Herald Blows Lede in Michele McPhee Libel Suit

February 14, 2016

Today’s Boston Herald beat its crosstown rival to this story by Owen Boss:

Suit filed against reporter, news agencies for marathon bombings-related report

A Chelsea family with Chechen roots has filed a $105 million libel suit against journalist Michele McPhee and a Screen Shot 2016-02-14 at 1.47.03 PMhandful of news outlets that referenced a story she wrote for ABC News in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, claiming the 
article had a disastrous 
impact on their lives and personal relationships.

The Umarov family’s lawsuit — which was first reported by Universal Hub — was filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Boston and claims that McPhee’s article published March 4, 2014, titled “Feds Searching for Friend of Boston Marathon Suspect, ‘Concern’ Over Chechnya Trip,” has caused “irreparable damage to their reputations and esteem, as well as a loss of associations, and loss of potential gainful employment.”

 

The Herald’s web version doesn’t provide a link to the Universal Hub post or McPhee’s ABC piece. Worse, it doesn’t mention that McPhee is a former reporter and columnist at the dodgy local tabloid. You’d think they might’ve included that.

Then again, the Herald piece was quick enough to name the other defendants in the libel suit: McPhee Productions, ABC News, The Daily Mail, Heavy, Inc., News Corp. Australia, DMG Media, the New York Daily News and anti-Islamic activist and journalist Pamela Geller. A lot of deep pockets there.

Crosstown, at this moment anyway, the Boston Globe has nothing on the story.

(Parenthetically, is it just the hardreading staff or is the Globe’s search engine much lamer these days?)

More, no doubt, to come.


Northern Avenue Bridge: Fix It or Nix It?

January 28, 2016

From our Late to the Bridge Party desk

The headscratching staff freely admits we’re confused: Is Boston’s venerable Northern Avenue Bridge slated for a $100 million fix or a $100 million replacement?

Or are they the same?

From yesterday’s Jordan Graham/Owen Boss piece in the Boston Herald:

Public shock unlikely to derail GE deal

Critics blast tax breaks

Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 1.32.04 AM

Massive tax breaks that helped bring General Electric’s world headquarters to the Hub are being blasted by critics for creating too sweet a deal for the global conglomerate — but don’t expect a public movement like the one that derailed the Boston 2024 Olympic bid to sidetrack the relocation.

In exchange for agreeing to move its global headquarters to the booming Seaport District, GE will get $145 million in grants and tax breaks from the city and state. But under the agreement, Boston will also pay up to $100 million to fix the dilapidated Northern Avenue Bridge . . .

 

Then again, there’s Shirley Leung’s column in yesterday’s Boston Globe.

Out with the old, Lynch says

The Northern Avenue Bridge could soon fall down, and US Representative Stephen Lynch is ready to release $9.4 northern ave. bridge 1-175606million in federal funding to help design a new one.

The city will need to match a portion of the money, but Lynch has been waiting more than a decade for Boston to do something about the century-old span. Last week, officials said they plan to start removing the dilapidated bridge in March after the Coast Guard raised concerns that it might tumble into the Fort Point Channel.

 

But here’s the headscratching part:

The Walsh administration will begin a formal public process this spring to decide whether to rehab the bridge or build a new one. The city has to do something after committing up to $100 million to replace the link as part of its agreement to woo General Electric Co.’s world headquarters to Boston.

 

Except the Herald says the commitment is to fix the link, not replace it.

So, to recap:

The local dailies agree that the Northern Avenue Bridge is dilapidated.

But, as Leung might say, will the state fix it or nix it?

You tell us.


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

 

Screen Shot 2015-09-16 at 1.08.07 PM

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.