Boston Herald Shrinks Re: Stealth Marketing Disclose

February 3, 2017

As the hardreading staff has noted previously, the Boston Herald has never been overfastidious about distinctions between marketing and news. But the stealthy local tabloid has just gotten one level sneakier.

Today’s edition features this page topped by “sponsored content” touting special Massachusetts Lottery scratch tickets for the Patriots and other New England sports teams. (Inexplicable Little Green Number sold separately.)

 

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Even closer up, the disclosure is pretty minimal.

 

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That’s clearly a step down from the Herald’s previous perfunctory labeling.

 

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Of course, native advertising works best when it labels itself least. The more you think it’s editorial content, the better for the marketer.

And the better for the sneaky local tabloid too.

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How a Two-Daily Town Works (Tito Jackson Edition)

January 2, 2017

Anatomy of a Local News Cycle

On Thursday, this Meghan E. Irons piece appeared on BostonGlobe.com.

In year-end note, Jackson makes his case to Boston

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City Councilor Tito Jackson, who is considering a run for mayor, has posted a polished, well-laid-out case for himself on social media, articulating his 2016 accomplishments.

The message, complete with glossy pictures of the councilor talking to students, rallying crowds, and holding a bullhorn at City Hall, was not specifically addressed to residents in District 7, which he has represented since 2011. Instead it was directed at the entire city.

“Dear Boston,’’ reads Jackson’s message, which appears on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. “It has been an eventful year for us all.”

 

With possibly an even more eventful one to come, if Jackson takes on Boston mayor Marty Walsh.

Then, as surely as day follows night, here came Friday’s Boston Herald, Page One.

 

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The story inside:

More signs Tito to take on Marty

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Operatives working for City Councilor Tito Jackson have registered the website titojacksonformayor.com and have drafted the campaign manager for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, further proof the Roxbury pol is gearing up to take on Mayor Martin J. Walsh next year.

Jackson also just posted a flashy “Dear Boston” online message to supporters citywide — pushed out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram — outlining what could be his platform for running for mayor . . .

Jackson, the District 7 councilor, has said he’s considering a challenge to Walsh and has increased his campaign fundraising and spending over the past several months.

 

Great sidebar: Bill Hyers, the aforementioned campaign manager for Bill de Blasio, is a partner at the political consulting firm Hilltop Public Solutions.

But . . .

Hyers is officially “moonlighting” for Jackson, since Hilltop’s New England office is “firmly in Walsh’s camp for the upcoming election,” according to the Herald.

Bring a food taster to their next office party, eh?

(Other Tito takes in Friday’s pushy local tabloid: A sidebar headlined From the ‘Dear Boston’ letter, and Hillary Chabot’s column Trump could give councilor a boost.)

Follow-up on the Tito Watch in Friday’s Globe: Uh . . . no.

So . . .  on to Saturday’s editions.

Once again the Herald was on Tito like Brown on Williamson, devoting all of page 5 to teeing Tito up (Inexplicable Little Green Numbers sold separately).

 

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Crosstown at Saturday’s Globe: Still no.

So . . . on to Sunday’s editions.

The fading local tabloid featured only this 2017 prediction in a column by Boston Herald Radio yakker John Sapochetti.

• Mayor Martin J. Walsh will narrowly win his re-election bid over Tito Jackson.

 

Crosstown at Sunday’s Globe: Even more no.

So . . . today’s editions.

Tito stories in toto: Zero.

See ya next cycle.


Is Adriana ‘Cohen Away’ from the Boston Herald?

December 6, 2016

Sharp-eyed readers of the feisty local tabloid might have noticed a few changes this week at Boston Herald Radio.

First, though, here’s what the lineup looked like as recently as last Friday.

 

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And here’s the new one.

 

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The change that jumped out at the hardreading staff was the shifting of Herald columnist Adriana Cohen from the daily 6 to 9 morning slot to an hourlong Wednesday gig at noon.

As Ernie Boch Jr. might say, step on down!

But the more we thought about it, the more we started to wonder if this might be a transitional move while Cohen waits for a spot in the Trump administration.

After all, Yo Adriana was one of the most reliable of Trumpkins during the 2016 presidential campaign, although she tragically failed to make The Daily Beast’s All-Star roster of “The Donald’s Army of Media-Hungry Cable News Boosters.”

Which doesn’t seem right since Cohen was willing to do stuff like this (starting around 1:22):

 

 

But that kind of smashmouth politics is just what Trump tends to reward, so don’t be surprised if Cohen drifts down to D.C. sometime after the first of the year.

(Hey – maybe she and Trump coatholder Howie Carr could room together!)


Boston Herald Joins Globe in Editorial Bake Sale

December 18, 2015

As the hardreading staff has noted in detail, the Boston Globe has of late been leasing out editorial content to paymates of various stripes, from Rockland Trust to Suffolk University to Steward Health Care System.

And now, not surprisingly, the stealthy local tabloid wants in on the auction – in this case via Boston Herald Radio, the streaming audio service that up to dozens of people listen to.

Today’s Herald, page 17:

 

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Upper right:

 

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The frosty (cashword) local tabloid has often run excerpts from BHR interviews alongside its daily promotional ad. But this is the first time the interview is “Sponsored Content” – that is to say, an ad itself.

We get it that newspapers have to come up with creative ways to generate revenue, which is one reason all this sponsored content is suddenly popping up.

We’re just wondering if there’s any bottom to that well.


Hark! The Herald! (Radio Raves Edition)

October 19, 2015

From our Walt Whitman desk

The Boston Herald made its own page 2 today with this sort of newsish story.

Herald honored as ‘Innovator of the Year’

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PALO ALTO, Calif. — The Boston Herald was named “Innovator of the Year” yesterday after a vote of a joint conference of the Associated Press Media Editors and American Society of News Editors at Stanford University.
The coveted APME innovation award recognized the Herald for “its innovative platform called Boston Herald Radio that is fully integrated with its print, online and video divisions.”

“Innovator of the Year is a prestigious national award that speaks to a news organization’s innovative and creative approaches to reach their audience,” said Joe Hight, a member of APME’s executive committee and awards program chair. “The Boston Herald shows it is a leader in the country by winning this award. Boston Herald Radio is not only innovative but practical.

 

That’s six “innovations” if you’re keeping score at home.

Of course what’s most innovative about BHR, as we call it here at the Global Worldwide Headquarters, is the platform it provides for cross- and self-promotion. But why get technical about it on such a happy occasion?

Instead, hearty congratulations to the firsty local tabloid.

Really.


What Can the Herald Do for Brown? (Devalue Patrick Edition)

October 5, 2015

Why anyone would pay the slightest bit of attention to pill-pushing has-been Scott Brown is a mystery to the hardreading staff.

Why any newspaper would put him on its front page is an even bigger one.

But then, we’re talking about the Boston Herald here.

 

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The flirty local tabloid has long carried a torch for the Accidental Senator, and today’s piece just fans the flame.

Brown: Patrick ‘a joke’ as VP candidate

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Former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown mocked the idea of a Deval Patrick veep run on a Joe Biden presidential ticket as a “joke” yesterday, but was quick to add he’d love to see the Democrats go with it.

“Patrick is a joke, please,” Brown told the Herald yesterday after hosting a meet-and-greet for GOP contender Carly Fiorina at his home in Rye, N.H. “I hope that he runs, that way it will be a definite loss.”

The offhanded dismissal drew rebukes from Granite State and Bay State Democrats, who insisted the two-term Massachusetts governor would bolster their party’s slate.

 

Or charge $7500 a day for running.

The only thing more ridiculous than the Herald’s news judgment is Carly Fiorina’s political judgment, which just produced this knee-slapper on the Herald website.

Fiorina would consider Charlie Baker, Scott Brown for posts

Both Gov. Charlie Baker and former Sen. Scott Brown could have positions within Republican presidential contender Carly Fiorina’s White House administration, the former Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 12.12.43 PMHewlett-Packard CEO told Boston Herald Radio this morning.

“Certainly Charlie Baker is someone that should be considered,” Fiorina said on “Boston Herald Drive” this morning. “I am looking for people who are not afraid to go in and actually challenge the status quo.”

Fiorina added that Brown would also be on her “long list” of potential hires. Brown and his wife, Gail Huff, hosted an event for Fiorina yesterday at his home in Rye, N.H.

 

Her “long list,” eh?

Hey, Scott ‘n’ Gail: That’s Carly’s bread-and-butter letter for your hospitality. Which is to say, just a formality. Don’t get too excited.


Hark! The Herald! (Journalism Awards Edition)

June 29, 2015

From our Walt Whitman desk

The hardreading staff has a track record of being, well, hard on the selfie local tabloid. But we also believe in giving credit where credit’s due.

So, from Sunday’s Boston Herald, which is read by up to several people.

 

 

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The Associated Press Media Editors announced its awards earlier this month. Oddly, the only category without a winner was the aforementioned Innovator of the Year.

 

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Maybe it’s still TBA. If so, we’re sure the finalist local tabloid will let u know.

The SPJ Sigma Delta Chi medal, on the other hand, was already trumpeted by the Herald two months ago.

Not to get technical about it.

Regardless, sincere kudos to the Heraldniks.

The hardreading staff is, obviously, glad you’re here.