The Boston Globe’s Saturday Print Edition Scam

April 4, 2020

As the hardreading staff noted the other week, there’s something up with the Boston Globe’s Saturday edition. First there was the abandonment of its WSJr format and return to the paper’s normal configuration, comme çi.

 

 

Then there was this.

The hardreading staff received a call [last month] from the Globe sales department offering us a couple of bucks off our outrageously expensive Sunday print/all access digital subscription for the next three months (which still costs half of our old seven-day print subscription) – plus the Saturday print edition at no extra charge for the next three months and beyond. Plus plus a buck a month thereafter off our old subscription price.

We were supposed to get our first bonus Saturday paper yesterday. We didn’t.

 

That was March 21st. Today marks the third Saturday in a row we’ve failed to get the Globe’s print edition.

We’re not sure what kind of scam this might be. But we’re pretty sure it’s some kind.


What’s Up With the Boston Globe’s Saturday Edition?

March 22, 2020

The hardreading staff is not sure what, but something’s going on at the Boston Globe regarding its Saturday edition.

Exhibit A: The Globe has apparently ditched its five-year-old Saturday format, which at its debut we dubbed WSJr, since it was so clearly a Weekend Wall Street Journal wannabe.

Representative sample from three weeks ago.

 

 

The whole thing was front-loaded – Metro, Nation, World, Business, Opinion all smushed together in the A section. That apparently was meant to clear the decks for a new section – Good Life – which was a thin gruel of lifestyle, arts, and culture.

Coronavirusly or not, the Globe has dumped that Saturday setup and returned to its default format the past two weeks.

Yesterday’s front page:

 

 

Metro and Business now get their own sections (B and D if you’re keeping score at home) and everything seems back to normal.

But there’s more.

Exhibit B: The hardreading staff received a call the other day from the Globe sales department offering us a couple of bucks off our outrageously expensive Sunday print/all access digital subscription for the next three months (which still costs half of our old seven-day print subscription) – plus the Saturday print edition at no extra charge for the next three months and beyond. Plus plus a buck a month thereafter off our old subscription price.

We were supposed to get our first bonus Saturday paper yesterday. We didn’t.

Regardless, we’re wondering why the Globe is doubling down on the Saturday print edition, since you’d think it might be the first to go if the Globeniks decided to scale back.

Actually, since we didn’t get the paper yesterday, maybe they already have.


FreePress to Boston Globe: Drop Coronavirus Paywall

March 19, 2020

According to Free Press, which “was created [in 2003] to give people a voice in the crucial decisions that shape our media,” while the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune and other dailies have dropped their paywalls for coronavirus coverage, the Boston Globe and the Los Angeles Times have not.

Thus, this Free Press post (tip o’ the pixel to Nieman Journalism Lab).

 

 

Here’s some of what Boston Globe Customer Service says about retaining its paywall:

Subscriber support enables the Boston Globe to produce vital reporting that informs and strengthens our community.  Our journalists have been working 24/7 with staff across our organization to provide reliable and helpful information to readers as news on the coronavirus pandemic rapidly unfolds. We are currently offering non-subscribers our lowest rate ever – full digital access to BostonGlobe.com at just $1 for 6 months, commitment-free.

 

(To be fair graf goes here)

To be fair, Boston Globe Media does tout its free coverage at Boston.com, which is sort of CliffsNotes to the Globe, as well as access to some content at STAT and a free newsletter. But that’s hardly the full-court press available at the mother ship.

Which, it seems, is exactly the point the Globe is trying to make.

 


Boston Globe on Verdugo Days Late, Disclosure Short

February 16, 2020

The story of newly minted Red Sox outfielder Alex Verdugo’s involvement it the alleged sexual assault of a minor in 2015 has been out there for over a year, thanks to baseball writer Jessica Quiroli, who chronicled the incident in chilling detail on her blog All Heels on Deck.

Nut graf:

She was one of the 75% of runaways who are female. And, as runaways often do, she found support where she could. Maybe on that February night in Glendale, Arizona, a city nine miles outside of Phoenix, she felt safe when she agreed to hang out with two women, who were a few years older than her, whom she’d met through social media.

Maybe the prospect of hanging out with Los Angeles Dodgers players, in town for Spring Training, sounded like fun. What she ultimately experienced was a twisted night of physical, verbal and sexual abuse. And, once she made her story known, she was subjected to more trauma.

 

The story has also been all over Twitter this past week. But there was nothing in the stately local broadsheet until this story by Peter Abraham and Alex Speier ran in the Boston Sunday Globe (and was buried on the website).

Verdugo explains ’15 police investigation

FORT MYERS, Fla. — New Red Sox outfielder Alex Verdugo acknowledged his involvement in a 2015 incident in Arizona that led to police investigating the alleged sexual assault of a minor by another player.

No charges were ever filed, and, in response to a question from a Globe reporter on Saturday, Verdugo said he was “cleared of any wrongdoing” in the matter.

“With that being said, it was a terrible thing that happened. It was in my past,” Verdugo said. “It was something that I’ve grown from it; I’ve learned from it.”

 

To call that eyewash is an insult to saline solution everywhere.

In addition, a number of significant facts were conspicuously missing from the Globe story.

 

 

One other thing missing: Disclosure of John Henry’s dual ownership of the Boston GlobeSox.

And before you bother pelting me with tweets, a) no, everyone does not know that Henry owns ’em both, and b) even if everyone did know, the disclosure should still be in there.

Yes – every single time.


Boston Herald Subscription: Biggest Waste Ever (VIII)

December 2, 2019

As one of the Boston Herald’s 17 home subscribers, the hardreading staff noted numerous times over the past few years how the print edition of the skimpy local tabloid was often missing late-breaking news and – especially – sports scores.

That deficiency became even more glaring when the Herald shifted its printing a year and a half ago from the Boston Globe’s Taunton facility to the Providence Journal’s Rhode Island press, moving deadlines up to, oh, tea time.

(That contributed in no small part to our dropping the print subscription after several decades and going all-digital.)

But at least the Herald E-Edition would deliver the the later stuff.

Not any more.

Here’s the E-Edition reporting on the New England Patriots’ unthinkable (lookin’ at you, Dan Shaughnessy) loss to the Houston Texans last night.

 

 

As it says at the bottom of the left-hand page, you can get full coverage of last night’s game here.

But at that point, why would you bother?


Boston Globe Rips Off Home Delivery Subscribers

November 24, 2019

Ever since the Boston Globe’s Great Home Delivery Meltdown of 2016 and its 2017 move to a new printing facility, the hardreading staff has significantly lowered its expectations of the cheapskately local broadsheet. And the Globe has managed to fall short of even those.

What arrived at the door of the Global Worldwide Headquarters this morning was a sort of Globe Lite, given that the Globe Magazine and Parade were missing. Consequently, Two-Daily Town’s better half contacted what the Globe laughingly calls its Customer Service department to register our dismay and seek redress.

Alas, that was not to be.

The customer service rep said there would be no followup delivery of the missing sections and no credit for the foulup – not even an extension of our subscription, which the paper supposedly provides in response to a missed delivery. (The Wall Street Journal, by contrast, either delivers missing sections the next day or mails them to the subscriber.)

Is it any wonder, then, that there are currently 66 complaints against the Globe lodged with the Better Business Bureau, mostly from this year.

Representative sample:

Wait – we thought it was the Globe’s responsibility to respect its subscribers. We must be wrong.


Is Herb Chambers Driving Boston Globe Auto Section?

October 29, 2019

After the hardreading staff noted the Boston Globe’s ads-in-sheep’s-clothing inserts that have appeared in the paper the past two weeks, sharp-eyed reader Mark Laurence posted this comment.

How about the Boston Globe Auto section on Saturday and Sunday? The top half of the front page always has a glowing review of a new vehicle, in normal Globe typeface. The bottom half is always an ad from Herb Chambers selling that same vehicle. Yesterday it wasn’t even labeled as an advertising section.

 

Not to get technical about it, Mark, but it’s not really an advertising section. Seems more like an ad-liance.

It can hardly be a coincidence that on four of the past seven Sundays, a Herb Chambers ad below the fold offered the vehicle featured above it.

Representative sample: On October 20, Page One of the Globe’s Sunday Autos section contained an August 24 review of the 2020 Lincoln Aviator by the Detroit Free Press’s Mark Phelan.

 

 

As you can see, the featured vehicle in the ad is the 2020 Lincoln Aviator. Similar combos occurred on September 15, September 29, and October 27. Interestingly, the September 29th review spotlighted . . . the 2020 Lincoln Aviator. Herb must have a bunch of those sitting on the lot.

The question, of course, is this: Does the Globe give Chambers a heads-up on what review is running each Sunday, or does Chambers get to call the car? The harddriving staff would hate to think it’s the latter.