Boston Globe’s ‘Anything Can Happen (Satur)Day’

January 22, 2017

From our As the Globe Turns desk

When Boston Globe editor Brian McGrory recently trumpeted the coming reinvention of the local broadsheet (Hey! We can use John Henry’s garage!), the hardreading staff never imagined it would involve flip-flopping between formats for the paper’s Saturday edition.

A little over a year ago, the Globe introduced a new look on Saturdays, which we immediately labeled WSJr.

The Boston Globe unveiled a new look this morning, one that appears very much like a knockoff of the Weekend Wall Street Journal. (Sorry, no WSJ e-paper, so you’ll have to spring for one yourself, or – god forbid – take our word for it.) [Update: The Journal actually does have an e-paper now, praise God.]

Brave New Globe, Page One:

 

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And we noted this editor’s note from McGrory.

 

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So Metro, Nation, World, Business, and Opinion were all smushed together in the A section, while the new Good Life section was pure Wall Street Journalism.

But . . .

Yesterday, for reasons that went unexplained, the Globe reverted to its former format, with this Page One.

 

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And say hello to the old stand-alone Metro section.

 

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So, to recap:

The Boston Globe has a (relatively) new Saturday format.

Except when it doesn’t.

Okay then.


Chipotle to Boston Herald: Eat Me (Ad-Free Edition)

September 22, 2016

From our Local Dailies DisADvantage desk

Yesterday’s Boston Globe featured this full-page ad from Chipotle, which is desperately seeking eaters after multiple food-borne illness outbreaks.

 

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Whatever.

No such advertisement, however, appeared in yesterday’s spicy local tabloid (although it did run in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal).

Memo to Chipotle’s marketing nudniks:

Boston Herald readers eat crappy food too.

Smarten up, eh?


Politico’s Jack Shafer Cheap-Shots Globe Writers

June 28, 2016

The hardreading staff generally admires media criticism from the peripatetic Jack Shafer, but his latest Politico piece is a little low-hanging-fruitish.

Uh-Oh. Here Come the Brexperts.

Reporters: Don’t know much about Brexit? Don’t let that stop you.

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Who could have predicted that the press harbored so many experts on the repercussions of Brexit? Following Thursday’s vote by the British electorate to leave the European Union, these whizzes crowded the airwaves, clogged the newspapers and swamped their websites with assessments of the breakup’s meaning.

Obviously, some outlets that specialize in finance and cover the Eurozone—like the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal and CNBC—have a handle on the subject; they’d been covering it long before Thursday. But as you stray from these specialists for the generalists, whose job it is to report on whatever Topic A might be that day (weather, politics, infectious disease, baseball), the more the Brexit coverage begins to resemble one long amateur hour.

 

Yeah, except most of journalism is amateur hour: generalists interviewing specialists to cobble together something that sounds vaguely reasonable. And, very often, reasonably vague.

Regardless, here’s Shafer’s Boston Globe nuts-to-you graf:

At the Boston Globe, for example, reporter James Pindell dug deeply into his bag of journalistic clichés last week to deduced that the Brexit vote was “about the economy, stupid” and that if Brexit caused a recession it would “dramatically change the conversation of the presidential race.” No kidding! Michael A. Cohen, a regular on the Globe op-ed page, concluded that it was not David Cameron’s fault Brexit passed, nor was it Jeremy Corbyn’s, nor could it be blamed on the EU elites who pushed immigration. It was “actual voters.” Another astonishing finding.

 

C’mon, Jack – you can do better than to beat up on what’s essentially beat reporting (in every sense of that phrase). Besides, you’re always a lot more interesting when you go after the high-hanging fruit.


New Boston Globe Saturday Design Is WSJr

October 3, 2015

The Boston Globe unveiled a new look this morning, one that appears very much like a knockoff of the Weekend Wall Street Journal. (Sorry, no WSJ e-paper, so you’ll have to spring for one yourself, or – god forbid – take our word for it.)

Brave New Globe, Page One:

 

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The paper we received had more of a gray banner, but then again the whole page was kind of washed out compared to the e-paper. Regardless, we were happy to see this helpful note from Globe Editor Brian McGrory:

 

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Okay . . .

So Metro, Nation, World, Business, and Opinion are all smushed together in the A section, which has a bouncier feel than the weekday paper.

The new Good Life section is pure Wall Street Journalism.

 

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The hardreading staff tries never to pass judgment on first impressions.

But you’re certainly welcome to.


Boston Herald Wants No More-a Healey on DraftKings

September 18, 2015

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey is living in a fantasy world.

She’s hot on the heels of the hot sports “contest” website DraftKings, which has spent $81 million on TV spots in the past six weeks, according to the Wall Street Journal. But that’s not keeping Healey from nickel-and-diming the DraftKingpins. She’s investigating whether the so-called fantasy sports site is actually a betting scheme in sheep’s clothing. And, as per usual, the Boston dailies see her quest quite differently.

The Boston Globe plays it straight with a C1 piece below the fold.

 

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Crosstown at the Boston Herald, the story gets the expensive two-page spread.

 

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The punting local tabloid looks at the AG’s overreach from the fantasy fan’s point of view Owen Boss’s report, the legal perspective in Bob McGovern’s column,  and a John Sapochetti piece representing the umbrage-industrial complex.

And we’re betting we haven’t heard the last of this from the Heraldniks either.


Boston Heraldsteria! (Prez Ad Spend Edition)

September 1, 2015

First in what we expect will be an endless series

The chronically overcaffeinated Boston Herald jumped on the 2016 presidential campaign ad bandwagon yesterday with this Herald Special Report by Erin Smith and Jack Encarnacao.

Campaign ads will have Mass. appeal

$18M in local spots already booked for 2016

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Presidential candidates and super PACs have already booked more than $18 million worth of ad time on local television through next year — just the start of a more than $300 million presidential bonanza for area TV stations.

With ad buys variously targeting women, men and both older and younger demographics, the campaigns and PACs could make 2016 the most moneyed campaign season ever. But it could also be the last big presidential election of the TV age, before the Internet starts cutting deeply into broadcast ad revenues.

 

First of all, 2016 will not be the last big presidential election of the TV age. Internet ads can mobilize, but nothing amplifies the way television spots do.

Second of all, this part of the Herald piece is pure fantasy:

“There’s so much money that’s going to be spent on television advertising that they will run out of spots,” said Kip Cassino of Borrell Associates, a media research company. “There is going to be more political spending — from last Fourth of July until Election Day 2016 — then [sic] has ever been spent in the history of the nation. It’s going to be more than $16 billion.”

 

$16 billion? Seriously?

Let’s consult a more sober-minded source, shall we?

From yesterday’s Wall Street Journal piece by Patrick O’Connor:

Kantar Media, which tracks TV advertising, predicts overall spending for the 2016 elections will be about $4.4 billion, up roughly 16% from the $3.8 billion candidates and outside groups laid out for cable and broadcast ads in 2012. “TV remains the best way to reach passive voters who are not necessarily looking for information,” said Elizabeth Wilner, who oversees Kantar’s Campaign Media Analysis Group.

 

Interestingly, this WSJ graphic directly contradicts the Herald claims by Borrell Associates’ Kip Cassino.

 

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Notice the source of the graphic?

Borrell Associates!

Go figure.


Ernie Boch Jr. Is Sort of Boston’s Car Zareh

May 3, 2015

Well the hardreading staff was perusing the Boston Herald the other day when we stumbled upon this ad from Mr. Upward (Auto)Mobility Ernie Boch Jr.

 

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That auto-promotion (a regular feature in the Bochy local tabloid) reminded us of the late, great Zareh Thomajan, the self-styled Thief of State Street.

Backstory from The 100 Greatest Advertisements 1852-1958: Who Wrote Them and What They Did, by Julian Watkins.

 

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Zareh Thomajan’s legendary series of ads like this one ran in Boston newspapers for almost three decades.

 

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In 1960 Zareh’s son Greg took over the family business and maintained the Zareh tradition with ads like this:

 

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Greg Thomajan published his series of ads in The Son of the Thief of State Street.

One of his last:

 

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Zareh Thomajan, we imagine, rests well too.

Meanwhile, memo to Ernie Boch Jr.:

Step up your game, son. And maybe, instead of chronicling other fabulously wealthy guys, write about the car-selling business in the same humanizing way Zareh (and Greg) wrote about the rag business.

Just a suggestion.