Boston Herald’s New Home-Subscription Shenanigans

June 17, 2019

Now that the hardreading staff has gone all-digital and the Boston Herald is down to 16 home subscribers, the feisty local tabloid clearly needs to find new sources of revenue.

So buried on page 3 of today’s print edition is a To Our Readers box.

 

 

For those without magnifying glasses:

 

 

Really? An opt-out? That’s how you treat your faithful readers, Heraldniks?

And, all due respect, did it not occur to you to mention what the Special Section (Only $5.00!) is about?

Just wondering.


Juul’s Vape-and-Switch of Boston Herald in Ad Blitz

June 12, 2019

As the hardreading staff has previously noted, Juul Labs  – the company that owns 75% of the e-cigarette market – has locally run ads like these exclusively in the Boston Herald.

 

 

 

Now, though, faced with numerous lawsuits, Juul Labs is in Defcon 2 as our kissin’ cousins at Campaign Outsider have deftly noted, not to mention this piece by Lachlan Markay and Sam Stein in The Daily Beast.

Juul Spins Vaping as ‘Criminal Justice’ Issue for Black Lawmakers

The company has embarked on a massive lobbying campaign designed to reach the Congressional Black Caucus.

The vaping industry’s unrivaled leader, Juul, is making a huge push to ingratiate itself with America’s communities of color, hoping that doing so will win it critical allies within the Democratic Party who can help it navigate a high-stakes legislative and regulatory minefield.

The company has hired lobbyists and consultants with deep ties to prominent black and Latino lawmakers, steered money to congressional black and Hispanic caucuses, and made overtures to leading civil rights groups. It has enlisted the services of a former head of the NAACP, a board member of the Congressional Black Caucus’s political arm, and the Obama White House’s top civil rights liaison. And it’s sought the support of National Action Network chief Rev. Al Sharpton.

 

Two Daily Town rule of thumb (pat. pending): Whenever Al Sharpton is involved, kindly walk – do not run – to the nearest exit.

Given all that, Juul has now embarked on a full court press of full-page ads in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Boston Globe.

But not the Boston Herald.

Your condolences for the thirsty local tabloid go here.


Two-Daily Town Goes All Digital (And Slightly Mental)

May 23, 2019

For more than two decades the hardreading staff has proudly been one of the 17 home subscribers to the Boston Herald.

But the plopping of four daily newspapers on our doorstep every morning (Boston Herald, Boston Globe, New York Times, Wall Street Journal) has become too much to bear in this, our dotage. So we decided to pare down our print publications.

Ave atque vale, Globe and Herald print editions.

But, of course, it wasn’t that easy.

The Herald, feistily, told us that we’d have to wait for a month to convert our print subscription to a digital-only one – a sort of tabloid quarantine that seems totally self-defeating.

The Globe, on the other hand, welcomed our shift from print to digital, as it has with many others according to this piece from the estimable Don Seiffert in the Boston Business Journal,

The Boston Globe now has more online subscribers than print ones

The Boston Globe reached a milestone earlier this year when the number of its digital subscribers surpassed that of its weekday print subscribers for the first time — likely the only traditional, regional daily in the U.S. to have done so.

Filings the Globe submitted in the past week to the Alliance for Audited Media show that the inflection point occurred sometime in the first three months of the year. During that time, the number of weekday print subscribers fell from 108,719 to 98,978, an 11 percent decline year-over-year. That’s about on par with industry-wide rates of decline.

During the same time, the filing indicates that digital subscriptions — as measured by a category called “restricted digital access”— went from 107,902 to 112,241 as of March 31. While the Globe doesn’t specify exactly how it counts the number of online subscribers, restricted digital access seems to be a good approximation, and the paper’s director of consumer revenue, Tom Brown, confirmed this week that its number of online subscribers now stands at 112,700.

 

Handy circulation chart:

Except the BBJ piece kind of glossed over the economics of the Globe subscription shift.

Let’s take the hardreading staff, for example. Previously, we paid about $850 a year (!) for our Globe print subscription (digital access included). That’s roughly eight times what we pay for the Times or the Journal, and twice what we now pay for the Globe’s Sunday print edition and digital access.

Two-Daily Town Calculator (pat. pending):

For every lost print subscriber and gained digital subscriber, the Boston Globe loses roughly $400 per annum. Not to mention, according the the BBJ report, the Globe this past year lost 10,000 print subscribers and gained 5,000 digital ones.

Totally not sure how that makes the Boston Globe more financially viable.

But, as the big time reporters say, time will tell.


Boston Globe ‘Potlight’ Team Is Less Than Frank

May 3, 2019

First, a disclaimer.

Yesterday’s Boston Globe Spotlight Team report on political influence in the Massachusetts Weed Bakeoff is a terrific piece of reporting.

Increasing their nut graf:

[S]o far, winning a license to sell pot in Massachusetts often seems to be determined by whom you know — or if you can afford to pay a lobbyist or consultant who knows people.

At least 12 of the 17 recreational pot stores open as of May 1 hired lobbyists or former politicians. The Boston Globe Spotlight Team obtained, through public records requests, thousands of e-mails relating to pot shop proposals in a host of communities. The fingerprints of influence peddlers — consultants, lawyers, lobbyists — are all over them.

This should be no surprise; it would be a surprise, in fact, if the influence business had taken a pass on the lucrative potential of pot. But the flood of former government officials coming into the pot business — including former governor and current presidential candidate William F. Weld, former state House speaker Thomas M. Finneran, former state senator Andrea F. Nuciforo Jr., former Boston city councilor Michael P. Ross and even former Boston police superintendent-in-chief Daniel Linskey — is striking.

 

Noticeably absent from that roll-your-own call: former Massachusetts congressman Barney Frank, even though the Globe itself recently noted his tokin’ contribution to the weedification of the Bay State.

Barney Frank joins local marijuana business

When it comes to marijuana, Barney Frank and Bill Weld were both decades ahead of the political curve.

Frank, the longtime former Massachusetts congressman, supported legalization when he was a state representative in the early 1970s. Weld, for his part, backed medical marijuana as the governor of Massachusetts in the early 1990s. (Neither proposal went anywhere.)

Now, it’s Frank who will follow in Weld’s footsteps by joining a marijuana company. But while Weld last year joined the board of a slick conglomerate with national ambitions, Frank is linking up with a decidedly less corporate operation: Beantown Greentown, a local group of underground growers, marketers, and event organizers — you may remember their 100-foot joint stunt — trying to go legit.

 

The hardreading staff is not at all sure why the Globe bogarted Barney in its otherwise impressive investigation.

But our interest is definitely high.


Stop & Shop Ad Feeds the Public a Bunch of Baloney

April 23, 2019

During the 10-day strike by roughly 31,000 Stop & Shop workers the past couple of weeks, the supermarket chain ran a series of ads like this one in the Boston dailies.

 

Last Friday the five locals of the United Food and Commercial Workers responded with this clearly superior ad in the Boston Globe.

 

 

The UFCW won not only the ad battle, but the contract skirmish as well, as Globe reporter Katie Johnston details on Page One of today’s edition.

If members of the five union locals approve — voting starts later this week — new part-time workers would get lower pension contributions and would not be guaranteed time-and-a-half pay on Sundays and holidays during their first three years, as other workers are, according to the union. In a workforce largely made up of part-timers, this is not an insignificant change.

But the union succeeded in beating back a raft of other proposals. And if the contract is approved, current workers would get raises and the company would boost pension contributions for full-timers and maintain its current contributions for part-timers. That prompted the president of one of the five union locals to declare a “major victory.”

 

UMass Amherst labor studies professor Tom Juravich agreed, noting that 75% of loyal shoppers stayed away during the strike and the company lost $2 million a day. “That kind of leverage is unprecedented since the golden years of auto and steel,” he told Johnston.

So it was, well, interesting to see this ad also run in today’s Globe.

 

Sorry, fellas. Your customers were neither patient nor understanding. And they definitely did not stick with you.

You got your ads kicked.


Stop & Shop to Boston Herald: Eat Your Heart Out

April 14, 2019

Now that the Teamsters have gone out in sympathy with the nearly 31,000 Stop & Shop workers who went on strike three days ago, management is apparently looking for some sympathy of its own. Thus, this full-page ad in today’s Boston Globe.

 

Here’s their website if you want more of management’s side. One thing they do not address is why they didn’t run the ad in the Boston Herald.

Afraid the readership is too union-friendly and an ad addressed to them would be a waste of money? Or just oblivious to the thirsty local tabloid, like so many others in this town.

Whatever, let’s hope those readers stop shopping at Stop & Shop. For good.


Boston Globe Story a Free Ad for Fenway Advertiser

April 6, 2019

From our Boston GlobeSox desk

A sharp-eyed Two-Daily Town reader posted this on Facebook last night.

Wow, the Boston Globe has a story about a Red Sox commercial partner — a casino, no less — entering into a deal to put an ad on the left field wall (I refuse to call the edifice by its brand name.) And it comes with a picture of the new logo. Imagine that. How ever did the team owners convince the region’s dominant media outlet to run a piece on what is essentially a marketing deal that enriches the owners but means nothing to fans. Boy, that’s some pull, huh? ( The Globe, by the way, most recently ran an editorial opposing expanding casino gambling, a move that would hamper the Sox newest partner.  Hmm, wonder if [the] hard reading staff at “It’s Good to Live in a Two-Daily Town” took notice.)

 

Sure enough, this piece was sitting up like tee-ball on the Globe’s website.

Red Sox and MGM Resorts officials reveal additions at Fenway Park

The Green Monster has a new logo, just in time for the Red Sox home opener.

A large advertisement featuring MGM Resorts’ roaring lion trademark was unveiled at Fenway Park Friday, courtesy of a new partnership between the team and the casino giant.

“This is hallowed ground,” said Jim Murren, chief executive officer of MGM Resorts International. “The fact that Fenway Sports is willing to work with us is humbling.”

 

Yeesh.

The story also flacks “an array of new concession snacks, renovations to the press box and player clubhouses, and augmented-reality capabilities for the MLB Ballpark app, which will allow fans to roam the stadium with their phones, scan certain objects, and see them come to life.”

Two things to note:

1) Nowhere in that piece – or in the print version – is it disclosed that the Boston Globe is owned by Red Sox owner John Henry.

2) The piece was written by a Globe correspondent – not a staffer – who is presumably blameless in this matter and so will go unnamed.

But the correspondent’s editors – they’ve got some ‘splaining to do, no?