Globe Sells Globe Sale Short

February 19, 2014

It started yesterday with Jason Schwartz’s big John Henry takeout (via Boston Daily).

Will John Henry Save the Globe?

Maybe, but his ambitions are much grander. “I feel my mortality,” he says. So here’s his plan: He’s going to use the time he has left on earth to try to save journalism itself.

Just days after striking a deal to buy the Boston Globe from the New York Times Company last summer, John Henry walked into the paper’s newsroom john-henryas the city’s most important private citizen in decades—maybe centuries. He already owned one great Boston institution, the Red Sox, and now, for a mere $70 million, he’d bought a second.

As he made his way around the room to greet reporters and editors, neither party knew quite what to make of the other. “He was standing, hovering over my desk with an outstretched arm. It was really weird,” one reporter recalls. “Like, ‘Hi, I’m John Henry.’ ‘Oh, hello.’”

“You’re shaking a billionaire’s hand,” says another. “There’s an apprehension to it. Okay, what’s going to happen? We know so little about him.”

 

We know more now, thanks to the Boston magazine piece. For instance, we know this:

[Henry has] decided that it’s time for the Globe to make a move. The prospective sale of the paper’s 16-acre Morrissey Boulevard property, he says, “will provide us with the ability to move into a smaller, more efficient and modern facility in the heart of the city. We believe that there is enough excess value there to fund very important investments in our long-term future, if the community supports development of the property.”

 

As night follows the Daily, today’s Boston Herald jumped right on the story.

John Henry to sell Globe HQ

Moving broadsheet to smaller digs in ‘heart’ of Boston

_AN18577.JPGRed Sox owner John Henry plans to sell The Boston Globe’s headquarters on Morrissey Boulevard and relocate the broadsheet to a smaller facility somewhere “in the heart of” the Hub — but so far he’s made no mention of when the move will happen or what he’ll do with the paper’s printing press operations.

“I’m sure right now there are a lot of people at the Globe wondering what’s going on, but certainly if I were an employee that worked on the printing press I would be concerned,” said Suffolk University journalism chairman Bob Rosenthal.

 

One possibility: a shotgun wedding between the Globe and NESN, which has studios in Watertown.

[Insert don’t-forget-to-tweest graf here]

The decision to sell underlines what many experts have said all along — that the $70 million sale to Henry was mainly a land transaction.

“It is a reminder of how much of the value of the Globe lies in the real estate and physical assets, and how little remains in the financial value of the operating company,” said Nicholas Retsinas, a senior lecturer in real estate at the Harvard Business School.

 

Ouch.

Crosstown at the stately low-cost broadsheet, all’s quiet on the Henry front. We’ll see how long that lasts.

 


Boston Herald ‘Press Party’ Crasher

November 1, 2013

Well, more like shaker-upper if you want to get technical about it.

The feisty local tabloid has a new host for Press Party, its weekly media-review webcast, along with a streamlined panel.

The musical chairs featured former Press Party multimedia reporter Katie Eastman taking over the host’s role, while former host (and Herald columnist) Joe Battenfeld moves over to the panel.

 

Screen Shot 2013-11-01 at 1.38.06 PM

 

(That’s Herald reporter Hillary Chabot and Suffolk University’s Bob Rosenthal in the other two chairs. The fifth chair from previous webcasts is, well, unendowed.)

As for the content of the webcast, we’ll leave that to the hardreading staff at Campaign Outsider.

Meanwhile, in other Herald web news, a splendid reader of Two-Daily Town sent this today:

Have you noticed that they’ve cut the 6 to 9 a.m. slot [on Boston Herald Radio]? If you turn to the radio page in the paper, you’ll see there’s nothing listed. I listened this morning for a bit between 6 and 6:30 and heard an unbelievably lame segment from yesterday’s sports show followed by the beginning of Graham’s Thursday show.

Said radio page:

 

Screen Shot 2013-11-01 at 1.31.08 PM

 

The rumor mill also has Battenfeld taking over the vacated 6 to 9 slot.

Stay tuned.


Our ‘Beat the Press Party’ Bakeoff (Spotlight the Globe Edition)

April 6, 2013

It’s time once again to review the Great Boston MediaWatch Dogfight, especially the rumpus over the Boston Globe’s Spotlight report, Driven to the Edge.

Start as usual with the underdog Boston Herald, which has been hounding its crosstown rival all week over the Globe’s three-part taxidermy of the Boston cab industry.

The Herald’s Press Party segment is here.

Highlights.

The set-up piece accused the Globe of deception and essentially declared reporters should never go undercover, a position host Joe Battenfeld persistently pursued.

And a position Suffolk University’s Bob Rosenthal seconded, asserting that the Globe did a good job but committed an ethical violation because the paper could have gotten the story otherwise – which is nonsense.

Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson and State Rep. Shaunna O’Connell, to their credit, countered that the Globe could not have gotten the story without going undercover.

Over at the Big Dog, WGBH’s Beat the Press (hosted by Emily Rooney), the conversation went this way:

Host Emily Rooney said sometimes the end justifies the means.

The panelists generally praised the Globe story, asserted that you need to cross your T’s and dot your I’s in these situations, and said the Herald was just being the Herald.

Who’s Top Dog?

You tell us.

Originally posted at Campaign Outsider.