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:

 

screen-shot-2015-10-03-at-2-08-09-pm

 

And we noted this editor’s note from McGrory.

 

screen-shot-2015-10-03-at-2-09-13-pm

 

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.

 

screen-shot-2017-01-22-at-12-19-55-am

 

And say hello to the old stand-alone Metro section.

 

screen-shot-2017-01-22-at-12-20-20-am

 

So, to recap:

The Boston Globe has a (relatively) new Saturday format.

Except when it doesn’t.

Okay then.

Advertisements

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.

 

screen-shot-2016-12-05-at-11-35-00-am

 

From our Before ‘n’ After desk, here are Saturday’s comics pages.

 

screen-shot-2016-12-05-at-11-38-21-am

 

 

And here are today’s.

 

screen-shot-2016-12-05-at-11-35-36-am

 

And the triumphant return of Zippy.

 

screen-shot-2016-12-05-at-11-36-02-am

 

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.


Fraidy Local Tabloid Won’t Cover the Boston Globe

April 10, 2016

What’s with the Boston Herald?

As the hardreading staff noted last month, the Herald resolutely refused to cover the Boston Globe’s Chernobylesque home delivery meltdown earlier this year. The Globe itself labeled it a “delivery debacle,” which we wrote “should be mother’s milk to the thirsty local tabloid but . . . nothing.”

Now comes the juicy memo from Globe editor Brian McGrory (first reported on Thursday in the redoubtable Dan Kennedy’s Media Nation) announcing a “no-sacred-cows analysis of our newsroom and what the Globe should look like in the future.”

McGrory framed it this way: “If a wealthy individual [who, presumably, is not John Henry] was to give us funding to launch a news organization designed to take on The Boston Globe, what would it look like?”

Regardless, don’t you want to hear the flamey local tabloid’s answer to that question? But over the past few days the Heraldniks have given us . . . bupkis.

Some speculate that the Herald has been laying off the Globe because the Globe prints the Herald. But that deal’s been in effect for three years and didn’t keep Herald columnist Howie Carr from lambasting the Globe for its Tsarnaev brothers coverage.

So why is the feisty local tabloid AWOL now?

All suggestions gladly accepted.


Boston Globe Won’t Reveal Groups That Got Free Ads

March 8, 2016

As the hardreading staff noted the other day, the Boston Globe’s GRANT program, which is headed by Boston GlobeSox owner John Henry’s wife Linda Pizzuti and which “enables readers to support New England’s non-profits by choosing which ones are given free advertising space in The Boston Globe,” has always struck us as more sizzle than steak.

After its launch two years ago, the program pretty much dropped off our radar screen – until last week, when Thursday’s edition of the Globe featured this ad for Boston Catholic Appeal (which ranks #160 on the GRANT Nonprofit Leaderboard with a whopping $255 in GRANT Vouchers – hardly enough to pay for the two column (3.79″) x 3″ ad).

 

Screen Shot 2016-03-06 at 12.22.16 AM

 

It struck us that we hadn’t really seen many GRANT ads over the past two years, so we wrote to the GRANT folks and asked if there might be a list of groups who received free Globe advertising in exchange for their vouchers.

Today we received this reply from a marketing coordinator in the Globe’s Circulation department:

Thanks for reaching out to us here at GRANT! If you would like information about a certain non-profit, then please let me know. I am not at liberty to send a list of all the organizations, dates and examples. Thanks.

 

Always loved that “not at liberty” formulation; we’ve used it ourselves on more than one occasion.

Regardless, in this case it means mind your own business.

In our research travels checking the GRANT program out, we did notice a couple of non-profits – the Massachusetts Horticultural Society and Project Bread – that had issued pleas to their members to participate in the voucher system. (No doubt there are others who did the same – those are just the two we saw.)

They’re our next stop on this madcap adventure. As always, we’ll keep you posted.


The Boston Globe’s Come-to-Jesus GRANT Grant

March 6, 2016

As the hardreading staff has previously noted, there’s something hinkey about the Boston Globe’s GRANT program.

GRANT – which stands for Globe Readers And Non-profits Together – “enables readers to support New England’s non-profits by choosing which ones are given free advertising space in The Boston Globe.”

The initiative debuted two years ago with this full-page ad in the stately local broadsheet.

 

screen-shot-2014-01-10-at-1-27-46-am

 

That would be Linda Pizzuti Henry, wife of Boston GlobeSox owner John Henry.

Whatever.

From FAQs:

How does it work?
1. If you are a Globe subscriber, you will receive a GRANT voucher via mail or email.
2. Select a New-England-based 501(c)(3) you are passionate about. Click here to view last year’s selected charities.
3. Go to BostonGlobe.com/GRANT by April 30, 2016 to submit your voucher on behalf of your favorite non-profit organization. (You will need your Subscriber Number.)
If you received a mailed voucher: Write the name and address of your charity on your voucher and mail it to The Boston Globe using the envelope provided by April 30, 2016
4. Stay up-to-date on all non-profits that were selected by visiting our 2016 Leaderboard

 

The GRANT grants resurfaced a few days ago with this pitseleh ad in the Globe’s Thursday edition (see middle left).

 

Screen Shot 2016-03-06 at 1.15.56 AM

 

For the pitseleh-impaired:

 

Screen Shot 2016-03-06 at 12.22.16 AM

 

Interesting, since Boston Catholic Appeal comes in at #160 on the GRANT Nonprofit Leaderboard with a whopping $255 in GRANT Vouchers.

 

 

Screen Shot 2016-03-06 at 1.47.15 AM

 

By the way, 2 Corinthians 9:7 says this:

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

 

Clearly, the Boston Globe loves a cheerful giver as well.

At least one of them.

There are hundreds of non-profits listed on the 2016 Leaderboard with “GRANT Vouchers Redeemed” amounts ranging from $8,595 to $25. The rules for redeeming vouchers are these:

What are the redemption rules and restrictions?
• All awarded ads must include a GRANT header/footer (this will be provided).
• Non-profits will be asked to report the impact of their GRANT ads.
• Organizations will have until April 2017 to use awarded ad space.
• GRANT ads may not run with a paid campaign.
• Organizations with smaller redemption amounts will have a dedicated contact who will help them order and (if necessary) write their ad.
• Existing advertisers may not use earned ad space in place of previously scheduled campaigns.
• Paid ads will run first.
• GRANT ads may not appear on the front page, on inserts, or in the Globe Magazine.

 

And this: “Non-profits who have been selected by a minimum of seven subscribers but who have not earned enough to receive a stand-alone ad will appear in a full-page non-profit directory ad.”

Here’s the thing: The hardreading staff gets the Globe every day, and we can’t recall ever seeing a GRANT ad before. Which doesn’t mean none have run. But which does mean we’re gonna ask.

Keep you posted as always.


Red Sox Presidential Pitches Are High and Wide

February 17, 2016

The Boston Red Sox are suddenly players in the 2016 presidential race, but at least two of them aren’t exactly on the same team.

Start with Kyle Clauss’s Boston Magazine piece yesterday.

Billionaire John Henry Wants Billionaire Mike Bloomberg to Run for President

The two-party system is broken, so why not an oligarchy?

Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 12.01.28 PM

Red Sox principal owner John Henry celebrated Presidents Day by urging former three-term New York mayor Michael Bloomberg to make a run for the White House. Keeping in line with the first law of online media—”Tweets with pictures get more attention than those without”—the Boston Globe attached a photo of some avant garde carpeting, for good measure.

 

Here’s what Henry posted on his Twitter feed:

 

Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 12.02.37 PM

 

 

Yeah – we have no idea what the graphic means either.

But that’s not the end of Billionaires Row for the Olde Towne Team. Here’s Nick Cafardo’s campaign coverage in today’s Boston Globe:

Buchholz has a ringing endorsement for Trump

Add matchmaker to Donald Trump’s list of successful endeavors.

Trump introduced model/actress Lindsay Clubine to Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz.Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 12.10.50 PM

“It was 2008 in Anaheim,” Buchholz recalled. “It was Sean Casey, myself, probably like eight or nine guys, and we went to a UFC fight after one game and then we went to the after party.

“It was ‘Affliction: Banned’ fighting, and [Trump] owned the whole circuit. My wife knew him prior, from ‘Deal or No Deal’ when he came on the show as a celebrity banker.

“She was helping him host this event in Anaheim. So when we all walked in, he was there, and he saw us and he introduced Lindsey to me.”

 

Isn’t that sweet?

Now if we can just get Big Papi to endorse Bernie Sanders, we’ll have a real ballgame.

Memo to Boston Herald owner Pat Purcell: Still time to play – have you considered drafting Mitt Romney?


Useless Boston Herald Still AWOL on Globe Meltdown

January 7, 2016

The hardreading staff has been thoroughly flummoxed by the Boston Herald’s recent abdication of its sacred duty to pummel crosstown rival Boston Globe on any and all occasions.

And what an occasion the stately local broadsheet has presented in its current inability to deliver its print edition to vast swaths of home subscribers.

An inability, by the way, the lately local broadsheet is now kind of hiding.

Start with this now-routine note on the Globe’s homepage.

 

Screen Shot 2016-01-07 at 10.04.24 AM

 

Click on the ConsumerUpdate link inside the box and you get the Member Center Login. Click on the Note to subscribers above the box and you get this:

 

Screen Shot 2016-01-07 at 10.11.00 AM

 

Click on that ConsumerUpdate link and you finally get to the tough luck towns du jour.

 

Screen Shot 2016-01-07 at 10.14.28 AM

 

 

Today’s unlucky number of “delivery delay” zip codes: 100.

The whole runaround is just lame.

But the fraidy local tabloid is even lamer, because it continues to ignore the Globe delivery meltdown. Not to mention ignoring Boston GlobeSox owner John Henry’s hot little tweet yesterday about a piece by the Unsinkable Emily Rooney at WGBH News (note the Update at bottom).

 

Screen Shot 2016-01-07 at 10.23.25 AM

 

Don’t think we’ve heard the end of this one yet. But don’t bother checking the Herald about it.