Boston Herald’s Inside Track ‘Throne’ for a Loop

February 22, 2018

Well, this is not encouraging.

In today’s Boston Herald, Inside Track gal Olivia Vanni dishes about author Andrew Morton’s appearance at the Boston Public Library last night to flog his new book about Wallis Simpson, Wallis in Love.

In the course of the evening, Morton’s attention turned to the subject of his next book: Meghan Markle, Prince Harry’s fiancée.

As it appeared in the print edition:

Really? “Gave up the thrown”? Twice?

Earlier today it was the same in the online version.

“Edward gave up the thrown. Meghan’s given up ‘The Tig,’ ” said Morton, who spoke at the Boston Public Library about his newly released book, “Wallis in Love: The Untold Life of the Duchess of Windsor, the Woman Who Changed the Monarchy” last night.

“In this modern age, that’s quite the sacrifice,” he jokingly added. “The king giving up the thrown was a mere bauble compared to her voluntarily giving up her Instagram account.”

 

But now it’s been fixed.

“Edward gave up the throne. Meghan’s given up ‘The Tig,’ ” said Morton, who spoke at the Boston Public Library about his newly released book, “Wallis in Love: The Untold Life of the Duchess of Windsor, the Woman Who Changed the Monarchy” last night.

“In this modern age, that’s quite the sacrifice,” he jokingly added. “The king giving up the throne was a mere bauble compared to her voluntarily giving up her Instagram account.”

 

(To be sure graf goes here)

To be sure, it’s just one little mistake, so why make a federal case out of it, right?

It does make one wonder, though: Can the shaky local tabloid really afford to lose 25% of its already skeletal staff, as new owner Digital First Media plans to do?

Feels like not.

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Boston Globe Scoops the Herald on Herald Sale

February 15, 2018

For the past several months, the Boston Globe has been playing catch-up to the Herald in covering the sale of the feisty local tabloid.

Today the Globe caught up.

Under the unusual byline “Globe Staff,” the stately local broadsheet reported the details of yesterday’s bake sale.

Bidding for Herald jumped by millions at auction

Digital First Media is poised to become the new owner of the Boston Herald after besting competitors with multiple higher bids during a bankruptcy auction Tuesday that netted nearly $12 million, according to newly filed court documents.

A transcript of the auction held in the office of Herald law firm Brown Rudnick revealed that Digital First opened with a bid valued at around $7.6 million — higher than the offers already in place from two other competitors, GateHouse Media and Revolution Capital Group.

After GateHouse countered Digital First with a slightly higher offer, Revolution Capital dropped out, leaving the two competitors to trade bids several times until Digital First’s final offer proved too rich for GateHouse, according to a transcript of the auction filed with bankruptcy court in Delaware.

 

And Digital’s final offer? “The Denver-based company, which owns daily and weekly newspapers in Colorado, California, Massachusetts, and several other states, prevailed with a final offer of $9.6 million in cash, $1 million in accrued paid time off to employees, and another $1.4 million in assumed liabilities.”

Crosstown at the Herald, reporter Brian Dowling didn’t have those numbers, but he did spotlight what exactly that breakdown means.

This year, the pension, severance and retirement payments to employees were estimated to reach $3.5 million, according to court papers. The pension, severance and retirement accounts had accrued nearly $25 million in liabilities when the company filed for bankruptcy.

 

Obviously $2.4 million isn’t gonna put much of a dent in that. Dowling also reported that Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is “urging Herald ownership to strike a deal to save workers’ pensions.”

All due respect, Mistah Mayah, the corn is off the cob – unless the bankruptcy judge steps in to change the deal. We’ll find out tomorrow.


Who Knew the Boston Herald Was Worth $12 Million?

February 14, 2018

Eat your heart out, Mort Zuckerman.

Back in September, the real estate magnate sold the legendary New York Daily News to Tronc (rhymes with bonk) for exactly $1 – 50¢ less than the price of the paper’s Sunday edition.

(To be fair graf goes here)

To be fair, Tronc did assume $30 million in operational and pension liabilities, but hey – a dollar’s a dollar, yeah?

Boston Herald owner Pat Purcell, on the other hand, scooped up a helluva lot more in yesterday’s bake sale of the shaky local tabloid.

From Brian Dowling’s piece in today’s edition of the soldy local tabloid:

Digital First Media enters $11.9M top bid for Boston Herald

Digital First Media won the Boston Herald in a 5-hour bankruptcy auction with a top $11.9 million bid that all but settles who will carry the news organization into the next chapter of the city’s media history.

The newspaper company, which operates as Media News Group and owns hundreds of publications across the country, including the Denver Post, bested two other suitors — GateHouse Media and Revolution Capital. Digital First also owns the Lowell Sun and the Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise in Massachusetts.

 

But that doesn’t mean it’s all roses and lollipops at Fargo Street. As the Boston Globe’s Jon Chesto reports, Digital First Media “has earned a reputation for relentless cost-cutting” – not a good omen for the Herald rank and file.

And, as our kissin’ cousins at One-Daily Town recently noted, Digital First just ditched the Sentinel & Enterprise’s brick-and-mortar home for a “virtual newsroom.”

So maybe you Heraldniks might want to bring some of your personal items home.


Boston Globe Joins Herald in Running Sneak Adtacks

February 5, 2018

As the hardreading staff noted the other day, the Boston Herald has of late increased the amount of its “sponsored content” while decreasing the legibility of its disclosure.

Now the Boston Globe apparently wants to join the stealthy local tabloid in profiting from ads in sheep’s clothing, running this on A12 of today’s edition. (Here’s the digital version on the Globe website.)

 

 

(To be sure graf goes here)

To be sure, sharp-eyed observers will pick up that it’s actually an ad, but not everyone is as perceptive as you, splendid reader. For some, anything with a headline and a byline qualifies as editorial content. Which is exactly what stealth marketing counts on.

Regardless, we’re guessing that the revenue-impaired Globe and the bankrupt Herald will increasingly turn toward this sleight-of-ad as time goes on.

We hope, of course, to be proven wrong.


Boston Herald Plants Advertising Deeper Into News

February 3, 2018

The sneaky local tabloid just keeps getting sneakier.

As the hardreading staff has noted on multiple occasions, the Boston Herald’s publication of stealth marketing (a.k.a. “sponsored content”) has steadily become more and more – ah – stealthy, as the labeling of same grows smaller and smaller.

(Pop quiz: Is that an oxymoron, or are we?)

For example, here’s how sponsored content for intimate apparel retailer Rigby & Peller was labeled in March of 2016.

 

 

Then there’s this advertorial for the Massachusetts State Lottery from a year ago.

 

 

And now comes this from yesterday’s edition of the stealthy local tabloid. (Inexplicable Little Green 1 at no extra charge.)

 

 

Do we detect a pattern emerging here?

All of those ads in sheep’s clothing originated in interviews on Boston Herald Radio, which has up to several listeners but which more importantly provides the Herald with a steady stream of stealth marketing opportunities.

Given the Local Dailies DisADvantage the thirsty local tabloid labors under, that just might be the best it can do.


Even Ashton Kutcher’s Kids Blow Off Boston Herald

January 25, 2018

From our Local Dailies DisADvantage desk

The other week it was Nike plastering Kyrie Irving all over the Boston Globe and rejecting the Boston Herald.

Adding insult to financial injury, Ashton Kutcher’s two kids do the same today in this full-page salute to their Mom for being chosen Hasty Pudding’s Woman of the Year.

 

 

Two things:

One, do they really call their mother by her first name?

And two, we’re not ashamed to say we had to Google Wyatt and Dimitri to figure out who ran the ad.

As for the thirsty local tabloid, maybe Mila Kunis could carry a copy in Hasty Pudding’s traditional parade, which starts in roughly ten minutes despite multiple protests by students and feminists.

Via Google:

 

 

Missed by a Mila, huh?


Kevin ‘Cullen’ It in Today’s Column About the Herald

January 12, 2018

So, to recap:

On Wednesday, Boston Herald reporter Brian Dowling had this piece in the selfie local tabloid.

Herald execs’ pay disclosed in bankruptcy filings

Premium salaries as bankruptcy neared

The Herald paid substantial salaries to its publisher and top executive as the newspaper’s finances grew dire and management directed the company to a bankruptcy sale, according to court papers.

Patrick J. Purcell, the Herald’s publisher, took home $970,092 in the year prior to the company’s Chapter 11 filing in Delaware on Dec. 8, according to papers in the ongoing bankruptcy case. His compensation included fringe benefits of a golf membership and use of a company vehicle.

 

Among others, Jeff Jacoby, late of the shaky local tabloid, applauded the paper for running the story (tip o’ the pixel to the redoubtable Dan Kennedy’s Media Nation).

 

 

Now comes today’s piece by the Boston Globe’s Kevin Cullen, in which he whacks Purcell and waxes nostalgic about the feisty local tabloid.

Herald mogul takes a hit

It was the perfect Boston Herald story: Greedy entrepreneur runs business into the ground, walks away to his myriad mansions with pockets lined with millions while working stiffs are left holding the bag.

Remarkably, that story, which ran in Wednesday’s Herald pretty much straight, without typical tabloid excess, was about the publisher of the Boston Herald, Pat Purcell. It noted that in the year leading up to the Herald filing for bankruptcy and being put up for sale, Purcell was paying himself an annual salary of almost a million dollars, while doling out some $265,000 in salaries among his three daughters.

If you ask me, the best argument for wanting the Herald to survive was on robust display when reporter Brian Dowling wrote that story and the Herald courageously printed it.

 

(Spoiler alert: Purcell does not come across as a sympathetic character in the piece. But Herald staffers do.)

Cullen’s column a far cry from this mash note Globe owner John Henry published when Purcell first announced the sale last month.

FROM THE PUBLISHER

Pat Purcell’s service to Boston

Patrick J. Purcell, longtime owner and publisher of the Boston Herald, is someone who has spent most of his adult life tending to one of the most essential tasks of our democracy: leading civic conversations that are sometimes contentious but are invariably important. While his efforts on behalf of journalism for the city are well known, the personal impact he has had on so many over decades isn’t as well known.

Boston knows Pat as the driven media executive who long ago bought the Herald from Rupert Murdoch and infused it with a very strong vision for his adopted city. But he is also unfailingly described as a loyal friend and devoted family man, who landed here after a colorful career in New York and became a Bostonian to the core.

 

Which, apparently, means greedy and heartless.