Boston Globe’s ‘Anything Can Happen (Satur)Day’

January 22, 2017

From our As the Globe Turns desk

When Boston Globe editor Brian McGrory recently trumpeted the coming reinvention of the local broadsheet (Hey! We can use John Henry’s garage!), the hardreading staff never imagined it would involve flip-flopping between formats for the paper’s Saturday edition.

A little over a year ago, the Globe introduced a new look on Saturdays, which we immediately labeled WSJr.

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.) [Update: The Journal actually does have an e-paper now, praise God.]

Brave New Globe, Page One:

 

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And we noted this editor’s note from McGrory.

 

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So Metro, Nation, World, Business, and Opinion were all smushed together in the A section, while the new Good Life section was pure Wall Street Journalism.

But . . .

Yesterday, for reasons that went unexplained, the Globe reverted to its former format, with this Page One.

 

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And say hello to the old stand-alone Metro section.

 

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So, to recap:

The Boston Globe has a (relatively) new Saturday format.

Except when it doesn’t.

Okay then.


Boston Globe Pinheads Bring Back Zippy!

December 5, 2016

As the hardreading staff painstakingly chronicled, the Boston Globe dropped Bill Griffith’s Zippy the Pinhead comic strip last August. At the time of the Zipectomy, we had this to say about the management at the stately local broadsheet:

 

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.

 

Well, we officially take that back, because Zippy himself is back. McGrory’s media culpa appears on page 2 of today’s Globe.

 

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From our Before ‘n’ After desk, here are Saturday’s comics pages.

 

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And here are today’s.

 

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And the triumphant return of Zippy.

 

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We’d like to think we had something to do with the Globe’s coming to its senses, but we doubt that’s the case. Still, live and let learn, that’s our slogan.


Subsidized Critic Makes Big $plash in Boston Globe

November 25, 2016

As both the Boston Globe and the New York Times noted several weeks ago, Zoë Madonna has started a 10-month gig as classical music critic for the Globe, which is receiving financial support from the Rubin Institute for Music Criticism, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation (details on the SCFM pilot program here).

Madonna filed what seems to be her maiden piece on November 10 (hard to know for sure because the Globe’s search engine is a total trainwreck), but today she got the whole Names page.

 

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In the Globe story announcing Madonna’s arrival, editor Brian McGrory had this to say:

“We could not be more delighted to participate in this novel experiment with such worthy partners. We are excited about the benefit to our industry, to some of the great cultural institutions of Boston, and most especially to our readership, which will very much appreciate the proven talents of this young critic.”

 

The Times piece, on the other hand, addressed the part that might not be so beneficial: “[T]he new Globe arrangement raises journalistic questions, since some of the nonprofits that will help foot the bill for its critic come from the very music world Ms. Madonna will assess.

McGrory told the Times the Globe “would be on the lookout for potential conflicts and work to avoid them.”

The hardreading staff has no reason to doubt the purity of the Globe’s intentions or the integrity of Ms. Madonna’s work. We wish them both good luck in keeping the camels out.


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.