Boston Globe Looks for Subscribers . . . in the Herald

April 9, 2021

Well the hardreading staff was clicking through the Boston Herald’s E-Edition at our usual brisk pace when what should we come across but this.

 

 

Wait, what? The stately local broadsheet has taken to the feisty local tabloid to goose its circulation?

Get. Out.

The Globe’s virtual slumming comes at an interesting crisscross(road) for the paper, as illustrated by this graph from the Boston Business Journal.

As the BBJ’s crack managing editor Don Seiffert wrote last winter, it’s always smart to follow the money.

The Globe’s digital circulation has been the envy of regional daily newspapers nationwide in the past couple of years. It was one of the first papers in the nation to have more online subscribers than print ones last year.

The Globe has also raised its print prices to as much as $1,300 a year for some weekday subscribers, which may have accelerated the switch from print to digital. Some have even speculated that forcing readers to switch to online-only, thereby saving the business money, may be an intentional strategy.

Here’s a question, though: How does it make sense to trade a (potentially) $1300 a year print subscriber for a $360 a year digital subscriber? Not to mention, those departing print subscribers mean reduced print ad revenue as well.

Asking for a friend.

Meanwhile, the redoubtable Dan Kennedy at Media Nation provided this update on the Globe’s Fall 2020 circulation numbers, which included roughly 220,000 digital-only subscribers.

Paid print Friday circulation was down to 81,579 as of early September, lower than the 12-month average by about 1,500. A similar slide was reported in the publisher’s statement that appeared on Sunday: print circulation was 139,307 as of Sept. 6, down nearly 10,000 from the 12-month average.

But, Kennedy also notes, “Like many papers, the Globe has been signing up new subscribers at a steep discount. The challenge will be holding onto them once they are asked to re-up at the full rate of $30 a month.”

Which, as best we can tell, is the highest digital subscription rate – by far – of any major metro newspaper in the country.

That’s a whole nother challenge.

Meanwhile, the thirsty local tabloid is downright parched these days, as the BBJ’s Don Seiffert noted several months ago.

The Herald, owned by Denver-based MediaNews Group since March 2018, said in a filing with the Alliance for Audited Media that its total weekday print circulation over the six months from April to September [of 2020] averaged 24,540 per day. That’s down from 34,219 in the same six month span in 2019 — a 28% drop in a single year.

Even more knee-buckling: “Over the six months from April to September [of 2020], single-copy sales of the Herald averaged 12,619 per day, according to the filing. Last year, the average from April to September was 21,331 — a 41% drop.”

Even more knee-buckling: The Herald’s digital subscriptions at the same time were somewhere south of 10,000.

So any advertising revenue is welcome at the scrawny local tabloid – even from the hately local broadsheet.


Boston Herald Quarantined From Full-Page COVADS

April 5, 2020

From our Local Dailies DisADvantage desk

As the hardreading staff has noted numerous times, the Boston Herald has long been the wallflower at the local advertising dance.

And so it remains in the time of coronavirus.

To be sure, Kappy’s Fine Wine & Spirits has been a loyal customer lately with full-page ads like this one.

 

 

And Stop & Shop ran this thank you ad today.

 

 

But that’s pretty much it for the thirsty local tabloid.

Crosstown at the Boston Globe, though (wait – that doesn’t work any more since the Globe moved to State Street and the Herald moved to Braintree and anyway everyone’s working remotely so the hell with it) – the full-page ads are coming fast and furious.

Yesterday there was this ad from the Veterans Cannabis Project urging Gov. Charlie Baker (R-Bogart) to designate all adult-use Massachusetts cannabis dispensaries as essential services.

 

 

Auto magnate Herb Chambers also went full-page yesterday.

 

 

Today is even better for the stately local broadsheet. It got the Chambers ad again and the Stop & Shop thank you ad. But today’s edition also features this Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts ad.

 

 

Body copy:

And this Uber ad.

 

 

Body copy:

 

 

Memo to Blue Cross and Uber: Maybe next time send some of that love to the Herald as well.


Boston Globe Redacts Redactions in Wynn Lawsuit

March 15, 2019

From our One Town, Two Different Worlds desk

The Boston Globe is shooting blanks on the Steve Wynn/Massachusetts Gaming Commission rumpus, which involves a lawsuit over documents that the disgraced casino mogul says are covered by attorney-client privilege.

Here’s how the stately local broadsheet handled the story in today’s edition.

It’s not until the 13th graf that the piece even mentions this fact: “The meeting minutes included substantial redactions, something [commission chairwoman Cathy] Judd-Stein said was necessary because the sessions included ‘a significant amount of attorney-client privileged communications.’”

No longer crosstown at the Boston Herald, Page One says it all.

 

 

Inside, the story gets the deluxe double-truck treatment.

 

 

Hey, Globeniks, you taking notes?

(To be fair graf goes here)

To be fair, the web version of the Globe piece does have a visual component.

(To be clear graf goes here)

To be clear, though, it’s a photo of the almost-finished Encore casino, not any of the redacted documents.

Score one for the snappy local tabloid.


Boston Globe Scoops the Herald on Herald Sale

February 15, 2018

For the past several months, the Boston Globe has been playing catch-up to the Herald in covering the sale of the feisty local tabloid.

Today the Globe caught up.

Under the unusual byline “Globe Staff,” the stately local broadsheet reported the details of yesterday’s bake sale.

Bidding for Herald jumped by millions at auction

Digital First Media is poised to become the new owner of the Boston Herald after besting competitors with multiple higher bids during a bankruptcy auction Tuesday that netted nearly $12 million, according to newly filed court documents.

A transcript of the auction held in the office of Herald law firm Brown Rudnick revealed that Digital First opened with a bid valued at around $7.6 million — higher than the offers already in place from two other competitors, GateHouse Media and Revolution Capital Group.

After GateHouse countered Digital First with a slightly higher offer, Revolution Capital dropped out, leaving the two competitors to trade bids several times until Digital First’s final offer proved too rich for GateHouse, according to a transcript of the auction filed with bankruptcy court in Delaware.

 

And Digital’s final offer? “The Denver-based company, which owns daily and weekly newspapers in Colorado, California, Massachusetts, and several other states, prevailed with a final offer of $9.6 million in cash, $1 million in accrued paid time off to employees, and another $1.4 million in assumed liabilities.”

Crosstown at the Herald, reporter Brian Dowling didn’t have those numbers, but he did spotlight what exactly that breakdown means.

This year, the pension, severance and retirement payments to employees were estimated to reach $3.5 million, according to court papers. The pension, severance and retirement accounts had accrued nearly $25 million in liabilities when the company filed for bankruptcy.

 

Obviously $2.4 million isn’t gonna put much of a dent in that. Dowling also reported that Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is “urging Herald ownership to strike a deal to save workers’ pensions.”

All due respect, Mistah Mayah, the corn is off the cob – unless the bankruptcy judge steps in to change the deal. We’ll find out tomorrow.


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.

 

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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:

 

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

 

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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).

 

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


Boston Herald Keeps Driving Grand Prix Crash Car

November 7, 2015

Give Joe Battenfeld and the racy local tabloid their due: They’re not downshifting their efforts to total the proposed Grand Prix of Boston, maybe the second-worst idea Mayor Marty Walsh has had in office. (Store 2024 – c’mon down!)

Today’s Boston Herald, Page One  (Inexplicable Little Green Numbers Galore!).

 

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Battenfeld’s piece (with Chris Cassidy):

Life in the IndyCar fast lane

Docs show target audience young, rich

Screen Shot 2015-11-07 at 12.06.34 PM

Massive luxury skyboxes and beer gardens will loom large over the proposed 2.2-mile Boston IndyCar race course in the Seaport District that could jam traffic and require more permits for the Labor Day weekend spectacle, new documents show.

A 47-page “Stakeholders Info Deck” from the Grand Prix of Boston, obtained by the Herald, is targeting young, smartphone-wielding, rich professionals.

 

Not, we might add, the Boston Herald readership. The young, smartphone-wielding, rich professionals do, however, read the Boston Globe, which is still drafting in second place.

 

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And round and round we go.


Guzzi or Guzzn’t He?

June 30, 2015

From our Local Dailies DisADvantage desk

After 19 years as president and CEO of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, Paul Guzzi is stepping down. As a sort of parting gift, he ran this full-page ad in today’s Boston Herald.

 

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Crosstown at the Boston Globe – no ad. Then again, why pay for what the Globe will provide for free. Bottom of today’s Business front:

 

 

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Top of C2:

 

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Guzzi is moving on the become board chairman at the Citi Performing Arts Center, where he’ll undoubtedly run many more ads in the stately local broadsheet than the thirsty local tabloid.

Regardless, all best to all involved.


Boston Globe Is ‘Living’ Large

January 9, 2015

As you splendid readers no doubt know by now, our stately local broadsheet is dumping its (tabloid-size!) G section (tip o’ the pixel to the redoubtable Dan Kennedy’s Media Nation), to be replaced by a New! Improved! Living/Arts! section.

In other words, it’s all over but the touting.

From yesterday’s Globe:

 

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Family – Stories – Food – Scene – Weekend – Life. Anything they left out?

Don’t say readers.


Boston Herald Has a Blue Christmas (Day)

December 26, 2013

The Boston Herald got coal in its stocking on Christmas Day.

Yesterday’s edition was all of 40 pages (with a couple of FSIs tossed in).

 

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The stately local broadsheet, on the other hand, had an embarrassment of pages (and FSIs).

A merry little Christmas indeed for the feisty local tabloid.


Boston Globe a Day Late, Charlie Card Short on MBTA Ring Story?

August 27, 2013

From our stately local broadsheet’s The Hive on Monday:

rings-bigThis ring guarantees easy access to the T

Sick of fishing through your purse or flashing your wallet every time you ride the MBTA? A Kickstarter project, Sesame Ring, is offering stylish RFID rings that you can simply tap against CharlieCard readers as you sail through the crowds.

“Having missed the train many times while fishing for our CharlieCards, we looked for a solution in wearable technology. After months of hard work, we created the 3D-printed Sesame Ring, supported by the MBTA,” the project page states. “Now, you can walk right up to the gantry, use scientifically approved magic, and scoot on through!”

 

At first glance, the Globe is sucking hind teat here.

From the Googletron:

Picture 5

 

But look closer and you see that Globe kissin’ cousin boston.com had the story four days ago – before the other news outlets.

(Except for Boston Magazine’s Boston Daily blog. But neither outlet credits the other, so tie goes to boston.com.)

Two-Daily Town Assignment Desk: Let’s see if the Boston Herald, routinely a lively index to the Globe, picks up this story in the next few days.