More Slop on the John Henry/Marty Walsh Hand-Holding in the Boston Globe

June 30, 2014

So, to recap for the umpteenth- hell, just see here.

The question is this: How did Marty’s Mash Note to the Boston Public Schools wind up as a full-page ad in last Wednesday’s Boston Globe?

 

Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 1.10.20 PM

 

On Friday, CommonWealth Magazine (which came late – but smart – to the party) reported the issue thusly:

THE BOSTON GLOBE FOUNDATION donated a full-page ad in Wednesday’s newspaper to Boston Mayor Marty Walsh so he could thank the staff of the Boston Public Schools at the close of the school year.

Ellen Clegg, who heads the foundation, said the mayor personally asked Globe CEO Mike Sheehan for the ad space and the foundation provided it because the message was in keeping with the organization’s focus on education and literacy.

 

But Ms. Clegg had previously told the hardreading staff this:

The Globe Foundation donated the ad to the Boston Public Schools pro bono, as a public service. When we get a request for support from organizations that fit the Foundation’s mission, we work with the Globe’s advertising department to donate pro bono print ads in space that would normally go to unpaid “house ads.” It’s a great way to engage with the community. Other recent examples of pro bono ads include the One Fund and the MLK Summer Scholars Program, which the Foundation co-sponsors with John Hancock.

 

C’mon – “[donating] an ad to the Boston Public Schools pro bono” and kowtowing to the mayor of Boston aren’t even in the same zip code.

Regardless, Ms. Clegg perpetuated the split decision yesterday in these post-CommonWealth answers to our pre-CommonWealth questions, which took her initial explanation at face value:

• When you donated the ad to the Boston Public Schools, did you know it would take the form of a letter from Mayor Walsh?

Yes.

• Who did the creative/production of the ad?

The Globe’s advertising department.

• Given the ad’s content, did you have any concerns that it would appear you donated the ad to Mayor Walsh, raising questions about the appearance of compromising the Globe’s arm’s-length relationship with him?

The Globe’s newsroom is independent from the business side of the organization, and from the Globe Foundation, and had no involvement here.

I’m sure you’ve seen the newsroom’s recent scrub of Mayor Walsh’s hiring record (link below). I have confidence that our journalists will continue to scrutinize public officials and powerful institutions, including City Hall.

http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2014/06/09/mayor-martin-walsh-full-time-hires-are-predominantly-male-and-most-are-white/iJMJu3tzDjsXUCrpBgvOVO/story.html

 

Frankly, we’re more interested in scrubbing Ms. Clegg’s record of telling the hardreading staff one thing and CommonWealth another.

From the start of John Henry’s dual ownership of the Boston GlobeSox, the paper pretty consistently ignored conflicts of interest in his business dealings with the Menino administration (see here and here). If Henry is now dancing to Marty Walsh’s tune, he should own up to that, too.

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Wait! Boston GlobeSox Owner John Henry IS Gettin’ Cozier with Marty Walsh

June 29, 2014

To recap one more time again:

Last Wednesday, this full-page ad appeared in the Boston Globe:

 

Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 1.10.20 PM

 

That got the headscratching staff to wondering who paid for Marty’s Mash Note to the Boston Public Schools. So we sent a note to the Boston Globe Foundation (see lower left in the ad) asking just that: Did Mayor Walsh (read: Boston taxpayers) foot the bill? Did the Globe Foundation? Did no one?

And here’s what Globe lifer Ellen Clegg replied:

The Globe Foundation donated the ad to the Boston Public Schools pro bono, as a public service. When we get a request for support from organizations that fit the Foundation’s mission, we work with the Globe’s advertising department to donate pro bono print ads in space that would normally go to unpaid “house ads.” It’s a great way to engage with the community. Other recent examples of pro bono ads include the One Fund and the MLK Summer Scholars Program, which the Foundation co-sponsors with John Hancock.

 

(The hardquizzing staff followed up with an email that asked Ms. Clegg these questions: 1) When you donated the ad to the Boston Public Schools, did you know it would take the form of a letter from Mayor Walsh? 2) Who did the creative/production of the ad? 3) Given the ad’s content, did you have any concerns that it would look like you donated the ad not to the BPS but to Mayor Walsh, appearing to compromise the Globe’s arm’s-length relationship with him?

(We have yet to hear back.)

Meanwhile, as the redoubtable Dan Kennedy pointed out to us, the redoubtable Dan Kennedy pointed us to this piece in Commonwealth Magazine, where it seems to us Ms. Clegg told a very different story to CommonWealth Magazine (which, frankly, came late to the party):

Globe Foundation gives full-page ad to Walsh

Mayor approached CEO Sheehan for space

THE BOSTON GLOBE FOUNDATION donated a full-page ad in Wednesday’s newspaper to Boston Mayor Marty Walsh so he could thank the staff of the Boston Public Schools at the close of the school year.

Ellen Clegg, who heads the foundation, said the mayor personally asked Globe CEO Mike Sheehan for the ad space and the foundation provided it because the message was in keeping with the organization’s focus on education and literacy.

 

Yes, well, Ms. Clegg might want to focus on her own message(s). Clearly, she gave us a mere bag of shells.

Wish you hadn’t done that, Ms. Clegg. Makes a fella lose all faith in himself. (See 4:45)

 

 

The hardreading staff will call Ms. Clegg tomorrow and try to clarify all this, because turning your newspaper into a mayoral Make a Wish fund is a lot different from “donating an ad to the Boston Public Schools.”

But don’t hold your breath.


Is Boston GlobeSox Owner John Henry Gettin’ Cozier with Marty Walsh? (Globe Response Edition)

June 27, 2014

To recap:

On Wednesday, this full-page ad appeared in the Boston Globe:

 

Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 1.10.20 PM

 

That got the headscratching staff to wonder, Who picked up the tab for Marty’s Mash Note to the Boston Public Schools?

So we sent a note to the Boston Globe Foundation, whose logo appears lower left, asking if they could tell us if Mayor Walsh (read: Boston taxpayers) paid for the ad space or the Globe Foundation did or if any money changed hands at all.

And here’s the reply we received from Globe stalwart Ellen Clegg:

The Globe Foundation donated the ad to the Boston Public Schools pro bono, as a public service. When we get a request for support from organizations that fit the Foundation’s mission, we work with the Globe’s advertising department to donate pro bono print ads in space that would normally go to unpaid “house ads.” It’s a great way to engage with the community. Other recent examples of pro bono ads include the One Fund and the MLK Summer Scholars Program, which the Foundation co-sponsors with John Hancock.

 

Ms. Clegg graciously offered to talk with the hardquizzing staff and we have a call in to her.

As always, we’ll keep you posted.


Is Boston GlobeSox Owner John Henry Gettin’ Cozier with Marty Walsh?

June 26, 2014

As the hardreading staff has noted on numerous occasions, the relationship between Boston Globe/Red Sox owner John Henry and the City of Boston (read: Tom Menino) over the past several years became increasingly – and profitably – chummy, from Landsdowne Street air rights to Fenway Franks.

But this is something else entirely.

Yesterday, we posted this:

Marty Walsh Hates the Herald

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has always struck the hardreading staff as deep-down a Boston Herald kind of guy. But you can’t tell by looking at the local dailies today.

Boston Globe, Page 9:

Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 1.10.20 PM

Boston Herald: Nada thing.

Of course this logo lower left in the ad might explain that.

Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 1.25.18 PM

 

Subsequently, the headscratching staff sent this email to the Boston Globe Foundation:

I produce the website It’s Good to Live in a Two-Daily Town and I read with interest Mayor Walsh’s full-page ad in today’s Globe. I also noticed that the Boston Globe Foundation logo was included lower left.

Can you tell me if Mayor Walsh paid for the ad space? Or if the Boston Globe Foundation did? Or if any money changed hands at all?

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,
John R. Carroll

 

So far, we haven’t heard back from the Boston Globe Foundation.

But we do know it’s headed by Linda Pizzuti, a.k.a. John Henry’s Missus.

From Jason Schwartz’s The John Henry Emails in Boston Magazine:

When I got to chat briefly with Linda [Pizzuti, Henry’s wife] after the Chamber breakfast, she described her role at the paper as “evolving.” Is there any greater sense of what exactly her role will be yet?

Linda is fully engaged working on important issues for the Boston Globe. She is leading initiatives to activate our subscriber base connecting the Globe to the community. She is heading up the Boston Globe Foundation. And she serves on a number of internal committees that deal with real estate, circulation, social media and other business issues.

She was the driving force behind our recently launched Globe GRANT program, which gave our subscribers vouchers they are assigning to non-profit organizations for advertising space in the Boston Globe. This program has been very warmly received by charitable organizations and subscribers.

 

(Henry also writes in the exchange, “Mike [Barnicle] knows everyone worth knowing.” Huh.)

Anyway, we’re hoping to hear from the stately local broadsheet’s stately local do-gooders.

Did Marty Walsh (read: Boston taxpayers) pay for yesterday’s full-page ad? Did Linda Pizzuti? Mike Barnicle? Nobody?

Anyone at the Globe want to say?


Boston Herald BRAgs About Overhaul Scoop

March 9, 2014

On Friday Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced a long-overdue overhaul of the Jurassic Boston Redevelopment Authority, which Saturday’s edition of the feisty local tabloid reported with a big shootout to itself.

BRA housecleaning gets rave reviews

Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s surprise shake-up of the Boston Redevelopment Authority — a move that saw its business development arm and 14 staffers axed — was hailed by critics as the first step in a long overdue overhaul of an agency notorious for its cronyism and backroom deals.

“We are at a point with the BRA where any changes would be positive. I think things at the BRA have operated in the shadows for far too long,” said Matt Cahill, head of the Boston Finance Commission, a watchdog agency. “It appears that Mayor Walsh is trying to increase transparency and the public’s knowledge of what’s going on there.”

While the moves — first reported yesterday on boston
herald.com — don’t go as far as Walsh’s campaign pledge to dismantle the BRA entirely, they are part of his overall strategy to shift economic development away from the independent authority and under the umbrella of a City Hall department that reports directly to the mayor.

 

Of course, considering that bostonherald.com is the Lindsay Lohan of websites, it’s impossible to verify the paper’s “first reported yesterday” claim.

But we can verify this: The Boston Globe, which is generally not shy about crediting the Herald when it scoops the stately local broadsheet, did not cite the Herald in its Saturday piece.

You do the math.

 


Globe Still Won’t Chew Over Fenway Food Expansion

February 24, 2014

The Boston Red Sox are engaged in yet another Fenway land grab, as the Boston Herald noted on Saturday.

Fenway franks to go?

Sox seek OK to sell food during non-ballpark hours

It appears Red Sox Nation can’t get enough of Fenway franks.

The team is seeking city approval for a takeout concession on Lansdowne Street, near Gate C, that would be open during non-ballpark hours.040912fenwaynl19

“It would be located within the ballpark in a space next to the WEEI broadcast booth,” Red Sox spokeswoman Zineb Curran said. “It’s a new, small concession stand that would have its own entry door off of Lansdowne Street” . . .

The team’s takeout concept is the latest in a string of non-baseball game money-makers designed to make the most of America’s oldest ballpark, which Red Sox owner John Henry this week said has a shelf life of another 30 years.

 

The Boston Globe, as the hardreading staff has noted, did not cover this story on Saturday. Or Sunday. Or today.

The stately local broadsheet did, however, report on that 30-year shelf life of Fenway Park.

John Henry says Fenway Park has 30 more years of life

 

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FORT MYERS, Fla. — There is an expiration date on Fenway Park, Red Sox principal owner John Henry said on Wednesday. But it won’t come due for another 30 years or so.

The oldest ballpark in the majors is structurally sound and the only improvements left to make would be to renovate the press box and other areas in the upper section behind home plate.

“You won’t see major changes. Those, I think, have been explored, thought about and accomplished,” Henry said. “Structurally there is an expiration date. Someone at some point in decades ahead will have to address the possibility of a new ballpark.”

 

Yes, and someone should have addressed Henry’s ownership of the Boston Globe in that sunny-side-up piece last week.

But no one did.

That’s two strikes in one week. Not exactly encouraging.


Herald More Frank Than Globe About Fenway Food Expansion

February 23, 2014

Saturday’s local dailies present a nifty case study for those who worry that John Henry’s purchase of the Boston Globe will crimp the paper’s coverage of their kissing’ cousin Red Sox.

From yesterday’s Boston Herald:

Fenway franks to go?

Sox seek OK to sell food during non-ballpark hours

It appears Red Sox Nation can’t get enough of Fenway franks.040912fenwaynl19

The team is seeking city approval for a takeout concession on Lansdowne Street, near Gate C, that would be open during non-ballpark hours . . .

The team’s takeout concept is the latest in a string of non-baseball game money-makers designed to make the most of America’s oldest ballpark, which Red Sox owner John Henry this week said has a shelf life of another 30 years.

 

Far longer (we think) than the shelf life of a Fenway Frank. Not to get technical about it.

Speaking of which, from Saturday’s Boston Globe:

Nothing, as of 1:39 Sunday morning.

But the hardreading staff will wait to pass judgment until the Boston Sunday Globe is published, because of this (via the redoubtable Dan Kennedy’s Media Nation):

  • Boston Globe: Weekdays, 245,572 . . . Sundays, 382,452
  • Boston Herald: Weekdays, 95,929 . . .  Sundays, 73,043

A piece in the Sunday Globe would get 50% more exposure than a Saturday piece, and roughly four times the circulation of Saturday’s Herald.

So . . . [snooze graf goes here]

At 11:45 Sunday morning we check out the Globe and . . . nothing.

Not good, Globeniks.

The concern people have about Henry’s Globe ownership is not so much whether Dan Shaughnessy will keep poking him with a stick, but whether the stately local broadsheet will be as vigilant about off-field matters such as these (also from the Herald):

[I]n December, the team won city approval to extend alcohol sales during baseball games and other events and to sell liquor on Yawkey Way.

The request to increase Fenway alcohol sales came less than three months after the Red Sox reached a controversial $7.3 million deal with the Boston Redevelopment Authority for an easement to shut down part of Yawkey Way for concessions during games and other events.

 

John Henry isn’t just a ballclub owner. He’s a real estate/media/financial mogul. The Globe needs to treat him as such.