NBC Boston Spans the Globe (But Not the Herald)

January 2, 2017

As the hardwatching staff has noted, the new NBC Boston (not to be confused with the old NBC Boston owned by arch nemesis Ed Ansin) has an uphill climb to establish itself in the local market.

For starters, there are the 20 – count ’em, 20 – different dial positions the new NBC Boston occupies, as this recent Boston Globe ad enumerated.

 

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That’s not broadcasting. That’s Sudoku.

Not to mention, as we previously mentioned:

First off, check out the over-the-air options available to what used to be called “cable decliners”: 8.1, 60.2, 60.5.

Seriously?

Those are the same people who have a VCR flashing 12:00 . . . 12:00 . . . 12:00 . . .

You think they can find Channel 60.5?

 

Regardless, yesterday was the official launch of NBC Boston, which the new enterprise marked by purchasing the Globe’s home delivery plastic bag, as well as wrapping the paper with an ad that included two skinny panels:

 

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And two full pages:

 

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Today NBC Boston got a sort of gift with purchase from the Globe: This front-page Don Aucoin piece.

As NBC preens, WHDH regroups

The muscle-flexing — or perhaps I should say feather-preening, since we’re talking about the Peacock Network — began early Sunday morning as NBC Boston made its debut. And it never really let up.

NBC’s mission: to convince the audience its programs are so popular that viewers will not only embrace its decision not to renew its affiliate agreement with WHDH-TV (Channel 7) but will also follow NBC to its new spot, with its own identity in the Boston TV market.

 

(To be fair graf goes here)

To be fair, Aucoin’s analysis is no puff piece, as he addresses the challenges facing both NBC Boston and NBC’s ex, WHDH. He also details NBC Boston’s marketing flurry yesterday, from “saturating its airwaves with pointed reminders” of the network’s switch to “a daylong stream of ads spotlighting NBC stars.”

Interestingly, the piece does not mention the major ad bucks that went to the Globe itself.

Crosstown at the Boston Herald, meanwhile, NBC Boston has . . . been dark, running not a single ad to guide Herald readers through the numbers salad the new station is serving up.

Hey, NBCniks: Herald readers watch TV too, you know.

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Boston Globe Critic Misses Biggest Broadway Fail

November 30, 2015

The hardreading staff yields to no man in our respect for Boston Globe theater critic Don Aucoin.

But, man, did he miss the boat in his front-page piece yesterday.

Theater companies find fault sometimes is in their stars

Marquee names are a draw at the box office but can be a drain on the stage

As both noun and verb, there is probably no more important word in show business than “star.’’

But the reality is that when it comes to the stage, glittering names on the marquee can be a decidedly mixed Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 1.23.19 AMblessing. Theater companies and producers who try to tap into star power are often faced with a trade-off between the potential of boffo box office (especially advance sales) and the peril of artistic letdown (which alienates the very audiences who bought those advance tickets). The biggest name onstage can also be the weakest link.

Because they’re squeezing in theater appearances between movie or TV commitments, some big-name stars appear out of synch and out of place. Watching them flounder, you wonder how much work they did to unearth the essence of their characters, how little thought they’ve given to the unique dynamics of live performance (for instance, projecting to the last row, since there are no close-ups in theater), and even, sometimes, how certain of their lines they are.

 

The biggest Broadway bust, though, is the one Aucoin does not mention: Al Pacino in David Mamet’s new play China Doll.

Representative headlines:

Al Pacino having trouble remembering lines, needs telepromter

Al Pacino needs teleprompters for lines in terrible new Broadway play

Ticket sales have been good regardless, so the producers pushed back the opening by two weeks to this Friday, which means the reviews might be buried in Saturday’s editions of the New York papers.

Sort of like the play itself should be.

But, apparently, will not.