Globe Cries ‘Uncle’, Goes Back to Old Distributor

January 6, 2016

Rule #1: Don’t trust anything Boston Globe executives say these days.

Exhibit A: Here’s what Globe CEO Mike Sheehan said on WGBH’s Greater Boston Monday night:

Mike Sheehan: Part of those options we’re considering are dividing up those [undelivered] areas and bringing in some other distributors to help and getting this solved very very fast.

Jim Braude: You couldn’t undo this and just go back to the prior company?

MS: No – no, ACI is doing a very good job in certain geographies.

 

Then again, there’s this in today’s lately local broadsheet:

Globe splits deliveries between two companies

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After more than a week of confounding problems getting newspapers to subscribers, The Boston Globe has turned to its former distribution partner to handle about half of its home deliveries across the region, Globe chief executive officer Mike Sheehan said on Tuesday.

The deal with Publishers Circulation Fulfillment Inc. follows an unexpectedly difficult rollout for the Globe’s new distribution firm, ACI Media Group Inc., which left tens of thousands of newspapers undelivered in its first week after taking over distribution within the Boston region on Dec. 28.

 

So, to recap: The Globe tore the sheets with former distributor Publishers Circulation Fulfillment in order to hook up with new squeeze (the drivers) ACI Media, but now the Globe and PCF are friends with benefits.

Not to get technical about it, but Mike Sheehan seems to be telling the truth a little bit at a time.

Rule #2: Don’t expect the Boston Herald to tell you anything about the Globe delivery meltdown.

Once again, the fraidy local tabloid is a day late, dolor short. Ignoring a major malfunction by your crosstown rival is not just bad journalism, it’s bad business. But at least they’re consistent.

Rule #3: Don’t expect the Globe’s publisher to stand the gaffe.

After a long hibernation, Boston GlobeSox owner John Henry – finally – weighs in today with this mealy-mouthed Letter From the Publisher.

We apologize to our loyal readers

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The Globe’s responsibility to this community is to bring it the news. I would like to share some news now about why we have failed to meet this objective for many readers over the past 10 days, how we are working to fix the problems, and a bit about the root causes.

First, I want to personally apologize to every Boston Globe subscriber who has been inconvenienced. We recognize that you depend on us, and that we’ve let you down. We’re working around the clock on a variety of fronts to solve this. To that end, I also want to thank everyone at the Globe who pitched in to get some 20,000 Sunday papers delivered last weekend.

Getting a daily newspaper to your front door is a complicated exercise in logistics .  . .

 

And blah blah blah . . .

Helpful hint: Wear asbestos glove while reading the comments.

Rule the Last: When the paper you own goes Chernobyl, don’t turtle for 10 days, then tell us how tough your job is. It’s just not manly.

UPDATE: Totally forgot (since it’s become so routine) – no Globe today. The “delivery delay” list is down to 91, but the hardlyreading staff is still on it.

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Boston Herald Fails to Deliver on Globe for 10th Day

January 5, 2016

As one of the Boston Herald’s 17 home subscribers, the hardreading staff has been waiting patiently for the feisty local tabloid to crow about its successful delivery of the paper while the Boston Globe’s home delivery has gone Chernobyl.

But . . . nothing.

And today . . . still nothing.

Your fraidy local tabloid’s Tuesday Business section.

 

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As WGBH’s Unsinkable Emily Rooney (and our former partner in airtime) has written, “The Boston Herald has disgracefully reneged it’s [sic] journalistic duty to report this story for one simple reason, The Globe butters the Herald’s bread by being its printer.”

Then again, as Globe reporter Maria Cramer said on WBUR’s Radio Boston yesterday, the Herald has never been shy before about smacking the Globe around.

So why now?

Hey, Herald house harridan Howie Carr(toon): Wanna weigh in on this?

As opposed to your latest mailed-in column?

Or maybe you’re fraidy, too.

P.S. Oh, yeah – the Globe failed to deliver today’s paper to the hardlyreading staff (we’re now 4-for-9 in the Big Meltdown). And the “delivery delay” list is currently at 113. Burt here’s the funny thing: Globe CEO went on WGBH’s Greater Boston last night and said the really serious delivery problems are in Newton and Pembroke. Except . . . Pembroke isn’t even on the list today. Geez – these people can screw up a screw up.


Boston Globe Delivery Meltdown, Day 6

January 2, 2016

Well the hardlyreading staff failed to receive its Boston Globe today, same as the last two days, but at least the lately local broadsheet included our zip code in its daily “delivery delay” list.

 

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That’s 111 zip codes if you’re keeping score at home. (We miscounted earlier on Twitter.)

Globe chief executive Mike Sheehan has claimed that “[b]y Wednesday, 95 percent of home-delivery subscribers received their papers,” but given the Twitstorm that’s raged all week, that seems highly unlikely.

Two additions from our splendid readers:

• David Shea on why the Herald has been AWOL on this story:

 

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• And Sharon Machlis added this bit of background:

 

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(Link here.)

Fun fact to know and tell: Click on any link for the aptly named ACI Last Mile Network, which is the Globe’s new improved delivery partner, and you get this:

 

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Huh.

One last note: This note from the Boston Globe Team.

Dear Subscriber,

We know that you have reached out to us this week to discuss your service interruption, and we apologize to those who did not get through. We are working around the clock to resolve our Customer Service and operational issues and get your paper to your door on time.

In the meantime, your home delivery account will be credited for this entire week. This will happen automatically; you do not need to take any action.

Once again, we apologize. For the most up-to-date information on delivery in your area and any new service announcements, please go to our dedicated delivery change page: BostonGlobe.com/ConsumerUpdate.

Thank you,
The Boston Globe Team

 

This one’s headed for a Harvard Business School case study, no?


No Boston.comment for Boston Herald

September 16, 2015

The Boston Globe’s Boston.com website has gone Chernobyl, with two recent masthead departures and 12 staffers laid off yesterday.

The Boston Herald’s Owen Boss has the story today:

Beleaguered Boston.com lays off 12 in big shake-up

 

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A dozen employees were laid off today in a shakeup at the Boston Globe’s Boston.com website, a company spokesman has confirmed.

“This is a business decision that is part of a larger effort at Boston Globe Media Partners designed to put Boston.com in a stronger and more sustainable position for growth,” Boston.com said in a prepared statement. “That said, we would be remiss to overlook the fact that this was also a people decision, one that affects the lives of many who have worked tirelessly to support our operation. We are deeply grateful for that work.”

Today’s layoffs follow the recent departure of the website’s editor-in-chief, Tim Molloy, and general manager, Corey Gottlieb, and are part of a change in “operational vision” for the website, Boston.com said.

 

Spokesman, statement – whatever. Sure looks like no one at the Globe was willing to talk to the feisty local tabloid.

But they’re certainly talking to themselves at the Globe.

Boston.com lays off 12 staffers

Boston Globe Media Partners LLC on Tuesday laid off a dozen writers and producers at Boston.com, roughly one-sixth of the website’s staff. Globe Media chief executive Mike Sheehan said the reduction is part of a broader strategy for the site that will take shape over two to three months, though he declined to provide details. The company has sought Screen Shot 2015-09-16 at 1.15.46 PMover the past two years to establish Boston.com, previously the online home of Boston Globe newspaper content, as a semi-autonomous news and entertainment site with its own identity. BostonGlobe.com, with a metered paywall, now hosts all stories and photos from the newspaper. “It’s an evolution,” Sheehan said. “One of the smartest things that was ever done at the Globe was separating BostonGlobe.com from Boston.com — taking Globe content off the Boston.com site and then building a very robust digital subscriber base that’s now third in the country for daily newspapers, behind The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.” The layoffs came a day after editor Tim Molloy said he would step down and followed last week’s announcement that general manager Corey Gottlieb was leaving to join the Boston-based fantasy sports company DraftKings Inc. Gottlieb and his successor, Eleanor Cleverly, said the downsizing is “designed to put Boston.com in a stronger and more sustainable position for growth.” They added that “we would be remiss to overlook the fact that this was also a people decision, one that affects the lives of many who have worked tirelessly to support our operation. We are deeply grateful for that work.” — CALLUM BORCHERS

 

That item – tucked into the Talking Points column in the print edition – is buried like Jimmy Hoffa on the website.

 

Regardless, we’re still left wondering whether the Globe wouldn’t talk to the Herald’s Owen Boss, or if they missed connections, or . . . something else.

So we’ll send him an email and keep you posted.


Hark! The . . . Globe?

June 4, 2015

Our Walt Whitman desk is normally the sole province of the Boston Herald, but today it’s not the selfie local tabloid that’s celebrating itself and singing itself.

It’s the Boston Globe that’s passing off promotional material as bylined news.

To wit:

A new Boston tradition: The Globies sports awards

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The Boston Globe has announced plans for a sports awards program that will honor the best of Boston and New England sports. The Globies Presented by Mercedes-Benz will be held Oct. 6 at House of Blues in Boston.

Awards will be given in a variety of categories, including MVPs of the Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins, Celtics, and Revolution, the Boston Pride Award, Community Hero, and Best Female Athlete.

“New England has one of the world’s most passionate sports fan bases and we want to create a new tradition to celebrate the teams and individuals that fuel our passion while forging a stronger connection with those fans,” said Globe CEO Mike Sheehan.

 

Not to mention with Mercedes-Benz.

Globe staffer Matt Pepin drew the short straw and had to write the puff piece, which includes more slop from Sheehan: “We are grateful to our principal partner, the Boston Area Mercedes-Benz Dealers, for leading the efforts to make this vision a reality, as well as our presenting sponsor MGM Springfield, a company with deep roots in sports and entertainment.”

Ah, that explains it – the Globies are a vision. All the more regrettable that it blurs the line between news and marketing.

Perhaps the stately local broadsheet should consider hiring a VP/Optometry for just these visionary occasions.


Herald Still Fired Up About Boston.com

January 16, 2015

As you would expect, the tsky local tabloid is on the Boston.com rumpus like Brown on Williamson.

From Jessica Heslam:

New Boston.com editor needs cred

Boston Globe’s beleaguered online sister site, Boston.com, is reeling from its latest viral blunder, and it’s high time the rudderless ship finds an experienced captain.

Boston.com yesterday fired Victor Paul Alvarez, an associate editor who posted a story making fun of death threats against House Speaker John Boehner and accusing the Ohio Republican of being a heavy drinker with a “pickled liver” who could survive being poisoned.

Globe CEO Mike Sheehan wouldn’t comment on Alvarez’s ouster but said no other Boston.com staffers were disciplined over the site’s latest mishap.

“It’s onward and upward,” Sheehan said.

 

As opposed to the last month’s downward, yeah?

Heslam also reports, “A contrite Alvarez took to Twitter to address his firing — and critics. ‘The story I wrote was awful. Tasteless. Mean. Bosses felt it was inexcusable. They fired me,’ Alvarez wrote in a tweet. ‘I did not pine for murder. I made a tasteless joke that I clearly regret. Before I was fired and now.'”

And then there’s this:

 

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Crosstown at the Boston Globe, there’s only this:

 

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Explanation? Boston.com GM Corey Gottlieb told Heslam, “We do not comment on individual personnel matters. Any decisions made are far less about one employee than they are about the collective Boston.com team and maintaining and strengthening the standards and values they share.”

But haven’t up to this point, eh?


Howie Carr-icatures Boston Globe – Again

August 2, 2014

Nothing cheers up Boston Herald columnist Howie Carr quite like a good case of Globenfreude. So he had to be thrilled with this news:

 

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Note the “Globe Staff” byline: That tells you this is all corporate eyewash that no reporter would attach a name to.

Out of it Carr fashions a three-rail Marty Walsh-John O’Brien-Globe nepotism bank shot.

It’s all relative at Globe

Dear Marty,

This too shall pass. As you well know, in Boston nothing is on the level. But what you may only now be realizing is that the Globe is even less on the level than the State House or City Hall.

You merely point out the fact that John O’Brien, a hack’s hack, was just doing his job, and all of a sudden the bow-tied bumkissers are kicking you down the stairs like you’re Scott Brown.

The Globe has a long and storied history — just ask them. They had a publisher named Taylor, who was succeeded by a guy named Taylor, who was succeeded by a guy named Taylor …

They had an editor named Winship, who was succeeded by a guy named Winship. The paper was then bought by Mr. Sulzberger, who had taken over for Mr. Sulzberger.

 

Pretty thin gruel that quickly runs out of Globe-Globe steam and descends to this:

The editor is named McGrory. He had some old-maid relative who wrote the same column every day for 86 years, all of which began, “Golly gee, isn’t Tip O’Neill a great man?”

 

That’s rich coming from a guy who’s mailed in so many columns, he deserves a Lifetime Achievement Award from the U.S. Postal Service.

Then again, it’s all relative, isn’t it?