National Grid Gives Globe the Ad, Herald the Air

November 13, 2018

From our ever-expanding Local Dailies DisAdvantage desk

The four-month National Grid lockout of over 1,200 union gas workers has not only cost the state 1) millions in lost tax revenue and 2) more than $13 million in unemployment benefits according to this WCVB report, it’s also cost the company tens of thousands of dollars for this full-page ad in today’s Boston Globe.



(Gas Workers Must Be Nuts graf goes here)

Something the ad failed to note: There’s movement at the State House to “force National Grid to restore health benefits to all locked out workers until contract talks are resolved,” according to WCVB’s report. That could ratchet up the cost of the lockout for the gas company.

Something National Grid failed to note: There are two dailies in this town. Boston Herald readers also have a nickel in this quarter. Time to give the thirsty local tabloid some love, eh?

Boston Globe ‘Names’ Column Stiffs Boston Herald

April 28, 2017

From our No Credit Where Credit’s Due desk

It’s one thing for the Namesniks at the Boston Globe to rip off the hardreading staff. It’s quite another to xerox the Boston Herald without attribution.

From today’s Names:



Only one thing missing from the piece – acknowledgement that the firsty local tabloid’s Jessica Heslam had the story two days ago.

New honcho at 5 generates static

‘Move it’ mandate miffs on-camera staff

There’s a new “move it, move it” mandate being preached by Channel 5’s top newsroom honcho — but some miffed reporters don’t want to dance along.

Paige Harrison, who took over as WCVB-TV’s news director in January, has laid down a harsh edict demanding reporters get expressive during every TV live shot and stand-up.


Hey, Globies – maybe you could be more stand-up, eh?

Boston Globe Can’t Stop Pumping for Citgo $ign

March 17, 2017

As the hardreading staff has noted in vain for the past year, the Boston Globe has reaped hundreds of thousands of dollars in Save the Citgo Sign ads. But its coverage of the rumpus over the Kenmore Square icon has never disclosed the paper’s financial interest in the outcome.

Exhibit Umpteen:  Today’s Business section story by Jon Chesto about Boston Signage Syndrome.

On Boston’s skyline, signs can be a tricky business

Jeff Immelt wanted a headquarters sign that could be seen from Mars.

Or at least that’s what the General Electric CEO jokingly told a crowd of local business leaders when he came to Boston a year ago to celebrate the company’s decision to relocate here.

Good luck with that, Jeff. The Boston Planning & Development Agency is reviewing the company’s new sign as part of broader construction plans for its future Fort Point office, and the rooftop logo will have more earthly dimensions, maybe 35 feet in diameter.

Still, the approval of a tower sign in Boston remains a rare gift, one bestowed upon a select few.


Among them – yes – the Globe’s own gas light.

The Citgo sign in Kenmore Square probably would never get approved today, and yet it has become a beloved landmark, one that Walsh helped save this week by refereeing lease negotiations.


Still, no disclosure.

Hey, Boston media watchers – don’t any of you want a piece of this?


Citgo Throws a Few Pennies at the Boston Herald

May 15, 2016

As the hardreading staff has noted on numerous occasions, Citgo has lately been running quarter-page ads in the Boston Globe celebrating its Kenmore Square sign, whose future is uncertain now that Boston University is looking to sell the buildings beneath it.

Representative sample:


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We’ve asked Citgo’s public affairs manager Fernando Garay why the company doesn’t run ads in the Boston Herald, but he’s been a private affairs manager to us, not deigning to respond to multiple inquiries.

However . . .

Splendid reader Sam Doran has sent us this:

The print Herald may be thirsty for Citgo Sign ads, but CyberHerald’s got them. I just noticed a banner at the top of the mobile site. Two screenshots are attached. Tapping the banner led to (second screenshot).


Said screenshots:


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Of course, it costs pennies on the (print) dollar for Boston Herald digital ads, but no doubt the thirsty local tabloid is thankful for whatever Citgo sends its way.

Still, Citgo’s sign to the Herald (and Two-Daily Town) remains . . . the middle finger.

Citgo Sign to Two-Daily Town: The Middle Finger

May 5, 2016

As the hardreading staff has noted over the past week or so, Citgo has been running ads in the Boston Globe (but not the Boston Herald) celebrating the landmark Kenmore Square  Citgo sign, which might be endangered when Boston University sells the buildings beneath it.

Here’s yesterday’s installment of the feel-good ads.


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When the ads first appeared, we contacted Citgo’s public affairs manager Fernando Garay, who said he’d be glad to answer a few questions via email. So we sent him this:

Thanks for getting back to [us] so quickly, Mr. Garay.

A few questions:

Are the Boston Globe ads indeed tied to the uncertain future of the Citgo sign?

What kind of response did you get to the ads?

Have you run ads in other media outlets? Did you consider running these two in the Boston Herald?

Do you have plans to run ads in the future or expand your social media efforts beyond #CITGOsign on Twitter?

Thank you [and etc.].


No reply.

So we queried again.

No reply.

Finally, we sent this last night:

Dear Mr. Garay,

All due respect, but if you weren’t willing to answer [our] questions about the Citgo sign ads in the Boston Globe, why did you say “Please send me your questions via email and I will get back to you with responses”?

For the third time, [our] questions:

Are the Boston Globe ads indeed tied to the uncertain future of the Citgo sign?

What kind of response have you gotten to the ads?

Have you run ads in other media outlets? Did you consider running any in the Boston Herald?

Do you have plans to run ads in the future or expand your social media efforts beyond #CITGOsign on Twitter?


[The hardreading staff]


Citgo: Proud to touch so many lives. Just not to answer any questions about it.

Citgo Strong? More Globe Ads to Save Landmark Sign

April 28, 2016

When we last left the Saga of the Citgo Sign, the company had run these two ads in Sunday’s Boston Globe.


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We thought the ads were interesting in light of the uncertain fate of the landmark Citgo sign, and we said we’d look into them further.

But splendid reader Greg Turner beat us to the punch.

Your blog post about the Citgo sign just caught my eye; I’m a BU grad and big fan of the landmark. I clicked around the web and it would appear that Citgo itself is behind the Globe ads.

The hashtag you highlighted matches up with this web page – – which has the same “Boston’s Sign logo” and the photos that are used in the ad. For example: This one and this one are in both places.

The ad campaign is obviously keeping the “petroleum corporation” part of Citgo in the background!


Well, that got us to contact Citgo’s public affairs manager Fernando Garay yesterday and he said he’d be glad to answer a few questions so we sent him this:

Thanks for getting back to [us] so quickly, Mr. Garay.

A few questions:

Are the Boston Globe ads indeed tied to the uncertain future of the Citgo sign?

What kind of response did you get to the ads?

Have you run ads in other media outlets? Did you consider running these two in the Boston Herald?

Do you have plans to run ads in the future or expand your social media efforts beyond #CITGOsign on Twitter?

Thank you [and etc.].


A day later, no word yet from Mr. Garay. But the ads did run again in today’s Globe (and not – again – in the Boston Herald).


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Signing off, for now . . .

Who’s Behind the Boston Globe Ads for #CITGOsign?

April 25, 2016

As you splendid readers might recall, Boston University announced several months ago that it is selling a group of Kenmore Square buildings atop of which sits the Citgo sign.

From BU Today:

BU May Sell Kenmore Square Properties

Deal includes building with iconic Citgo sign

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As part of a four-decade-long effort to upgrade Kenmore Square, Boston University has hired a broker to manage the sale of several high-profile buildings it owns in the square, including the one that houses Barnes & Noble at BU and supports the iconic Citgo sign, which has loomed over the square since 1965.

Gary Nicksa, senior vice president for operations, says the University will work with Newmark Grubb Night Frank, known as Newmark, to sell the properties, which include 334,000 square feet of commercial space, now occupied by Barnes & Noble, Bertucci’s restaurant, Cornwall’s Pub, and several other tenants. The nine buildings that will be put on the market line the north side of Kenmore Square, from 648 Beacon Street to 541 Commonwealth Avenue and 11-19 Deerfield Street.


That, of course, went over like the metric system, leading to plaintive articles such as this Business section piece last month in the Boston Globe.

Five Things You Should Know About the Citgo Sign

The fate of the Citgo sign is once again the talk of the town. From its perch high above Kenmore Square, the illuminated sign has been an integral part of Boston’s skyline for decades, but now faces an uncertain future as Screen Shot 2016-04-24 at 4.15.26 PMBoston University tries to sell the building below it. What will happen when the property at 660 Beacon St. changes hands and a new landlord takes over? That remains to be seen. For now, the Citgo sign still shines brightly.

Here are five things you may not know about this familiar landmark.

1 It has a long history. The roots of the sign go back to 1940, when the Cities Service Co. opened a divisional office at 660 Beacon St. and installed a huge neon sign on the roof of the building . . .


And etc.

Now the Citgo sign is back in the Globe, but in advertising form on page A3 of yesterday’s edition.


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Close-up view:


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The ads come from Boston’s Sign (not to be confused with Boston Sign, whose website does not include the Citgo sign). The ad does steer readers to #CITGOsign, which features tweets like these from WCVB’s Maria Stephanos and others.


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But . . .

The hardsearching staff has so far been unable to determine who’s behind the Globe ads. We’ll make some phone calls today and keep you posted.

Bianca de la Gonza (II)

June 3, 2014

As the hardreading staff mentioned earlier, former WCVB morning minx Bianca de la Garza bid Boston ad-ieu in the local dailies on Sunday. Our post generated two Facebook comments from opposite ends of the spectrum.

Really admire her – smart, beautiful, hard-working. But who wrote this? Imagine a girl from Milton, graduate of Emerson in local television? Look around B, Emerson is a broadcasting powerhouse, and Milton ain’t the sticks.

Who picked that outfit? Not to be a prude, but: What does that neckline have to do with journalism?


Okay so today, Bianca got some love from Track Gal Gayle Fee at the Boston Herald and this version of the non-journalistic neckline could easily bring a blush to the face(book) of the latter commenter.


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File Under: Hot News.


Bianca de la Gonza

June 3, 2014

From our Late to the Going-Away Party desk

The hardreading staff was out of two-daily-town over the weekend, so we missed Bianca de la Garza’s farewell tour in the local dailies on Sunday.

But we must say, it was impressive.

Boston Globe ad (in two easy-to-read pieces):


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Slightly less impressive Boston Herald ad:


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Most impressive: That the ads appeared at all.

Lucky gal, Bianca.


A Tale of Two Citings (One Discloses, the Other Doesn’t)

March 28, 2014

As the hardreading staff has repeatedly noted (here too), the editors at the Boston Globe are pretty loosey-goosey in acknowledging that Red Sox principal owner John Henry also owns the paper.

Today’s edition just reinforces that slapdash approach.

From Dan Shaughnessy’s Page One piece:

As glare intensifies, Remy resolves to stay put

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Jerry Remy has no plans to step down as color commentator on NESN Red Sox broadcasts and says he plans to stay in the booth throughout the season, even as his son Jared prepares to go on trial in October in the murder of Jennifer Martel.maeda_26remy_met1

“I’m planning on being in Baltimore Monday,’’ Remy said Thursday afternoon, speaking publicly for the first time since Sunday’s comprehensive and explosive Globe report on the criminal history of his son.

This is an unusual situation. Truly. There’s never been anything quite like it. It’s an awful and awkward intersection of Boston baseball folklore and the real world of murder, justice, family loyalty, and fan allegiance to the brand of the Red Sox and the persona of Remy.


Later in the piece Shaughnessy writes this: “Earlier this week, Red Sox (and Globe) owner John Henry told WCVB: ‘I’ve told [Remy] all of us in Red Sox Nation stand behind him. It’s a terrible thing he’s been going through, and we’re really glad to have him back.’'”

Score one for the Disclosure Dweebs. (Let us know if we should start a Facebook group, yeah?)

In the Sports section, though, it’s a different picture. From Chad Finn’s Sports Media piece:

No reason to oust Remy

Revelations lead to heated debate

In the days following Eric Moskowitz’s exhaustive report in the Sunday Globe on accused murderer Jared Remy’s sickening history of Jerry-Remy---AP-thumb-635x463-124646violence and the court system’s sickening history of not holding him accountable, there was little gray area to be found in a fierce if ancillary debate:

Should his father, longtime and legendary Red Sox analyst Jerry Remy, retain his job at NESN?

Based on the reaction early in the week I gathered from sports radio, television, social media, and e-mail, the vocal majority strongly believed Remy should resign or NESN should nudge him aside.


Finn made it clear that he stood with the minority, concluding “I can’t in good conscience suggest he should lose his job. There already has been far too much lost already.”

What Finn didn’t make clear is that John Henry is the boss of both of them.

Call them The Gang That Couldn’t Cite Straight.