Hark! The Herald! (Useless Print Edition Edition)

March 22, 2018

Umpteenth in our never-ending series

On numerous occasions the hardreading staff has referred to a Boston Herald subscription as Biggest. Waste. Ever.

And now we’re back.

Page 3 of today’s selfie local tabloid is entirely devoted to this piece bylined “Herald Staff,” the designation routinely employed in passing off press releases as actual news.

Herald moves print production to Providence Journal

The Boston Herald is now being printed in Providence, which means our loyal customers can look forward to a more reader-friendly paper.

Beginning this week, the Herald is being printed at the The Providence Journal’s flexographic newspaper printing facility, which was North America’s first entirely flexographic printing facility when it opened in 1987. The Journal selected the flexo process because it creates a paper with vibrant color reproduction and uses an environmentally friendly, water-based ink that won’t have the paper rubbing off on your hands.

 

More reader-friendly?

Here’s what this reader got on today’s Scoreboard pages.

The redoubtable Dan Kennedy at Media Nation called this one several days ago: “I’m hearing reports from inside the Herald that the switch will require deadlines so early that evening sports stories may not make the print edition.”

Bingo.

(To be sure graf goes here)

To be sure, the Herald at times gave readers the same short shrift when the Boston Globe printed it.

(Two be sure graf goes here)

Also to be sure, the e-Edition of the spotty local tabloid did have yesterday’s results.

But we’re shelling out good money for the print edition while getting less news for the buck all the time.

So, Heraldniks, we say this as you celebrate your new printing setup: Not a providential beginning. Not by a long shot.

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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.

 


Boston Globe Stiffs Herald – After Herald Stiffs Worcester Telegram – on Boy-Beating Girl Golfer

October 28, 2017

The hardreading staff has on more than one occasion referred to the Boston Herald as a “lively index to the Boston Globe.”

But every now and again it’s the Globe that becomes a lowly caboose to the Herald.

Like yesterday.

Let’s begin with this piece in Thursday’s Herald.

TEEING OFF ON BOYS’ CLUB

Girl golfer wins tourney, MIAA withholds her trophy

The record books won’t note Emily Nash’s amazing three-over-par high school tournament victory — because she’s a girl.

That has golfers from all over the country calling to praise the 16-year-old Lunenburg High junior who beat all the boys.

“It still kind of stinks,” Nash told the Herald last night. She had to give up the trophy to the second-place finisher.

“I’m disappointed I didn’t get the trophy. But that’s OK. Even if I didn’t get the trophy, everyone knew my score,” she said. “In golf, it’s all about the rules.”

 

In the news business, though, the rules are slightly looser. So on Friday, the Globe unblushingly ran this piece.

Girl golfer beats boys, denied trophy

MIAA rule book allows her to play, but not to win

She was allowed to golf with the boys, but the rules didn’t allow her to beat them.

So when Emily Nash, a Lunenburg High School junior, shot the best score at the Central region Division 3 high school golf tournament at Blissful Meadows in Uxbridge on Tuesday, officials had to hand the trophy to the best-scoring boy, who had finished four strokes back.

 

Drive the Herald nuts graf:

“The statewide rule that denied her a victory will be reviewed and possibly changed, high school sports officials said. On its face, it certainly seems like an injustice to deny a trophy to the golfer with the best score, and Nash’s story has quickly gained national attention, amplified by social media and highlighted on the Web page of the PGA.”

Not to mention local attention, which the Globe conveniently did not mention.

Low class, Globeniks. Very low class.

UPDATE:

(Tip o’ the pixel to @lordpaluzzi via @dankennedy_nu)


Boston Globe Printing Press Just Crushing Things

July 18, 2017

With the departure of Doug Franklin as Boston Globe CEO after only six months on the job, we now have our second casualty of the paper’s new Taunton printing facility. (Tip o’ the pixel to the redoubtable Dan Kennedy at Media Nation.)

The first casualty? The daily baseball scores.

Earlier this month, the Globe ran this note on Page One of the Sports section for over a week.

 

 

Fair enough. But here’s the baseball scoreboard from one of the print editions right before the All Star break..

 

 

Seriously? A ballgame in Philadelphia or New York is a “late game score”?

As for being resolved by mid-July, here’s the scoreboard from today’s print edition:

 

 

Meanwhile, the Boston Herald, which the Globe also prints at its Taunton facility, is suffering the same fate, but has a different solution. The tardy local tabloid just doesn’t list the games whose scores are missing.

 

 

That is so Boston Herald, no?

UPDATE: Sharp-eyed (and -tongued) reader Paul sent this:

Um, the Herald splits the AL and NL scores in print. All the games they “didn’t list” are on the other side of the page.

But I suppose that doesn’t fit your pithy little quip, does it?

 

The hardlyreading staff apologizes for the brain freeze.


Boston Globe Still Won’t Disclose Total Wine Intere$t

June 1, 2017

As the hardreading staff noted earlier this week, the Boston Globe is raking in ad revenue from Total Wine & More while also reporting on the disruptive liquor retailer’s attempts to change state alcohol rules nationwide.

But the Globe has at the same time failed to acknowledge its financial relationship with Total Wine, which has spent tens of thousands of dollars on advertising in the $tately local broadsheet.

Latest example: Yesterday’s Page One piece on the pushback to relaxing alcohol regulations. Buried in the final grafs was this:

Businesses, meanwhile, are prepared to spend handsomely to push measures that benefit them. The Total Wine & More chain, for example, just launched a large public relations campaign urging the task force and the Legislature to allow alcohol retailers to issue coupons and loyalty cards.

 

At that point you’d think the Globe might mention this ad that ran three pages later.

 

 

But no.

Then again, not everyone finds the Globe’s non-disclosure problematic. After our initial post, the redoubtable Dan Kennedy sent us this message.

 

 

We yield to no man in our respect for Mr. Media Nation, but . . .

 

 

One final note: Before you pooh-pooh the hardtsking staff, consider the Globe’s totally egregious pom-pom reporting of the recent Citgo sign rumpus, during which the paper raked in easily a hundred thousand dollars in feel-good ads for the Kenmore Square icon without disclosing its financial interest in the matter.

But no matter?

Respectfully, we think not.


Is Anything Not For Sale at the Boston Globe? (II)

March 10, 2017

In response to the hardtsking staff’s post yesterday that the Boston Globe was slowly becoming a sort of Adbnb after pimping out its front page on Tuesday and failing to label an editorial-looking ad on Wednesday, splendid reader Mark Laurence submitted this comment:

I don’t get your point. What is it about the Total Wine ad that doesn’t look like an ad to you? Did the graphics look too nice? There wasn’t a single sentence of text on the whole page, something you’d expect in a news story. If you want to complain about fake ads, how about the occasional Herald “road trips” to Florida or some other place that include advertising slogans and graphics in the middle of their reporter’s copy?

 

Well said, and an excellent opportunity to express some of the things we should have included in the original post.

All reasonable questions, Mark. I know it looks like an ad (although the Total Wine typeface feels kind of similar to Globe section headers), and there’s no text other than merchandise listings, etc.

But . . .

The Globe has traditionally labeled full-page ads that looked a lot more like ads with ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT across the top of the page. Beyond that, newspapers are getting into so many other businesses (e.g. the New York Times: Travel agency, educational institution, retailer, conference center . . . see here for further details), it could easily be the Globe selling wine on that page.

My point is this: Stealth marketing erodes editorial credibility incrementally, not all at once. Sort of the way authoritarianism erodes democracy, except not as serious. I’m more concerned with the Globe’s BMC sellout than any relaxation of ad labeling, but that doesn’t mean I don’t care about the latter.

As for the Herald, I’ll keep an eye out for the next time the paper sheds an adificial light on the Sunshine State.

 

That’s all for now. But more, we’re guessing, to come . . .


Is There Anything Not For Sale at the Boston Globe?

March 9, 2017

As the hardreading staff duly noted, on Tuesday the Boston Globe pimped out – for the first time – its front page to the Boston Medical Center.

 

 

The redoubtable Dan Kennedy had this Broadsheet Confidential report at WGBH News.

Globe Editor McGrory Defends Placement Of Front-Page Boston Medical Center Ad

The print edition of [Tuesday’s] Boston Globe includes a banner advertisement that appears above the nameplate at the very top of the page. The ad, for Boston Medical Center, promotes that institution’s addiction services. The placement is unusual enough to have prompted a message to the staff late Monday night from Globe editor Brian McGrory:

Just a heads up to everyone that we have an unorthodox ad on the front page of tomorrow’s print Globe. There’s a copy of it at the bottom of this email. As you’ll see, it’s the same shape and size as our regular strip ads on the front, but it’s at the top of the page rather than the bottom.

We didn’t permit this lightly. The cause of fighting addiction is a noble and vital one. The institution involved, the Boston Medical Center, plays an important role in our community on this and many other issues. And we don’t intend this to be a regular ad position. This is part of a larger campaign that is important to the ad client and significant to the Globe.

Any issues or questions, feel free to raise or ask. Otherwise, thanks as always for your commitment to great journalism.

Brian

 

So the commitment to great journalism includes accommodating what’s “important to the ad client and significant to the Globe.”

Because they’re both on the side of the angels, right?

Except . . .

Yesterday’s edition of the Globe makes the $tately local broadsheet look like it’s on the side of the angles.

From Wednesday’s Food section, what at first glance looks like a two-page editorial spread:

 

 

Wait – where’s the ADVERTISEMENT   ADVERTISEMENT    ADVERTISEMENT at the top of page G3?

 

 

Apparently in someone’s desk drawer at the Globe.

(To be sure graf goes here)

To be sure, the hardtsking staff can be a bit over-fastidious at times. But still, you have to wonder: How often will what’s important to the ad client and $ignificant to the Globe now dictate the aditorial content of the paper?

Or is the Globe content merely to be the Adbnb of whatever renters come its way?