More Slop on the John Henry/Marty Walsh Hand-Holding in the Boston Globe

June 30, 2014

So, to recap for the umpteenth- hell, just see here.

The question is this: How did Marty’s Mash Note to the Boston Public Schools wind up as a full-page ad in last Wednesday’s Boston Globe?

 

Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 1.10.20 PM

 

On Friday, CommonWealth Magazine (which came late – but smart – to the party) reported the issue thusly:

THE BOSTON GLOBE FOUNDATION donated a full-page ad in Wednesday’s newspaper to Boston Mayor Marty Walsh so he could thank the staff of the Boston Public Schools at the close of the school year.

Ellen Clegg, who heads the foundation, said the mayor personally asked Globe CEO Mike Sheehan for the ad space and the foundation provided it because the message was in keeping with the organization’s focus on education and literacy.

 

But Ms. Clegg had previously told the hardreading staff this:

The Globe Foundation donated the ad to the Boston Public Schools pro bono, as a public service. When we get a request for support from organizations that fit the Foundation’s mission, we work with the Globe’s advertising department to donate pro bono print ads in space that would normally go to unpaid “house ads.” It’s a great way to engage with the community. Other recent examples of pro bono ads include the One Fund and the MLK Summer Scholars Program, which the Foundation co-sponsors with John Hancock.

 

C’mon – “[donating] an ad to the Boston Public Schools pro bono” and kowtowing to the mayor of Boston aren’t even in the same zip code.

Regardless, Ms. Clegg perpetuated the split decision yesterday in these post-CommonWealth answers to our pre-CommonWealth questions, which took her initial explanation at face value:

• When you donated the ad to the Boston Public Schools, did you know it would take the form of a letter from Mayor Walsh?

Yes.

• Who did the creative/production of the ad?

The Globe’s advertising department.

• Given the ad’s content, did you have any concerns that it would appear you donated the ad to Mayor Walsh, raising questions about the appearance of compromising the Globe’s arm’s-length relationship with him?

The Globe’s newsroom is independent from the business side of the organization, and from the Globe Foundation, and had no involvement here.

I’m sure you’ve seen the newsroom’s recent scrub of Mayor Walsh’s hiring record (link below). I have confidence that our journalists will continue to scrutinize public officials and powerful institutions, including City Hall.

http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2014/06/09/mayor-martin-walsh-full-time-hires-are-predominantly-male-and-most-are-white/iJMJu3tzDjsXUCrpBgvOVO/story.html

 

Frankly, we’re more interested in scrubbing Ms. Clegg’s record of telling the hardreading staff one thing and CommonWealth another.

From the start of John Henry’s dual ownership of the Boston GlobeSox, the paper pretty consistently ignored conflicts of interest in his business dealings with the Menino administration (see here and here). If Henry is now dancing to Marty Walsh’s tune, he should own up to that, too.

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Wait! Boston GlobeSox Owner John Henry IS Gettin’ Cozier with Marty Walsh

June 29, 2014

To recap one more time again:

Last Wednesday, this full-page ad appeared in the Boston Globe:

 

Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 1.10.20 PM

 

That got the headscratching staff to wondering who paid for Marty’s Mash Note to the Boston Public Schools. So we sent a note to the Boston Globe Foundation (see lower left in the ad) asking just that: Did Mayor Walsh (read: Boston taxpayers) foot the bill? Did the Globe Foundation? Did no one?

And here’s what Globe lifer Ellen Clegg replied:

The Globe Foundation donated the ad to the Boston Public Schools pro bono, as a public service. When we get a request for support from organizations that fit the Foundation’s mission, we work with the Globe’s advertising department to donate pro bono print ads in space that would normally go to unpaid “house ads.” It’s a great way to engage with the community. Other recent examples of pro bono ads include the One Fund and the MLK Summer Scholars Program, which the Foundation co-sponsors with John Hancock.

 

(The hardquizzing staff followed up with an email that asked Ms. Clegg these questions: 1) When you donated the ad to the Boston Public Schools, did you know it would take the form of a letter from Mayor Walsh? 2) Who did the creative/production of the ad? 3) Given the ad’s content, did you have any concerns that it would look like you donated the ad not to the BPS but to Mayor Walsh, appearing to compromise the Globe’s arm’s-length relationship with him?

(We have yet to hear back.)

Meanwhile, as the redoubtable Dan Kennedy pointed out to us, the redoubtable Dan Kennedy pointed us to this piece in Commonwealth Magazine, where it seems to us Ms. Clegg told a very different story to CommonWealth Magazine (which, frankly, came late to the party):

Globe Foundation gives full-page ad to Walsh

Mayor approached CEO Sheehan for space

THE BOSTON GLOBE FOUNDATION donated a full-page ad in Wednesday’s newspaper to Boston Mayor Marty Walsh so he could thank the staff of the Boston Public Schools at the close of the school year.

Ellen Clegg, who heads the foundation, said the mayor personally asked Globe CEO Mike Sheehan for the ad space and the foundation provided it because the message was in keeping with the organization’s focus on education and literacy.

 

Yes, well, Ms. Clegg might want to focus on her own message(s). Clearly, she gave us a mere bag of shells.

Wish you hadn’t done that, Ms. Clegg. Makes a fella lose all faith in himself. (See 4:45)

 

 

The hardreading staff will call Ms. Clegg tomorrow and try to clarify all this, because turning your newspaper into a mayoral Make a Wish fund is a lot different from “donating an ad to the Boston Public Schools.”

But don’t hold your breath.


Is Boston GlobeSox Owner John Henry Gettin’ Cozier with Marty Walsh? (Globe Response Edition)

June 27, 2014

To recap:

On Wednesday, this full-page ad appeared in the Boston Globe:

 

Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 1.10.20 PM

 

That got the headscratching staff to wonder, Who picked up the tab for Marty’s Mash Note to the Boston Public Schools?

So we sent a note to the Boston Globe Foundation, whose logo appears lower left, asking if they could tell us if Mayor Walsh (read: Boston taxpayers) paid for the ad space or the Globe Foundation did or if any money changed hands at all.

And here’s the reply we received from Globe stalwart Ellen Clegg:

The Globe Foundation donated the ad to the Boston Public Schools pro bono, as a public service. When we get a request for support from organizations that fit the Foundation’s mission, we work with the Globe’s advertising department to donate pro bono print ads in space that would normally go to unpaid “house ads.” It’s a great way to engage with the community. Other recent examples of pro bono ads include the One Fund and the MLK Summer Scholars Program, which the Foundation co-sponsors with John Hancock.

 

Ms. Clegg graciously offered to talk with the hardquizzing staff and we have a call in to her.

As always, we’ll keep you posted.


Is Boston GlobeSox Owner John Henry Gettin’ Cozier with Marty Walsh?

June 26, 2014

As the hardreading staff has noted on numerous occasions, the relationship between Boston Globe/Red Sox owner John Henry and the City of Boston (read: Tom Menino) over the past several years became increasingly – and profitably – chummy, from Landsdowne Street air rights to Fenway Franks.

But this is something else entirely.

Yesterday, we posted this:

Marty Walsh Hates the Herald

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has always struck the hardreading staff as deep-down a Boston Herald kind of guy. But you can’t tell by looking at the local dailies today.

Boston Globe, Page 9:

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Boston Herald: Nada thing.

Of course this logo lower left in the ad might explain that.

Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 1.25.18 PM

 

Subsequently, the headscratching staff sent this email to the Boston Globe Foundation:

I produce the website It’s Good to Live in a Two-Daily Town and I read with interest Mayor Walsh’s full-page ad in today’s Globe. I also noticed that the Boston Globe Foundation logo was included lower left.

Can you tell me if Mayor Walsh paid for the ad space? Or if the Boston Globe Foundation did? Or if any money changed hands at all?

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,
John R. Carroll

 

So far, we haven’t heard back from the Boston Globe Foundation.

But we do know it’s headed by Linda Pizzuti, a.k.a. John Henry’s Missus.

From Jason Schwartz’s The John Henry Emails in Boston Magazine:

When I got to chat briefly with Linda [Pizzuti, Henry’s wife] after the Chamber breakfast, she described her role at the paper as “evolving.” Is there any greater sense of what exactly her role will be yet?

Linda is fully engaged working on important issues for the Boston Globe. She is leading initiatives to activate our subscriber base connecting the Globe to the community. She is heading up the Boston Globe Foundation. And she serves on a number of internal committees that deal with real estate, circulation, social media and other business issues.

She was the driving force behind our recently launched Globe GRANT program, which gave our subscribers vouchers they are assigning to non-profit organizations for advertising space in the Boston Globe. This program has been very warmly received by charitable organizations and subscribers.

 

(Henry also writes in the exchange, “Mike [Barnicle] knows everyone worth knowing.” Huh.)

Anyway, we’re hoping to hear from the stately local broadsheet’s stately local do-gooders.

Did Marty Walsh (read: Boston taxpayers) pay for yesterday’s full-page ad? Did Linda Pizzuti? Mike Barnicle? Nobody?

Anyone at the Globe want to say?


Our Boston Globe/John Henry Watch (Landsdowne Street Air Rights Edition II)

September 28, 2013

As the hardreading staff noted yesterday, Thursday’s Boston Globe failed to mention the paper’s relationship to Red Sox principal owner and soon-to-be Globe owner John Henry in a piece about the Sox getting a sweetheart deal for rights to Fenway Park’s adjoining streets.

Friday’s Globe follow-up, however, came to Jesus.

Despite objections, Red Sox win rights to street use

davis_fenway4_spts

Despite objections from residents and one board member, the Boston Redevelopment Authority on Thursday authorized a $7.3 million deal to let the Red Sox use two public streets near Fenway Park for gameday concessions and seating over the Green Monster.

The arrangement grants the Red Sox permission to close a 17,000-square-foot strip of Yawkey Way for concessions for as long as the baseball team plays at Fenway. It also gives the team air rights over Lansdowne Street to allow for seating over the ballpark’s famed left-field wall . . .

The principal owner of the Red Sox, John W. Henry, is purchasing The Boston Globe and related properties from The New York Times Co. for $70 million.

 

Better, yes?

 


Our Boston Globe/John Henry Watch (Landsdowne Street Air Rights Edition)

September 27, 2013

(Two-Daily Town is proud to introduces this new feature tracking the Boston Globe’s disclosure of Red Sox principal owner John Henry’s Globe purchase)

The hardreading staff is, as you may have gathered, an eternal optimist. But this piece in Thursday’s Boston Globe gives us pause.

 

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Nut graf:

Cahill said the BRA is attempting to “give away rights to a public street without reasonable public notice, without public advertisement, and without utilizing a public process.” There were no public hearings about the deal, though the board will vote during a public meeting.

Cahill also said the city should not sign a lifetime contract with the Red Sox and should seek a slice of the revenue generated by the team’s use of Yawkey and Lansdowne — a total of about $4.5 million annually, according to the team.

 

Sweet(heart), yeah?

The problem here isn’t the Globe story – reporter Callum Borchers does a perfectly reasonable job of examining both sides of the issue. The problem is, nowhere does the Globe disclose that Red Sox principal owner John Henry is the boss of them – something the Globe should absolutely overdisclose.

Crosstown, the Boston Herald is less, shall we say, nuanced.

NEL_9829.JPGCrying foul over Boston Sox deal

Watchdogs to review $7.3M pact

Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino balked yesterday at intervening in a proposed $7.3 million deal between the BRA and the Red Sox for air rights over Lansdowne Street and game-day concessions on Yawkey Way as the state Inspector General’s office said it would review the deal and an independent watchdog group called it “financially irresponsible”

“Why should I?” Menino asked. “It’s a good deal. (The Boston Redevelopment Authority) got much more money than they got in the past. Think about what the Red Sox mean to the city: jobs, taxes, vitality, heads on beds.”

 

The Herald piece doesn’t mention the Globe’s opaque coverage of the story.

Not sure that will be the case for long.