Tell Boston Globe Editor: Free the Pinhead One!

August 30, 2016

Zippy Held Hostage: Day Two

Let’s start with this: For the past several years, the Boston Globe has featured only a handful of comic strips worth reading: Get Fuzzy by Darby Conley, Rhymes with Orange by Hilary Price (both of whom are Bay State artists), Bizarro by Dan Piraro, and, on a good day, Mother Goose & Grimm, Monty, and Doonesbury (Memory Lane edition).

Also – the best of the lot – Bill Griffith’s Zippy the Pinhead. Until yesterday, that is, when Globe readers learned that the paper had performed a Zipectomy and dumped the strip.

The hardreading staff, of course, protested vehemently, railing against the shortsighted decision by Globe bigwigs. We also sent an email to Bill Griffith, asking what happened. His reply:

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It’s an outrage, and we call on all Pinhead-heads to contact Globe editor Brian McGrory and register their disapproval.

Thank you for your support.

P.S. Here’s the latest Zippy, but, really, we can’t do this every day.

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Boston Globe Pinheads Drop Bill Griffith’s ‘Zippy’

August 29, 2016

Bad enough the Boston Globe dropped the Sunday edition of Zippy the Pinhead almost three years ago. Now apparently the daily version of the strip is gone as well.

From today’s not-so-funny pages:

 

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Just for scale, here’s Saturday’s:

 

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At least last time the Globeniks performed a Zipectomy, they had the decency to publish an editor’s note.

 

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(Just for the record, WuMo no longer appears in the Globe’s increasingly lame Sunday Comics section.)

This time around, though, there’s not a word about the Globe’s dropping the strip altogether. That’s just wrong.

The hardreading staff is sending a note to Bill Griffith to ask what happened. Meanwhile, Boston Globe editor Brian (Hey – let’s reimagine the paper! We can use John Henry’s garage!) McGrory has now become a first-ballot entry into the Comic Strip Hall of Shame.

P.S. Here’s today’s Zippy that McGrory so shamefully withheld.

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Boston Herald Finally Turns on Globe

April 11, 2016

As the hardreading staff has noted, the Boston Herald has been alarmingly lax lately about holding its crosstown rival to task, both regarding the Boston Globe’s recent home delivery meltdown and last week’s Let’s remake the paper! We can use John Henry’s garage! memo from editor Brian McGrory.

But the feisty local tabloid is back on the job today, spurred on by yesterday’s front-page faux pas in the Globe’s Ideas section.

To (half)wit:

 

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Well today’s Herald is on that like Brown on Williamson, giving it classic jump-the-gutter treatment (Inexplicable Little Green Number sold separately).

 

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We’ll leave it to you splendid readers to decide whether you want to sample the goods: there’s a media reax piece and a thumbsucker from Jack Encarnacao, while Howie Carr mails in another shopworn litany of Globe mortal sins.

At least we know they’re awake on Fargo Street. Finally.


Fraidy Local Tabloid Won’t Cover the Boston Globe

April 10, 2016

What’s with the Boston Herald?

As the hardreading staff noted last month, the Herald resolutely refused to cover the Boston Globe’s Chernobylesque home delivery meltdown earlier this year. The Globe itself labeled it a “delivery debacle,” which we wrote “should be mother’s milk to the thirsty local tabloid but . . . nothing.”

Now comes the juicy memo from Globe editor Brian McGrory (first reported on Thursday in the redoubtable Dan Kennedy’s Media Nation) announcing a “no-sacred-cows analysis of our newsroom and what the Globe should look like in the future.”

McGrory framed it this way: “If a wealthy individual [who, presumably, is not John Henry] was to give us funding to launch a news organization designed to take on The Boston Globe, what would it look like?”

Regardless, don’t you want to hear the flamey local tabloid’s answer to that question? But over the past few days the Heraldniks have given us . . . bupkis.

Some speculate that the Herald has been laying off the Globe because the Globe prints the Herald. But that deal’s been in effect for three years and didn’t keep Herald columnist Howie Carr from lambasting the Globe for its Tsarnaev brothers coverage.

So why is the feisty local tabloid AWOL now?

All suggestions gladly accepted.


New Boston Globe Saturday Design Is WSJr

October 3, 2015

The Boston Globe unveiled a new look this morning, one that appears very much like a knockoff of the Weekend Wall Street Journal. (Sorry, no WSJ e-paper, so you’ll have to spring for one yourself, or – god forbid – take our word for it.)

Brave New Globe, Page One:

 

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The paper we received had more of a gray banner, but then again the whole page was kind of washed out compared to the e-paper. Regardless, we were happy to see this helpful note from Globe Editor Brian McGrory:

 

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Okay . . .

So Metro, Nation, World, Business, and Opinion are all smushed together in the A section, which has a bouncier feel than the weekday paper.

The new Good Life section is pure Wall Street Journalism.

 

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The hardreading staff tries never to pass judgment on first impressions.

But you’re certainly welcome to.


Why Boston Globe ‘Capital’ with an A?

August 8, 2014

It’s been a couple of months since the Boston Globe launched its weekly section Capital, and for the most part it seems pretty fat (12 pages) and happy (exuberant layouts). The only thing even vaguely controversial about the sections is the spelling of its name.

Globe editor Brian McGrory has a running gag with Jim Braude and Margery Eagan on WGBH radio about why it’s Capital with an a not an o. McGrory keeps wriggling out of revealing the paper’s reasons, but here are three possible ones from today’s edition.

 

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Would those ads likely have run in the A or B section if there were no Capital? Probably. But you have to believe a section geared toward political junkies is a more appealing environment for all three advertisers. For the first two, it’s obvious. For Steward Health Care, it’s a bit more oblique.

From Bruce Mohl’s CommonWealth piece last month on why Steward “is missing from the group of health care competitors that have banded together to fight the consent agreement negotiated by Partners HealthCare and Attorney General Martha Coakley”:

Some think the company decided to sit this one out because of its close ties to Coakley. The attorney general in 2010 approved the acquisition by Cerberus/Steward of six Caritas Christi hospitals owned by the Boston archdiocese. Coakley also retains some regulatory oversight over Steward, including a say in whether the health care system can shut down any of its hospitals.

Steward executives, led by CEO Ralph de la Torre, gave big to Coakley when she ran for the US Senate in 2010 and ponied up again earlier this year as she mounted her run for governor. Campaign finance records indicate de la Torre and his wife Wing led a group of Steward executives and spouses who made $500 donations to Coakley on February 26. More Steward officials contributed to Coakley in late March.

In all, Steward executives have contributed more than $18,000 to Coakley since late last year. No other health care system has taken such an interest in the gubernatorial campaign, which may help explain why Steward is less interested in the legal fight over the Partners expansion plans.

 

Interesting. But back to the original question: Why Capital with an a? Maybe because that’s what it hauls in.

P.S. Needless to say, none of the above ads ran in the Boston Herald.


Howie Carr-icatures Boston Globe – Again

August 2, 2014

Nothing cheers up Boston Herald columnist Howie Carr quite like a good case of Globenfreude. So he had to be thrilled with this news:

 

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Note the “Globe Staff” byline: That tells you this is all corporate eyewash that no reporter would attach a name to.

Out of it Carr fashions a three-rail Marty Walsh-John O’Brien-Globe nepotism bank shot.

It’s all relative at Globe

Dear Marty,

This too shall pass. As you well know, in Boston nothing is on the level. But what you may only now be realizing is that the Globe is even less on the level than the State House or City Hall.

You merely point out the fact that John O’Brien, a hack’s hack, was just doing his job, and all of a sudden the bow-tied bumkissers are kicking you down the stairs like you’re Scott Brown.

The Globe has a long and storied history — just ask them. They had a publisher named Taylor, who was succeeded by a guy named Taylor, who was succeeded by a guy named Taylor …

They had an editor named Winship, who was succeeded by a guy named Winship. The paper was then bought by Mr. Sulzberger, who had taken over for Mr. Sulzberger.

 

Pretty thin gruel that quickly runs out of Globe-Globe steam and descends to this:

The editor is named McGrory. He had some old-maid relative who wrote the same column every day for 86 years, all of which began, “Golly gee, isn’t Tip O’Neill a great man?”

 

That’s rich coming from a guy who’s mailed in so many columns, he deserves a Lifetime Achievement Award from the U.S. Postal Service.

Then again, it’s all relative, isn’t it?