Boston.com(merce) Shmushes Advertising & Editorial

June 7, 2017

From our State of the Cuisinart Marketing desk

In response to the hardreading staff’s post the other day about the Boston Herald auctioning off its editorial content to advertisers (and in the process conscripting its freelance writers into some sort of lend-lease program), splendid reader MM sent us this.

 

 

The Boston.com article in question: 

15 can’t-miss concerts in Boston this June

From Kiss Concert to Dead & Company, Hall & Oates to Megadeth.

An annual summer pop staple and pioneering jam band at Fenway are just two great music events hitting Boston in June.

Guitar gods

Rodrigo Y Gabriela
Flamenco guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela is celebrating 10 years of performing together with a U.S. tour that will stop in Boston. The Mexico City natives are acoustic guitar virtuosos, and bring intricate soloing and and an unrivaled dynamic to a genre that’s not often given the spotlight. The two have collaborated with many famous composers and have even performed at the White House for President Barack Obama. (Tuesday, June 6 at 7 p.m.; House of Blues; $39.50-$59.50; all ages; tickets available here)

 

And etc. – for 14 more events.

Every tickets available here links to a ticket-buying site such as the House of Blues or MLB.com or AXS.com.

And what MM points out as “the italicized line at the end”?

Boston.com will receive payment if a purchase is made through the article.

 

As MM notes, that might be the first such partnership for Boston.com, but it’s emblematic of the monetizing efforts newspaper companies like Boston Globe Media are scrambling to initiate as they battle dwindling circulation numbers and plummeting ad revenues.

(The New York Times Co. has been the hands-down leader in this mash for cash, as our kissin’ cousins at Campaign Outsider have dutifully chronicled.)

But Globe Media has been ramping up the money chase as well. In addition to the Boston.commerce gambit, there’s the Globe Live storytelling event last month, the ongoing Boston Globe Travel Show, and who knows what else to come.

(To be sure graf goes here.)

To be sure, the hardrooting staff is all for anything that keeps newspapers alive and well – and keeps the separation between advertising and editorial alive and well at the same time.

‘Nuf sed.


‘Chill’ Out! Boston Globe Section Iced by Advertisers

November 7, 2016

As we approach ski season, the Boston Globe revived its Chill section yesterday (totally useless Globe search engine link here), which was created specifically to attract winter sports advertisers, but apparently does not.

Ironic Page One headline:

 

 

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Now call the (pay)roll:

There are two quarter-page ads (one for Summit Ski Shop, one for Mount Washington Resort at Bretton Woods) and one full-page ad (for Country Ski & Sport) in the 12-page section, but all the other ads are for the Boston.com Ski & Snowboard Expo, including this two-page center spread.

 

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In other words, Chill is just a big house ad for one of the Globe’s extracurricular activities.

The whole thing reminds us of the Chad Mitchell Trio’s classic “Super Skier.”

 

 

And two one-legged skiers went from there . . . 

Sounds like the Globe moving to State Street, yeah?


No Boston.comment for Boston Herald

September 16, 2015

The Boston Globe’s Boston.com website has gone Chernobyl, with two recent masthead departures and 12 staffers laid off yesterday.

The Boston Herald’s Owen Boss has the story today:

Beleaguered Boston.com lays off 12 in big shake-up

 

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A dozen employees were laid off today in a shakeup at the Boston Globe’s Boston.com website, a company spokesman has confirmed.

“This is a business decision that is part of a larger effort at Boston Globe Media Partners designed to put Boston.com in a stronger and more sustainable position for growth,” Boston.com said in a prepared statement. “That said, we would be remiss to overlook the fact that this was also a people decision, one that affects the lives of many who have worked tirelessly to support our operation. We are deeply grateful for that work.”

Today’s layoffs follow the recent departure of the website’s editor-in-chief, Tim Molloy, and general manager, Corey Gottlieb, and are part of a change in “operational vision” for the website, Boston.com said.

 

Spokesman, statement – whatever. Sure looks like no one at the Globe was willing to talk to the feisty local tabloid.

But they’re certainly talking to themselves at the Globe.

Boston.com lays off 12 staffers

Boston Globe Media Partners LLC on Tuesday laid off a dozen writers and producers at Boston.com, roughly one-sixth of the website’s staff. Globe Media chief executive Mike Sheehan said the reduction is part of a broader strategy for the site that will take shape over two to three months, though he declined to provide details. The company has sought Screen Shot 2015-09-16 at 1.15.46 PMover the past two years to establish Boston.com, previously the online home of Boston Globe newspaper content, as a semi-autonomous news and entertainment site with its own identity. BostonGlobe.com, with a metered paywall, now hosts all stories and photos from the newspaper. “It’s an evolution,” Sheehan said. “One of the smartest things that was ever done at the Globe was separating BostonGlobe.com from Boston.com — taking Globe content off the Boston.com site and then building a very robust digital subscriber base that’s now third in the country for daily newspapers, behind The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.” The layoffs came a day after editor Tim Molloy said he would step down and followed last week’s announcement that general manager Corey Gottlieb was leaving to join the Boston-based fantasy sports company DraftKings Inc. Gottlieb and his successor, Eleanor Cleverly, said the downsizing is “designed to put Boston.com in a stronger and more sustainable position for growth.” They added that “we would be remiss to overlook the fact that this was also a people decision, one that affects the lives of many who have worked tirelessly to support our operation. We are deeply grateful for that work.” — CALLUM BORCHERS

 

That item – tucked into the Talking Points column in the print edition – is buried like Jimmy Hoffa on the website.

 

Regardless, we’re still left wondering whether the Globe wouldn’t talk to the Herald’s Owen Boss, or if they missed connections, or . . . something else.

So we’ll send him an email and keep you posted.


Track Whacks Globe Over Non-Disclose

April 8, 2015

Boston GlobeSox owner John Henry gets batted around in the Boston Herald’s Inside Track today, thanks to this Eric Wilbur piece on boston.com.

Boston is Still a Red Sox Town Even if Tom Brady is King

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Who rules Boston: the Red Sox or Patriots?

Ultimately, there is no clear front-runner in the debate over whether Boston has ultimately become a football town, or if it maintains its long-time status as a bastion of baseball devotees.

The correct answer is both. It’s a Red Sox town. And it’s a Patriots town.

 

And boston.com is a Henry town, although the piece never mentions that. Which led Track Gal Gayle Fee to mention this:

SURPRISE! GLOBE SITE CITES SOX #1

Stop the presses: “Boston is Still a Red Sox Town Even If Tom Brady Is King.”NEL_5931.JPG

That’s according to Boston.
com, the digital arm of the Boston Globe. But nowhere in the commentary by sports blogger Eric Wilbur does he mention that the Red Sox, the Globe and Boston.com are all owned by the same man — John Henry!

Which makes Wilbur’s conclusion — that without Brady, the Patriots would be chopped liver, fanwise — somewhat suspect, don’t cha think???

 

Full disclosure: The hardreading staff believes that any publication owned by Henry should disclose the connection every time it reports on the Boston Red Sox or the Liverpool Football Club or Roush Fenway Racing or Fenway Park or anything Henry has purchased since we started this post. Some people we greatly respect believe we’re over-fastidious in this matter (hi, Dan!), but we’ve learned to live with that.

Then again, some have learned to live without.

Boston.com editor Tim Molloy, who has been on the job just under a month, said he has not even met John Henry, let alone been told what to write by the Sox boss. And Molloy said he saw no problem in Wilbur’s not disclosing the boss’s mutual ownership in the piece.

“I think that’s pretty well known,” he told the Track. “It’s not anything we disguise or try to keep secret. And I’ve had absolutely no contact with Mr. Henry in terms of anything editorial.”

 

That last, of course, is entirely beside the point. Regardless, Molloy told the Track that “if Henry’s ownership of the paper, the website and the team were disclosed in Wilbur’s piece, it should be disclosed ‘every time we write about the Red Sox.'”

Exactly.


Boston Herald: Boston.com Credibility Went Southie in St. Pat’s Coverage

March 18, 2015

No question: Boston.com has had its troubles lately.

And here comes more. From Boston Herald scribe Jessica Heslam’s column in today’s edition of the failly local tabloid:

Boston.com lowers the bar

Another kerfuffle after Southie 
post: ‘Every day is a drunk day’

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One day after a new editor took charge to impose standards at the Boston Globe’s beleaguered Boston.com, the website is drawing fire again — this time for posting a story that stated, “Every day is a drunk day in Southie.”

Headlined “True Life: I Was a Bartender In Southie During the St. Paddy’s Day Parade,” the post was written by Boston.com wire staff writer Jamie Loftus, who wrote about her experience at a South Boston restaurant during Sunday’s St. Patrick’s Day parade.

“Every day is a drunk day in Southie, but St. Paddy’s Day runs by a completely separate set of laws,” wrote Loftus, whose website bio says she is also a “standup and sketch performer.” “Sure, the tips are good, but servers earn every cent when it comes to dealing with the drunk masses first thing in the morning.”

 

Money quote: “I’m surprised such bigoted views are still tolerated at Boston.com,” said U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-South Boston).

There’s also a tsk-tsk from former Boston mayor/current Herald contributor Ray Flynn, but it’s not worth repeating.

What is worth repeating: Boston.com needs some serious adult supervision.

Either that, or the Boston Globe should tear the sheets with Buston.com.


Boston 2024: The Grift That Keeps on Giving

March 13, 2015

From our Five-Ring Monte desk

Nice his ‘n’ her columns in today’s local dailies about the latest hijinks from the high-rolling Boston 2024 machers.

Ladies first. The Boston Globe’s Shirley Leung gives the 2024niks a front-page dopeslap for “acting like a private club.”

The secrets boomerang on Games organizers

The Boston Olympic movement hit a new low this week, and even ringleader John Fish would have a hard time arguing with that.

That would explain all the mea culpas.

“There were some mistakes in communication,” acknowledged Fish, the chief executive of Suffolk Construction, in a lengthy phone interview.

 

The mistake, of course, was not communicating, but why get technical about it.

Crosstown at the Boston Herald, Howie Carrtoon’s column gives the Boston 2024 boyos a much harder time.

Let hack Games begin at St. Pat’s feed

Will Boston 2024 set up a booth at Halitosis Hall on Sunday morning so that all the hacks can fill out their applications for gainful unemployment at the next Big Dig?

The St. Patrick’s Day breakfast — what better place to recruit yet more indolent dolts and layabouts who need no-heavy-lifting jobs Nancy Kerrigan Devin Logan, who won the silver medal in slopestyle in Sochi this pat February(as opposed to work)?

Come Sunday, John Fish, the unelected pooh-bah of this fiasco, can personally greet the payroll charlies as they stumble into the BCEC.

If you “work” at the MBTA, boys, no need to fill out any of these intrusive forms. Your bona fides are in order. Have you lads been to visit your Uncle Whitey lately?

 

You can probably fill in the rest of the hacky local tabloid rant. Of course if you want some facts about the Boston 2024 payroll patriots, you’ll have to look elsewhere. The hardreading staff recommends Adam Vaccaro’s piece at Boston.com that compares local Olympic spending to previous bids by Chicago and New York. The numbers are very instructive. Not to get technical about it.


Herald Still Fired Up About Boston.com

January 16, 2015

As you would expect, the tsky local tabloid is on the Boston.com rumpus like Brown on Williamson.

From Jessica Heslam:

New Boston.com editor needs cred

Boston Globe’s beleaguered online sister site, Boston.com, is reeling from its latest viral blunder, and it’s high time the rudderless ship finds an experienced captain.

Boston.com yesterday fired Victor Paul Alvarez, an associate editor who posted a story making fun of death threats against House Speaker John Boehner and accusing the Ohio Republican of being a heavy drinker with a “pickled liver” who could survive being poisoned.

Globe CEO Mike Sheehan wouldn’t comment on Alvarez’s ouster but said no other Boston.com staffers were disciplined over the site’s latest mishap.

“It’s onward and upward,” Sheehan said.

 

As opposed to the last month’s downward, yeah?

Heslam also reports, “A contrite Alvarez took to Twitter to address his firing — and critics. ‘The story I wrote was awful. Tasteless. Mean. Bosses felt it was inexcusable. They fired me,’ Alvarez wrote in a tweet. ‘I did not pine for murder. I made a tasteless joke that I clearly regret. Before I was fired and now.'”

And then there’s this:

 

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Crosstown at the Boston Globe, there’s only this:

 

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Explanation? Boston.com GM Corey Gottlieb told Heslam, “We do not comment on individual personnel matters. Any decisions made are far less about one employee than they are about the collective Boston.com team and maintaining and strengthening the standards and values they share.”

But haven’t up to this point, eh?