Boston Herald Advertises Result of Its Brutal Layoffs

October 7, 2018

Our kissin’ cousins at One-Daily Town noted this the other day, but it bears repeating in this space: Since Digital Fist – sorry, First – Media bought the shaky local tabloid, the paper has gone from 225 employees to roughly 100, with the newsroom barely able to field a softball team.

And the lost jobs are not being outsourced as much as insourced – moved to other parts of the Digital First conglomerate.

So, for instance, the Herald’s copy editing is now done in Denver, as the Boston Globe’s Jon Chesto noted on Friday.

Much of the copy editing work heads to DFM employees in Denver, and ad sales increasingly will be handled out of Lowell, where DFM owns the Lowell Sun.

 

Some of the ad sales, however, are migrating to another DFM division – Denver-based Adtaxi – as this house ad indicates.

 

 

Adtaxi is a clearinghouse for ad placement and describes itself with gobbledygook like this:

“Taking an omnichannel approach, Adtaxi offers a true full-funnel solution powered by our intelligent optimization technology, Quantum, that drives performance to the conversion metrics that matter most to your business.”

 

As the sadreading staff at One-Daily Town said, “A Herald sales rep wouldn’t be caught dead talking like that. But a dead paper walking? Sure.”

Two postscripts:

1) From our Irony Deficient Herald desk

Yesterday’s shrinky local tabloid not only ran the Adtaxi ad, but also featured this AP story: “Jobless rate lowest since ’69.”

Except at the Herald, of course.

2) Also from our Irony Deficient Herald desk

The sketchy local tabloid has been running this small house ad almost every day for the past few weeks.

 

 

Except at the Herald, of course.

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Boston Herald Is Shaking Down Its Home Subscribers

September 14, 2018

As one of the up to several Boston Herald home subscribers, the hardreading staff just received a letter telling us that the costly local tabloid will very soon be even costlier.

Increase-their-nut graf:

The Boston Herald appreciates your readership and hopes you have been enjoying your subscription. This letter will serve as notice that effective 2018-10-04, your new weekly rate will be $11.00 for the subscription term you have selected. As a home delivery subscriber, your subscription includes access to our website and E-edition replica.

 

Quibble #1: The Boston Herald website is free to all.

Quibble #2: Even by our admittedly calcified mathematical skills, the new weekly rate equals $572 per annum. At said Herald website, anyone can subscribe to the print and digital editions for about $250 less.

 

 

Quibble #3: This particular paragraph in the letter.

All home delivery subscriptions will include up to 4 SPECIAL EDITIONS annually. Each SPECIAL EDITION will be between $1.75 to $9.99 depending on the SPECIAL EDITION. If you prefer not to receive these SPECIAL EDITIONS, you must call Customer Service at the number above to OPT OUT. If you do not OPT OUT, the SPECIAL EDITIONS will be automatically billed to your account and your SUBSCRIPTION TERM will be shortened. Subscribers will be charged Sunday rates for Thanksgiving Day home delivery.

 

Smart move, considering that “[r]esearchers have learned that options and services too often falter because they’re designed to depend on people taking some kind of action. Studies show that relying on inaction yields better results,” according to this Association for Psychological Science report.

As our kissin’ cousins at One-Daily Town have diligently chronicled, the Boston Herald’s owner, Digital First Media, is determined to strip the Herald like a car left overnight on the Cross Bronx Expressway.

Apparently, Digital First feels the same way about Herald subscribers.


Boston Herald’s Inside Track ‘Throne’ for a Loop

February 22, 2018

Well, this is not encouraging.

In today’s Boston Herald, Inside Track gal Olivia Vanni dishes about author Andrew Morton’s appearance at the Boston Public Library last night to flog his new book about Wallis Simpson, Wallis in Love.

In the course of the evening, Morton’s attention turned to the subject of his next book: Meghan Markle, Prince Harry’s fiancée.

As it appeared in the print edition:

Really? “Gave up the thrown”? Twice?

Earlier today it was the same in the online version.

“Edward gave up the thrown. Meghan’s given up ‘The Tig,’ ” said Morton, who spoke at the Boston Public Library about his newly released book, “Wallis in Love: The Untold Life of the Duchess of Windsor, the Woman Who Changed the Monarchy” last night.

“In this modern age, that’s quite the sacrifice,” he jokingly added. “The king giving up the thrown was a mere bauble compared to her voluntarily giving up her Instagram account.”

 

But now it’s been fixed.

“Edward gave up the throne. Meghan’s given up ‘The Tig,’ ” said Morton, who spoke at the Boston Public Library about his newly released book, “Wallis in Love: The Untold Life of the Duchess of Windsor, the Woman Who Changed the Monarchy” last night.

“In this modern age, that’s quite the sacrifice,” he jokingly added. “The king giving up the throne was a mere bauble compared to her voluntarily giving up her Instagram account.”

 

(To be sure graf goes here)

To be sure, it’s just one little mistake, so why make a federal case out of it, right?

It does make one wonder, though: Can the shaky local tabloid really afford to lose 25% of its already skeletal staff, as new owner Digital First Media plans to do?

Feels like not.


Boston Globe Scoops the Herald on Herald Sale

February 15, 2018

For the past several months, the Boston Globe has been playing catch-up to the Herald in covering the sale of the feisty local tabloid.

Today the Globe caught up.

Under the unusual byline “Globe Staff,” the stately local broadsheet reported the details of yesterday’s bake sale.

Bidding for Herald jumped by millions at auction

Digital First Media is poised to become the new owner of the Boston Herald after besting competitors with multiple higher bids during a bankruptcy auction Tuesday that netted nearly $12 million, according to newly filed court documents.

A transcript of the auction held in the office of Herald law firm Brown Rudnick revealed that Digital First opened with a bid valued at around $7.6 million — higher than the offers already in place from two other competitors, GateHouse Media and Revolution Capital Group.

After GateHouse countered Digital First with a slightly higher offer, Revolution Capital dropped out, leaving the two competitors to trade bids several times until Digital First’s final offer proved too rich for GateHouse, according to a transcript of the auction filed with bankruptcy court in Delaware.

 

And Digital’s final offer? “The Denver-based company, which owns daily and weekly newspapers in Colorado, California, Massachusetts, and several other states, prevailed with a final offer of $9.6 million in cash, $1 million in accrued paid time off to employees, and another $1.4 million in assumed liabilities.”

Crosstown at the Herald, reporter Brian Dowling didn’t have those numbers, but he did spotlight what exactly that breakdown means.

This year, the pension, severance and retirement payments to employees were estimated to reach $3.5 million, according to court papers. The pension, severance and retirement accounts had accrued nearly $25 million in liabilities when the company filed for bankruptcy.

 

Obviously $2.4 million isn’t gonna put much of a dent in that. Dowling also reported that Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is “urging Herald ownership to strike a deal to save workers’ pensions.”

All due respect, Mistah Mayah, the corn is off the cob – unless the bankruptcy judge steps in to change the deal. We’ll find out tomorrow.


Who Knew the Boston Herald Was Worth $12 Million?

February 14, 2018

Eat your heart out, Mort Zuckerman.

Back in September, the real estate magnate sold the legendary New York Daily News to Tronc (rhymes with bonk) for exactly $1 – 50¢ less than the price of the paper’s Sunday edition.

(To be fair graf goes here)

To be fair, Tronc did assume $30 million in operational and pension liabilities, but hey – a dollar’s a dollar, yeah?

Boston Herald owner Pat Purcell, on the other hand, scooped up a helluva lot more in yesterday’s bake sale of the shaky local tabloid.

From Brian Dowling’s piece in today’s edition of the soldy local tabloid:

Digital First Media enters $11.9M top bid for Boston Herald

Digital First Media won the Boston Herald in a 5-hour bankruptcy auction with a top $11.9 million bid that all but settles who will carry the news organization into the next chapter of the city’s media history.

The newspaper company, which operates as Media News Group and owns hundreds of publications across the country, including the Denver Post, bested two other suitors — GateHouse Media and Revolution Capital. Digital First also owns the Lowell Sun and the Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise in Massachusetts.

 

But that doesn’t mean it’s all roses and lollipops at Fargo Street. As the Boston Globe’s Jon Chesto reports, Digital First Media “has earned a reputation for relentless cost-cutting” – not a good omen for the Herald rank and file.

And, as our kissin’ cousins at One-Daily Town recently noted, Digital First just ditched the Sentinel & Enterprise’s brick-and-mortar home for a “virtual newsroom.”

So maybe you Heraldniks might want to bring some of your personal items home.