Kevin ‘Cullen’ It in Today’s Column About the Herald

January 12, 2018

So, to recap:

On Wednesday, Boston Herald reporter Brian Dowling had this piece in the selfie local tabloid.

Herald execs’ pay disclosed in bankruptcy filings

Premium salaries as bankruptcy neared

The Herald paid substantial salaries to its publisher and top executive as the newspaper’s finances grew dire and management directed the company to a bankruptcy sale, according to court papers.

Patrick J. Purcell, the Herald’s publisher, took home $970,092 in the year prior to the company’s Chapter 11 filing in Delaware on Dec. 8, according to papers in the ongoing bankruptcy case. His compensation included fringe benefits of a golf membership and use of a company vehicle.

 

Among others, Jeff Jacoby, late of the shaky local tabloid, applauded the paper for running the story (tip o’ the pixel to the redoubtable Dan Kennedy’s Media Nation).

 

 

Now comes today’s piece by the Boston Globe’s Kevin Cullen, in which he whacks Purcell and waxes nostalgic about the feisty local tabloid.

Herald mogul takes a hit

It was the perfect Boston Herald story: Greedy entrepreneur runs business into the ground, walks away to his myriad mansions with pockets lined with millions while working stiffs are left holding the bag.

Remarkably, that story, which ran in Wednesday’s Herald pretty much straight, without typical tabloid excess, was about the publisher of the Boston Herald, Pat Purcell. It noted that in the year leading up to the Herald filing for bankruptcy and being put up for sale, Purcell was paying himself an annual salary of almost a million dollars, while doling out some $265,000 in salaries among his three daughters.

If you ask me, the best argument for wanting the Herald to survive was on robust display when reporter Brian Dowling wrote that story and the Herald courageously printed it.

 

(Spoiler alert: Purcell does not come across as a sympathetic character in the piece. But Herald staffers do.)

Cullen’s column a far cry from this mash note Globe owner John Henry published when Purcell first announced the sale last month.

FROM THE PUBLISHER

Pat Purcell’s service to Boston

Patrick J. Purcell, longtime owner and publisher of the Boston Herald, is someone who has spent most of his adult life tending to one of the most essential tasks of our democracy: leading civic conversations that are sometimes contentious but are invariably important. While his efforts on behalf of journalism for the city are well known, the personal impact he has had on so many over decades isn’t as well known.

Boston knows Pat as the driven media executive who long ago bought the Herald from Rupert Murdoch and infused it with a very strong vision for his adopted city. But he is also unfailingly described as a loyal friend and devoted family man, who landed here after a colorful career in New York and became a Bostonian to the core.

 

Which, apparently, means greedy and heartless.

 

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John Henry Held Hostage by Boston Herald, Day One

December 14, 2017

From our Hark! The Herald! desk

It’s always entertaining – and sometimes enlightening – when the Boston Herald covers itself, and this story in today’s edition is no exception.

Judge approves Herald to continue business as usual

The Herald’s lights will stay on and it can pay most of its bills during the bankruptcy process, a Delaware judge ruled, as the newspaper enters Chapter 11 bankruptcy eyeing a late February sale to GateHouse Media.

Judge Laurie Selber Silverstein yesterday gave interim approval for business at the Herald to continue mostly as usual, including paying for utilities, payroll and insurance policies, as lawyers piece through the newspaper’s bankruptcy filing and GateHouse’s $4.5 million offer.

 

But not to pay the selfie local tabloid’s printer. “Herald bankruptcy attorney Bill Baldiga said the judge delayed approving payments to The Boston Globe for amounts owed for printing, delivery, inserts and paper returns, given uncertainty about the totals.”

What’s absolutely certain, though, is that the Herald owes the Globe “an estimated $600,000,” according to the former’s bankruptcy filing reproduced in the Boston Business Journal.

So it might not be a coincidence that Globe publisher John Henry wrote this mash note atop today’s editorial page.

Pat Purcell’s service to Boston

Patrick J. Purcell, longtime owner and publisher of the Boston Herald, is someone who has spent most of his adult life tending to the most essential task of our democracy: leading civic conversations in Boston that are sometimes contentious but are invariably important. While his efforts on behalf of journalism for the city are very well known, the personal impact he has had on so many over decades isn’t as familiar.

Our city knows Purcell as the driven media executive who bought the Herald from Rupert Murdoch in 1994. But he’s also unfailingly described as a loyal friend and devoted family man, who landed here after a colorful career in New York and became a Bostonian to his core.

 

Of course, Henry wouldn’t be so crass as to include an invoice in the editorial, although he did mention the Globe’s printing facility:

“I was giving Pat a tour of the Globe’s new print facility in Taunton about a year ago and as we walked through, people would seek him out just to shake his hand and thank him for things he had quietly done for them personally, or for something he had done to help a family member or associate.”

Guilt . . . guilt . . . guilt . . .

The bankruptcy court will address payments to the Globe on January 4. We’ll see if Henry’s still feeling this collegial after that.


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:

 

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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?


Boston Herald Pitches Purcell Property

February 21, 2015

From our Walt Whitman desk

Call him Pat Pursell.

Boston Herald publisher Pat Purcell is a minority investor in National Development’s $200 million Ink Block project on the South End site that was home to the Herald for 53 years.

As the hardreading staff has noted, the selfie local tabloid relentlessly heralded last month’s opening of a new Whole Foods market on the site, which will also include luxury condos and apartments, retail shops and restaurants. One of those pieces disclosed Purcell’s financial stake in the development, but we’re not sure the others did (we tried to check, but they’re archived at $3.95 a pop).

Regardless, now comes yesterday’s full-page pitch (in article form) for the next Ink Block phase – two apartment complexes.

 

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Pitch-perfect graf:

Rents in the three buildings range from $2,529 to $2,804 for studios, $3,234 to $4,304 for one bedrooms, $4,104 to $4,704 for two bedrooms and $5,404-$5,804 for three bedrooms. Garage parking costs $325 a month.

 

Disclosure of Purcell’s financial interest in the project is conveniently buried in the middle of the piece.

Perfect.


Hark! The Herald! (Whole in Their Head Edition)

January 12, 2015

From our Walt Whitman desk

The selfie local tabloid seems determined to run a Whole Foods/Herald story as often as possible.

It started with this piece last Wednesday.

Whole Foods design honors Herald legacy

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In the South End landmark where ink once flowed and the Boston Herald’s presses roared, shoppers will now enjoy frangipane tarts, cooked-to-order ramen and a milk + honey spa at Boston’s newest and most innovative Whole Foods.

The 50,000-square-foot gourmet supermarket is part of National Development’s Ink Block project on the site that was home to the Herald for 53 years.

 

(Boston Magazine’s Eric Randall immediately had a smart piece chronicling the Herald’s “screeds against the half of the country that columnist Howie Carr sometimes collectively refers to as ‘Whole Foods nation'” along with a roll call of the Herald’s Whole lotta love.)

Then Saturday’s Herald featured this update from Donna Goodison:

It’s a Whole new story at 
old Herald site

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Whole Foods Market debuted its newest Boston store in the South End Friday — its second largest in the region and considered a flagship for its North Atlantic division — and co-CEO Walter Robb sees room in the Hub for another of its size.

“We’ve seen the city evolving, so we have lots of plans,” the Boston native said. “The opportunity to come in here and get 50,000 square feet — that’s hard to do these days, and I do think there’s another one (in the future pipeline).” . . .

Its South End supermarket is in National Development’s $200 million Ink Block project, the former Boston Herald headquarters site for more than half a century, and it memorializes the newspaper’s history throughout its decor.

 

Of course it does.

Then yesterday, there was this thoroughly readable piece from Peter Gelzinis:

From press to produce

The legendary author Thomas Wolfe was misinformed when he wrote “You Can’t Go Home Again.”117A1228.JPG

I’m here to say you can. But when you do, you’ll discover home has been transformed into the biggest Whole Foods store in Boston.

 

It’s a sweet trip down Memory Lane with Bert McNeil and Mike Bello, Danny and Dennis Messing, and especially Gelzinis himself.

But there’s also a subtext to all that Wholesomeness: “Herald publisher Patrick J. Purcell [is] a minority investor in the $200 million Ink Block project, which also will include luxury condos and apartments, retail shops and restaurants.”

So – a Whole lotta money involved.

And today?

Wholly absent.

But we don’t expect that to last long.


Hark! The Herald! (Whole Foods Edition)

January 7, 2015

From our Walt Whitman desk

The selfie local tabloid has a good one in today’s edition.

Whole Foods design honors Herald legacy

_17A1132.JPG

In the South End landmark where ink once flowed and the Boston Herald’s presses roared, shoppers will now enjoy frangipane tarts, cooked-to-order ramen and a milk + honey spa at Boston’s newest and most innovative Whole Foods.

The 50,000-square-foot gourmet supermarket is part of National Development’s Ink Block project on the site that was home to the Herald for 53 years.

 

Whole Foods spokeswoman Heather McCready told the Herald’s Donna Goodison, “We really held on to a lot of the Herald. We were happy to take it, frame it and keep it as a time capsule for our store.”

Sweet.

And a sweet deal for Herald publisher Pat Purcell, “a minority investor in the $200 million Ink Block project, which also will include luxury condos and apartments, retail shops and restaurants.” Not to mention (and the Herald piece doesn’t) that the land itself belonged – belongs? – to Purcell.

That’s a lot of frangipane tarts, yeah?

 


Hark! The Herald! (Radio Daze Edition)

August 8, 2014

From our Walt Whitman desk

It’s been one year since the feisty local tabloid launched Boston Herald Radio, and the paper is celebrating the anniversary in its accustomed style.

Start, as usual, with Page One.

 

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“Best yet to come”? That’s good to hear.

Inside, the firsty local tabloid devotes a full-page, Joe Battenfeld-bylined piece to the anniversary bash.

 

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Our favorite part:

Herald Radio’s launch was named to the prestigious Frontier Fifty list of outstanding talk media webcasts in the nation by industry bible Talkers Magazine.

 

Which got the headscratching staff to wondering: How many talk media webcasts are there in the nation?

We couldn’t find the answer on the Googletron (we’re guessing it’s a lot), but we did locate BHR on the Frontier Fifty:

 

Screen Shot 2014-08-08 at 1.21.59 PM

 

Let’s hope Boston Herald Radio’s second anniversary headline is, We’re Number 35! We’re Number 35!

Good luck, guys, and happy anniversary.