy overall about attaching financial interests to editorial content.

Never the twain should meet, right?

Or are we just hopelessly out of date?


Boston Herald’s Inside Track ‘Throne’ for a Loop

February 22, 2018

Well, this is not encouraging.

In today’s Boston Herald, Inside Track gal Olivia Vanni dishes about author Andrew Morton’s appearance at the Boston Public Library last night to flog his new book about Wallis Simpson, Wallis in Love.

In the course of the evening, Morton’s attention turned to the subject of his next book: Meghan Markle, Prince Harry’s fiancée.

As it appeared in the print edition:

Really? “Gave up the thrown”? Twice?

Earlier today it was the same in the online version.

“Edward gave up the thrown. Meghan’s given up ‘The Tig,’ ” said Morton, who spoke at the Boston Public Library about his newly released book, “Wallis in Love: The Untold Life of the Duchess of Windsor, the Woman Who Changed the Monarchy” last night.

“In this modern age, that’s quite the sacrifice,” he jokingly added. “The king giving up the thrown was a mere bauble compared to her voluntarily giving up her Instagram account.”

 

But now it’s been fixed.

“Edward gave up the throne. Meghan’s given up ‘The Tig,’ ” said Morton, who spoke at the Boston Public Library about his newly released book, “Wallis in Love: The Untold Life of the Duchess of Windsor, the Woman Who Changed the Monarchy” last night.

“In this modern age, that’s quite the sacrifice,” he jokingly added. “The king giving up the throne was a mere bauble compared to her voluntarily giving up her Instagram account.”

 

(To be sure graf goes here)

To be sure, it’s just one little mistake, so why make a federal case out of it, right?

It does make one wonder, though: Can the shaky local tabloid really afford to lose 25% of its already skeletal staff, as new owner Digital First Media plans to do?

Feels like not.


Boston Globe Scoops the Herald on Herald Sale

February 15, 2018

For the past several months, the Boston Globe has been playing catch-up to the Herald in covering the sale of the feisty local tabloid.

Today the Globe caught up.

Under the unusual byline “Globe Staff,” the stately local broadsheet reported the details of yesterday’s bake sale.

Bidding for Herald jumped by millions at auction

Digital First Media is poised to become the new owner of the Boston Herald after besting competitors with multiple higher bids during a bankruptcy auction Tuesday that netted nearly $12 million, according to newly filed court documents.

A transcript of the auction held in the office of Herald law firm Brown Rudnick revealed that Digital First opened with a bid valued at around $7.6 million — higher than the offers already in place from two other competitors, GateHouse Media and Revolution Capital Group.

After GateHouse countered Digital First with a slightly higher offer, Revolution Capital dropped out, leaving the two competitors to trade bids several times until Digital First’s final offer proved too rich for GateHouse, according to a transcript of the auction filed with bankruptcy court in Delaware.

 

And Digital’s final offer? “The Denver-based company, which owns daily and weekly newspapers in Colorado, California, Massachusetts, and several other states, prevailed with a final offer of $9.6 million in cash, $1 million in accrued paid time off to employees, and another $1.4 million in assumed liabilities.”

Crosstown at the Herald, reporter Brian Dowling didn’t have those numbers, but he did spotlight what exactly that breakdown means.

This year, the pension, severance and retirement payments to employees were estimated to reach $3.5 million, according to court papers. The pension, severance and retirement accounts had accrued nearly $25 million in liabilities when the company filed for bankruptcy.

 

Obviously $2.4 million isn’t gonna put much of a dent in that. Dowling also reported that Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is “urging Herald ownership to strike a deal to save workers’ pensions.”

All due respect, Mistah Mayah, the corn is off the cob – unless the bankruptcy judge steps in to change the deal. We’ll find out tomorrow.


Who Knew the Boston Herald Was Worth $12 Million?

February 14, 2018

Eat your heart out, Mort Zuckerman.

Back in September, the real estate magnate sold the legendary New York Daily News to Tronc (rhymes with bonk) for exactly $1 – 50¢ less than the price of the paper’s Sunday edition.

(To be fair graf goes here)

To be fair, Tronc did assume $30 million in operational and pension liabilities, but hey – a dollar’s a dollar, yeah?

Boston Herald owner Pat Purcell, on the other hand, scooped up a helluva lot more in yesterday’s bake sale of the shaky local tabloid.

From Brian Dowling’s piece in today’s edition of the soldy local tabloid:

Digital First Media enters $11.9M top bid for Boston Herald

Digital First Media won the Boston Herald in a 5-hour bankruptcy auction with a top $11.9 million bid that all but settles who will carry the news organization into the next chapter of the city’s media history.

The newspaper company, which operates as Media News Group and owns hundreds of publications across the country, including the Denver Post, bested two other suitors — GateHouse Media and Revolution Capital. Digital First also owns the Lowell Sun and the Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise in Massachusetts.

 

But that doesn’t mean it’s all roses and lollipops at Fargo Street. As the Boston Globe’s Jon Chesto reports, Digital First Media “has earned a reputation for relentless cost-cutting” – not a good omen for the Herald rank and file.

And, as our kissin’ cousins at One-Daily Town recently noted, Digital First just ditched the Sentinel & Enterprise’s brick-and-mortar home for a “virtual newsroom.”

So maybe you Heraldniks might want to bring some of your personal items home.


Tom Brady’s TAG Heuer Ad Yesterday Was Bad Timing

February 6, 2018

From our Late to the Party Pooper desk

Despite the Boston Globe’s delivery discombobulation yesterday, the hardreading staff was nonetheless remiss in failing to point out this ad in the lately local broadsheet’s Sports section.

 

 

Uh-huh.

Oddly enough, #DontCrackUnderPressure contained exactly zero tweets about Brady’s, well, cracking in Super Bowl LII.

Which says something about either 1) the effectiveness of Tom Brady’s PR machine, or 2) the lack of effectiveness of newspaper ads.

Or maybe both.