Boston Herald Printing Woes Come Closer to Home

September 15, 2017

For much of the past week, the Boston Herald has been running this Notice to our readers that whacks the Boston Globe – which prints the feisty local tabloid – for, well, not printing the feisty local tabloid.

 

 

As of Wednesday, the S.S. Globe was still listing to port, a fact Globe editor Brian McGrory conceded to WGBH’s Boston Public Radio in a rather roundabout manner (round about 1:41;00).

We’ve been on a difficult run over over here. We’ve had many many good nights putting out the newspaper; we’ve had some bad nights too. This all stems from we opened up a new production plant in the city of Taunton back in the spring; we had to leave Morrissey Boulevard because we’re in the process of selling that property, and it’s proven more difficult than we anticipated to get quality newspapers out in a timely way, and it’s gone on for quite a while.

Decisions were made over here this week to try to get new leadership in place in production and the result is some very very good high quality people are no longer here at the Globe. And that doesn’t mean they didn’t have a major contribution to this place over many many years – they should be proud of what they’ve done. But the decision was made by people at a higher pay grade than me that we needed new leadership. I expect that’s gonna work out well.

 

Uh-huh. Asked whether the Globe is making progress toward fixing the snafus, McGrory said this:

“We think we’re making progress, yeah. We’ve had some very very good stretches – a week, two weeks at a time with some improving quality but then we’ll have significant setbacks. We did this past weekend on Saturday night. A lot of papers didn’t get to our subscribers on Sunday, which is obviously a really important day for us, and, you know, amid the progress there are setbacks and it’s really really frustrating.

“But the overall trendiness are showing improvement, but we need it to come faster and we need to be more consistent. We owe it to our most loyal readers, who are the most sophisticated newspaper readers in this country.”

That’s it – not a word, or a question, about the damage inflicted on the Herald. Just 10 pounds of baloney in a five-pound bag.

Meanwhile, how’s the Good Ship Lollygag doing at the end of the week?

Well, the hardreading staff didn’t get its copy of the Herald this morning. So you tell us.

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Boston Globe Fails to Disclo$e Total Wine Ad Conflict

May 29, 2017

As the hardreading staff perused yesterday’s Boston Sunday Globe, we happened upon this full-page A3 ad.

 

 

That called to mind the Globe’s recent Page One piece about Total Wine’s “total war against alcohol regulations.”

Total Wine uncorks new front in its war on rules

Big-box alcohol retailer targets Mass. regulations

Total Wine & More is waging total war on the nation’s alcohol laws — and Massachusetts is the new front line.

The largest retailer of beer, wine, and liquor in the country, Total Wine has successfully challenged longstanding alcohol laws in numerous states, tilting the marketplace to its advantage through a mix of litigation, lobbying, and rallying support from customers . . .

In Massachusetts, Total Wine has sued to invalidate a state regulation that prevents retailers from selling alcohol below cost, a common practice in other industries. The company is also about to launch a public relations campaign here challenging a state rule prohibiting alcohol retailers from issuing discount coupons and loyalty cards. It has submitted the proposed changes to a task force convened by Treasurer Deborah Goldberg to streamline the state’s alcohol laws.

 

Here’s the interesting part: Nowhere in the Globe piece is there any mention of the tens of thousands of dollars the $tately local broadsheet has raked in from Total Wine ads over the past few months.

That’s very much like the Globe’s recent non-disclosure of its financial interest while covering the rumpus over the fabled Citgo sign; the paper raked in more than a hundred thousand dollars in ads touting the Kenmore Square icon but never mentioned them in their coverage.

Memo to Globe editor Brian McGrory: We know you need the advertising revenue. But c’mon – at least be honest about it.


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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