Boston Globe Auctions Off More of Its News Pages

March 12, 2018

As the hardreading staff dolefully noted over the past few years, the Boston Globe’s editorial content has increasingly been playing footsie with marketing partners ranging from Suffolk University to Steward Health Care System to Rockland Trust to the Star Wars franchise.

Now comes Cross Insurance to “present” this page in yesterday’s Boston Sunday Globe Arts section.

 

 

(To be sure graf goes here)

To be sure, the hardreading staff has seen no Cross Insurance tit-for-tad in the $tately local broadsheet. But there is this sponsored content produced by BG BrandLab, the Globe’s in-house shop for producing ads in sheep’s clothing.

 

 

Yes yes – we’re aware that a disclosure line sits atop the website, albeit as inconspicuously as possible.

And if you click on the Information doohickey, this drops down.

 

 

Raise your hand if you ever click on that doohickey. Yeah, us neither.

Regardless of the level of transparency, we’re just uneasy overall about attaching financial interests to editorial content.

Never the twain should meet, right?

Or are we just hopelessly out of date?


Boston Globe Says There Are 3 Chambers of Congress

November 10, 2016

Is there anything that is not for sale at the $tately local broadsheet?

The hardreading staff has chronicled many a money-making scheme at the Globe over the past several years, from double-dipping on the Prouty Garden dustup at Boston Children’s Hospital to Garden-variety promotion for Delaware North/Boston Properties real estate developments to the Globe’s Citgo sign conflict of interest.

Then there was this in yesterday’s Election Hangover edition of the paper.

 

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Apparently, the Globe is willing to slap an advertiser’s logo on virtually any piece of editorial content. (See also how Suffolk University and Steward Health Care colonized the Globe’s Capital section a while back.)

But . . . Herb Chambers? On an electoral map? What – we’re supposed to drive across the border before president-elect Donald J. Trump gets a chance to wall us in?

Then again, don’t look for logic from the Globe nowadays. Just logos.


Boston Globe’s Capital Section Lacks, Well, Capital

June 4, 2016

Back in 2014 when the Boston Globe introduced its new weekly Capital section, it was a fat 12 pages with lots of advertising, as the hardreading staff noted at the time.

By the next year, however, Capital had started to dwindle, as we also noted.

Boston Globe’s Capital Withdrawal

Well the hardreading staff was leafing through the Boston Globe this morning and here’s what we found on Metro Page One:

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Sure enough, the former stand-alone section occupied all of four Metro pages that featured – motheragawd! – exactly zero ads.

 

And now it’s come to this . . . one lonely page in yesterday’s edition of the Globe.

 

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The only Capitalization in sight was Steward Health Care System’s promotion of James Pindell’s Ground Game, but even that lacked its usual full-page companion ad.

Looks like Capital might be the Globe’s latest strand of spaghetti that didn’t stick to the wall.


Boston Globe Shows Us the Money in Capital

January 22, 2016

The Great Editorial Bake Sale proceeds apace at the Boston Globe.

As the hardreading staff has previously noted, the $tately local broadsheet is the NASCAR of newsprint, with logos peppered on it every which way. Take, for the latest example, today’s edition of Capital, starting Page One upper left.

 

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That’s bookended by the strip across the bottom of the page.

 

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And echoed in this page 3 ad.

 

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Moving on, we have James Pindell’s Ground Game, brought to you by Steward.

 

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Not coincidentally, Steward Health Care System also bought the back page.

 

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Last, and sort of least, the Globe mortgaged its Politics Cafe to Capital One, a natural fit for this particular section..

 

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So to recap: There are now a myriad of ways to use the pages of the Boston Globe to plug your products or services. Nothing especially egregious in most of the above, except allowing Steward to attach itself to editorial content.  That’s a slippery slope the mately local broadsheet really should stay off.


Boston Herald Joins Globe in Editorial Bake Sale

December 18, 2015

As the hardreading staff has noted in detail, the Boston Globe has of late been leasing out editorial content to paymates of various stripes, from Rockland Trust to Suffolk University to Steward Health Care System.

And now, not surprisingly, the stealthy local tabloid wants in on the auction – in this case via Boston Herald Radio, the streaming audio service that up to dozens of people listen to.

Today’s Herald, page 17:

 

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Upper right:

 

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The frosty (cashword) local tabloid has often run excerpts from BHR interviews alongside its daily promotional ad. But this is the first time the interview is “Sponsored Content” – that is to say, an ad itself.

We get it that newspapers have to come up with creative ways to generate revenue, which is one reason all this sponsored content is suddenly popping up.

We’re just wondering if there’s any bottom to that well.


Boston Globe Extends Editorial Bake Sale to Arts

December 14, 2015

As the hardreading staff has recently noted, the Boston Globe has lately been auctioning off various sections of the paper to the highest marketing bidder.

Call the roll of recent acquisitions:

First the $tately local broadsheet mortgaged past of its Business section to Rockland Trust.

Then Suffolk University turned the Globe’s Capital Section into a satellite campus – especially Joshua Miller’s Political Happy Hour.

Representative sample from yesterday’s Business section:

 

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Beyond that, Steward Health Care System is co-paying for James Pindell’s Ground Game coverage of the presidential primaries.

Now comes the Boston Globe Arts Auction.  First there was this tease on Page One of yesterday’s Arts section.

 

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Then there was this two-page spread by Mark Feeney about the upcoming Star Wars release.

 

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Note the Showcase MX4D ad at upper left. Sure looks like paidvertorial, doesn’t it?

Then note this ad one page later.

 

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Do we see a pattern emerging here?

Better question: Is there any Boston Globe editorial content that’s not for sale?

Just wondering.


Boston Globe Lends Capital to Suffolk University

December 4, 2015

It wasn’t that long ago that the Boston Herald served as a sort of satellite campus for Suffolk University, teaming up on everything from polling to webcasts to editorial content.

But now Day Hop U has transferred out of the flunky local tabloid and enrolled in the Boston Globe’s Capital section.

Page One of today’s $tately local broadsheet (see bottom).

 

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And Page One of the Capital section (see top and bottom).

 

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Inside, readers get a fuller picture of the Globe/Suffolk collaboration, especially the Suffolk Solutions – what to call it? – marketing initiative that also include Globe reporter Joshua Miller’s Political Happy Hour (which now features a Suffolk University logo). The ad on page 3:

 

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For the body copy-impaired:

 

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If you go to the Suffolk Solutions site embedded in BostonGlobe.com, you find this “Sponsored” home page:

 

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And here’s the video, which features Rachel Cobb, associate professor and chair of Suffolk University’s Department of Government, who’s also featured in the print ad.

 

 

Don’t be surprised if Dr. Cobb also finds her way into some of the Globe’s editorial coverage of local politics.

The Suffolk alliance is the second of these sponsorships the Globe has recently unveiled (the hardreading staff noted this one with Rockland Trust in the Business section last month).

But – wait – there’s yet a third, comfortably nestled in the Globe’s front-page News in brief column:

 

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Yes, apparently the $tately local broadsheet has also auctioned off James Pindell’s Ground Game vertical covering the presidential primaries. The highest bidder? Steward Health Care System.

 

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We look forward to further leasing out of the Boston Globe’s editorial content. Your suggestions go here . . .


Boston Globe’s Capital Withdrawal

February 27, 2015

Well the hardreading staff was leafing through the Boston Globe this morning and here’s what we found on Metro Page One:

 

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Sure enough, the former stand-alone section occupied all of four Metro pages that featured – Motheragawd! – exactly zero ads. As one splendid reader pointed out to us, the mainstay of the old Capital’s ad pages – Steward Health Care System – had drifted over to the Business section, formerly a wholly owned subsidiary of UMass. Granted, UMass still has the bug that keeps on bugging nestled in the Business banner, but Steward owns the bottom of the page.

 

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Should be fun to watch the Steward-UMass slap fight in the stately local broadsheet. At least until 2016, when – who knows – Capital might stand on its own two feet again.


Why Boston Globe ‘Capital’ with an A?

August 8, 2014

It’s been a couple of months since the Boston Globe launched its weekly section Capital, and for the most part it seems pretty fat (12 pages) and happy (exuberant layouts). The only thing even vaguely controversial about the sections is the spelling of its name.

Globe editor Brian McGrory has a running gag with Jim Braude and Margery Eagan on WGBH radio about why it’s Capital with an a not an o. McGrory keeps wriggling out of revealing the paper’s reasons, but here are three possible ones from today’s edition.

 

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Would those ads likely have run in the A or B section if there were no Capital? Probably. But you have to believe a section geared toward political junkies is a more appealing environment for all three advertisers. For the first two, it’s obvious. For Steward Health Care, it’s a bit more oblique.

From Bruce Mohl’s CommonWealth piece last month on why Steward “is missing from the group of health care competitors that have banded together to fight the consent agreement negotiated by Partners HealthCare and Attorney General Martha Coakley”:

Some think the company decided to sit this one out because of its close ties to Coakley. The attorney general in 2010 approved the acquisition by Cerberus/Steward of six Caritas Christi hospitals owned by the Boston archdiocese. Coakley also retains some regulatory oversight over Steward, including a say in whether the health care system can shut down any of its hospitals.

Steward executives, led by CEO Ralph de la Torre, gave big to Coakley when she ran for the US Senate in 2010 and ponied up again earlier this year as she mounted her run for governor. Campaign finance records indicate de la Torre and his wife Wing led a group of Steward executives and spouses who made $500 donations to Coakley on February 26. More Steward officials contributed to Coakley in late March.

In all, Steward executives have contributed more than $18,000 to Coakley since late last year. No other health care system has taken such an interest in the gubernatorial campaign, which may help explain why Steward is less interested in the legal fight over the Partners expansion plans.

 

Interesting. But back to the original question: Why Capital with an a? Maybe because that’s what it hauls in.

P.S. Needless to say, none of the above ads ran in the Boston Herald.


Globe’s New ‘Capital’ Section Delivers Capital Gains

June 6, 2014

When newspapers introduce new sections to their print editions, it’s always about one thing: advertising dollars. So as welcome as the Boston Globe’s new Capital section may be to us in a gubernatorial election year that also sees the U.S. Senate up for grabs, the full-page ads in today’s maiden voyage are even more welcome to the Globe.

Exhibit A, from the Friends of Mohegan Sun:

 

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Exhibit B, from Steward Health Care System:

 

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But it’s this one that especially caught the eye of the hardreading staff:

 

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And who, exactly, is Humane Watch? It’s our old pal Rick Berman, the self-proclaimed Dr. Evil who fronts for corporations that oppose public interest groups ranging from PETA to MADD.  (Berman’s funders are largely anonymous, but you can get some idea of them here.)

Caveat reader, yeah?