Boston Globe Go-bituaries Now a Subsidiary of NYT

February 10, 2019

Three months ago the Boston Business Journal’s Don Seiffert reported (pay wall) that the Boston Globe had offloaded more staff and outsourced more content.

Boston Globe to lay off 15, outsource death notices

The latest round of layoffs at the newspaper includes 10 longtime employees in the classified department, and plans to outsource the “Remembered” business that prints death notices.

 

Then again, by the look of the Globe’s obituary pages nowadays, you’d think that they’ve been outsourced as well.

Start with Friday’s edition, which featured six obits across two pages – five of them from the New York Times, one from the Associated Press.

 

 

(To be sure graf goes here)

To be sure, you’d expect the Globe to pick up Christine Kay, editor on prizewinning Times projects, dies at 54 from the Times. Ditto for John Dingell Jr., a House ‘bull’ who served the longest, dies at 92.

But also a Times obit for Frank Robinson?

Seriously?

It’s true that Globe death beat reporter Bryan Marquard has had his hands full lately with the passing of legendary WBZ-AM anchorman Gary LaPierre and longtime Globe editor John S. Driscoll. But nobody in the Sports department could compose a sendoff to Robinson, Hall of Fame slugger and baseball’s first black manager? Geez.

Next up: yesterday’s edition of the Globe, which featured five obits – four from the Times (including Albert Finney), one from the Washington Post. Again, no one from the Arts squad had an obit prepared for the 82-year-old British stage and film actor? Double geez.

(To be fair graf goes here)

To be fair, Dan Shaughnessy penned a nice tribute to Robinson in his picked-up pieces column today. Don’t hold your breath for something similar on Finney.

Today’s Globituaries run true to form – four from the Times, two from AP.

 

 

(To be clear graf goes here)

To be clear, it’s no surprise that even a major metropolitan daily would pull most of its obits from the wire services. In the case of the Globe, however, it’s yet another symptom of the slow-motion decline of a once-robust newspaper.

Maybe not newsworthy, but certainly noteworthy.

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Pinheads at Boston Globe Strip-Mine Comics Pages

December 24, 2018

Are we having none yet?

The powers that be at the Boston Globe have continued their assault on the comics pages, as this note in today’s edition indicates.

Before:

 

After:

Let’s call the roll of the “several” strips that have been dumped. First, the good ones: Zippy (second time the Globe Pinheads have dropped him), Get Fuzzy, Mother Goose & Grimm, Bizarro, Bliss.

Then the no-great-loss ones – Rose Is Rose, Jumpstart, Pooch Cafe, Adam @ Home, Dustin, Mr. Boffo.

That would be 11 dropped comics if you’re keeping score at home.

Worse yet, consider some of the dogs they’ve kept: Red & Rover, Zits, Arctic Circle, The Pajama Diaries, For Better Or For Worse, Curtis, Arlo & Janis – all mind-numbingly either a) stupid, or b) unfunny.

Of course, the stately local broadsheet doesn’t care what old fogeys like the hardreading staff think. It’s too busy chasing the millennial crowd that it will likely never get.

But as Don Seiffert reported last week at the Boston Business Journal, “[a]s of Sept. 30, the paper had 109,409 weekday subscribers and 190,787 Sunday-only subscribers — down year-over-year by 11 percent and 13 percent respectively.”

And that, of course, is no joke.


Boston Globe Is Now the Dollar Store of Dailies

November 22, 2018

Recipients of the latest Boston Globe Weekender newsletter were greeted with this cheery offering from local scribe Michael Andor Brodeur.

From now through what is still for some reason called “Cyber Monday,” Weekenders can score a one-year subscription to the Globe online for just a buck a week for a year. I just did the math on that and it comes out to just $52, which is objectively less than other prices (including the usual $360).

 

Stop the presses!

On second thought, don’t. For several years now the Globeniks have staked their future on expanded digital revenues, as the redoubtable Dan Kennedy noted last month in Media Nation.

[T]he paper is reporting that it has passed the 100,000 level for digital-only subscriptions, a benchmark the paper’s executives had originally hoped to reach by the end of June. Don Seiffert of the Boston Business Journal has the details.

When I interviewed Globe editor Brian McGrory for “The Return of the Moguls” nearly two years ago, he said the paper would start to look like a sustainable business if it could hit 200,000.

 

Not to be the skunk at the garden party, but given that 1) the Globe introduced its paywall in 2011, and 2) it’s taken seven years to get to 100,000 digital-only subscribers, the question remains: Will Globe owner John Henry have the patience to wait until 2025 for the paper “to look like a sustainable business”?

As the BBJ’s Seiffert noted:

[G]etting to the second 100,000 subscriptions will be a heavy lift for a paper like the Globe that’s bound by geography. Rick Edmonds, media business analyst for the Poynter Institute, said in an email interview a couple weeks ago regarding the Globe’s digital progress that “as with print circulation, (digital) growth can be hard to sustain.”

“It takes marketing, a steady effort to convert people to fully paid, keeping renewal rates up and replacing churned subs with new ones at the discounted price,” said Edmonds. “If times are tight and (Globe owner) John Henry is impatient with losses as he has said — I can see the budget for all of that being cut back.”

 

Maybe even cut back to a dollar a week.


Boston Sunday Globe’s – Gasp! – Circulation Increase

October 9, 2018

So the hardreading staff was working its way through the Sunday papers when we came upon this notice on page 2 of the Boston Globe’s Ideas section.

 

 

One number that caught our eye was the Boston Sunday Globe print circulation increase from an average of 201,358 last year to 213,557 last month.

 

 

Next item of interest: The Globe’s paid digital subscriptions, which have risen to 111,680 according to this filing.

 

 

Problem is, Globe editor Brian McGrory has repeatedly stated that the paper needs to corral 200,000 digital subscribers to ensure its financial sustainability.

So half a loaf doesn’t quite make it, no?

Crosstown at the Boston Herald, on the other hand, the circulation news is downright dismal, as the Boston Business Journal’s Don Seiffert recently noted.

Boston Herald print circulation sees biggest drop in three years

The Boston Herald’s weekday print circulation saw a bigger drop in the first three months of 2018 compared to the previous quarter than it’s seen anytime in at least the past three years.

The newspaper’s weekday average print circulation fell to 40,914 during the first quarter of 2018, according to a report the Herald filed this week with the Alliance for Audited Media.

That’s a drop in circulation of nearly 3,200 subscribers — about 7.2 percent — from the fourth quarter of 2017. It marks the largest three-month decline in the paper’s weekday print circulation since at least 2015.

 

See our kissin’ cousins at One-Daily Town for further gory details.