Globe Cries ‘Uncle’, Goes Back to Old Distributor

January 6, 2016

Rule #1: Don’t trust anything Boston Globe executives say these days.

Exhibit A: Here’s what Globe CEO Mike Sheehan said on WGBH’s Greater Boston Monday night:

Mike Sheehan: Part of those options we’re considering are dividing up those [undelivered] areas and bringing in some other distributors to help and getting this solved very very fast.

Jim Braude: You couldn’t undo this and just go back to the prior company?

MS: No – no, ACI is doing a very good job in certain geographies.

 

Then again, there’s this in today’s lately local broadsheet:

Globe splits deliveries between two companies

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After more than a week of confounding problems getting newspapers to subscribers, The Boston Globe has turned to its former distribution partner to handle about half of its home deliveries across the region, Globe chief executive officer Mike Sheehan said on Tuesday.

The deal with Publishers Circulation Fulfillment Inc. follows an unexpectedly difficult rollout for the Globe’s new distribution firm, ACI Media Group Inc., which left tens of thousands of newspapers undelivered in its first week after taking over distribution within the Boston region on Dec. 28.

 

So, to recap: The Globe tore the sheets with former distributor Publishers Circulation Fulfillment in order to hook up with new squeeze (the drivers) ACI Media, but now the Globe and PCF are friends with benefits.

Not to get technical about it, but Mike Sheehan seems to be telling the truth a little bit at a time.

Rule #2: Don’t expect the Boston Herald to tell you anything about the Globe delivery meltdown.

Once again, the fraidy local tabloid is a day late, dolor short. Ignoring a major malfunction by your crosstown rival is not just bad journalism, it’s bad business. But at least they’re consistent.

Rule #3: Don’t expect the Globe’s publisher to stand the gaffe.

After a long hibernation, Boston GlobeSox owner John Henry – finally – weighs in today with this mealy-mouthed Letter From the Publisher.

We apologize to our loyal readers

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The Globe’s responsibility to this community is to bring it the news. I would like to share some news now about why we have failed to meet this objective for many readers over the past 10 days, how we are working to fix the problems, and a bit about the root causes.

First, I want to personally apologize to every Boston Globe subscriber who has been inconvenienced. We recognize that you depend on us, and that we’ve let you down. We’re working around the clock on a variety of fronts to solve this. To that end, I also want to thank everyone at the Globe who pitched in to get some 20,000 Sunday papers delivered last weekend.

Getting a daily newspaper to your front door is a complicated exercise in logistics .  . .

 

And blah blah blah . . .

Helpful hint: Wear asbestos glove while reading the comments.

Rule the Last: When the paper you own goes Chernobyl, don’t turtle for 10 days, then tell us how tough your job is. It’s just not manly.

UPDATE: Totally forgot (since it’s become so routine) – no Globe today. The “delivery delay” list is down to 91, but the hardlyreading staff is still on it.


Boston Herald Fails to Deliver on Globe for 10th Day

January 5, 2016

As one of the Boston Herald’s 17 home subscribers, the hardreading staff has been waiting patiently for the feisty local tabloid to crow about its successful delivery of the paper while the Boston Globe’s home delivery has gone Chernobyl.

But . . . nothing.

And today . . . still nothing.

Your fraidy local tabloid’s Tuesday Business section.

 

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As WGBH’s Unsinkable Emily Rooney (and our former partner in airtime) has written, “The Boston Herald has disgracefully reneged it’s [sic] journalistic duty to report this story for one simple reason, The Globe butters the Herald’s bread by being its printer.”

Then again, as Globe reporter Maria Cramer said on WBUR’s Radio Boston yesterday, the Herald has never been shy before about smacking the Globe around.

So why now?

Hey, Herald house harridan Howie Carr(toon): Wanna weigh in on this?

As opposed to your latest mailed-in column?

Or maybe you’re fraidy, too.

P.S. Oh, yeah – the Globe failed to deliver today’s paper to the hardlyreading staff (we’re now 4-for-9 in the Big Meltdown). And the “delivery delay” list is currently at 113. Burt here’s the funny thing: Globe CEO went on WGBH’s Greater Boston last night and said the really serious delivery problems are in Newton and Pembroke. Except . . . Pembroke isn’t even on the list today. Geez – these people can screw up a screw up.


Boston 2024: The Grift That Keeps on Giving

June 11, 2015

As you splendid readers well know, the Boston news media – from the Boston Business Journal to WGBH to Boston Magazine to WBUR to the Boston Globe – are on Store 2024 like Brown on Williamson.

But not the Boston Herald.

Sure, the feisty local tabloid has provided some basic coverage of the five-ring monte Olympic bid, but it’s not breaking news the way other local outlets have. The Herald these days is more about Deval Patrick’s financial shenanigans.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Exhibit A: Yesterday’s Joe Battenfeld column.

Patrick Secretly Diverted Junket Cash

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Former Gov. Deval Patrick’s administration secretly diverted nearly $27 million in public money to off-budget accounts that paid for a $1.35 million trade junket tab, bloated advertising contracts, and a deal with a federally subsidized tourism venture backed by U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, a Herald investigation has found.

The maneuver to fatten the hidden “trust” 

accounts with millions from state quasi-public agencies allowed Patrick to skirt the state Legislature and evade state budget cutbacks during the recession, the Herald found.

 

Elsewhere in the piece, the number seems to be over $37 million. Helpful chart:

 

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Whatever.

Exhibit B: Today’s Herald page 5 (with bonus Inexplicable Green 1).

 

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See? Even the paper’s Olympic coverage is part of its Devalue Pak.

Meanwhile, the latest Boston NOlympics revelations include this in the BBJ, which suggests that those expecting the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority to “save the Boston Olympics” Must Be Taking Acid. The Boston Globe contributes this front-page piece about Boston 2024 relocating the Widett Circle food wholesalers to the Seaport (one really smart person we know thinks the entire Boston 2024 effort is just a land grab to develop the New Boston Food Market site). The Globe also features this Metro piece about the full-court press on the Boston 2024 organizers to finally get down to specifics.

WBUR also has a couple of new reports today about bigger Olympic footprints, and WGBH tosses in this piece about new venues and public relations.

But the Boston Herald? Call it the shelfie local tabloid.


Ads ‘n’ Ends from the Boston Dailies

April 13, 2015

The headscratching staff noticed a couple of odd ads in the local papers today, starting with this quarter-page in the Boston Globe.

 

 

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From our Readability desk:

 

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New federal law, eh? We couldn’t find one, but we did find this at The Motley Fool.

While the option of getting free channels via an HDTV antenna has been around since 2009, cable companies have little interest in letting their paying customers know they don’t actually need to pay.

 

The Fools added this wrinkle – “The biggest wild card is what stations will be picked up in your area” – which the ad failed to mention. Either way, it was funny to see this ad in the Globe and not the Boston Herald.

Instead, the sippy local tabloid featured this half-page.

 

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Readability squad:

 

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The Strike 3 Foundation . . . is it just us, or is that tantamount to naming the organization You’re Out? The About section never mentions the origin/significance of the name, so maybe we’re just whiffing on this one.

Regardless, the foundation – “a charitable agency that heightens awareness, mobilizes support, and raises funding for childhood cancer research” – is hosting a gourmet fundraiser at the WGBH Studios in Brighton. Excellent idea. Excellent cause.

But running the ad in the Herald?

Huh.

Crisscross, anyone?


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.


Margery Eagan to Boston Globe

July 30, 2014

Boston Herald columnist Margery Eagan is taking her talents crosstown to the Boston Globe’s Catholic website, according to Two-Daily Town sources.  She’ll join the vertical the Globe established for John L. Allen Jr., former correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter.

The feisty local tabloid will be significantly less feisty without Eagan, who’s never been shy about weighing in on all matters Cathoholic.

Check out Boston Public Radio on WGBH radio this afternoon for further details from Globe editor Brian McGrory.

And all best, Margery.

UPDATE: Here’s the Globe press release.

Margery Eagan Named Spirituality Columnist For Crux, A New Website Covering Catholicism

BOSTON (July 30, 2014) – Margery Eagan, a well-known Boston columnist and radio talk show host, will become the spirituality columnist for Crux, a website devoted to Catholicism being launched by Boston Globe Media Partners in early September.

Eagan has been a columnist at the Boston Herald since the early 1980s, interrupted by a stint as a senior writer at Boston Magazine. She will continue to co-host “Boston Public Radio,” a daily current events talk show, with Jim Braude on WGBH Radio (89.7 FM).

In her column for Crux, Eagan will explore issues of spirituality, contemplation, and devotion, drawing on her personal experience with her Catholic faith, as well as that of other Catholics and those of various religious traditions.

“Margery has had a longstanding fascination with issues around spirituality and has spent no small part of her adult life exploring deep issues involving her Catholic faith,” said Globe editor Brian McGrory. “We couldn’t be more delighted to add her smart, engaging voice to our strong roster of reporters and columnists that will be the backbone of this new site.”

Crux will be a standalone website that covers the institution of the church, with particular focus on how the words and actions of Pope Francis affect Catholics worldwide. It will delve into the practices and challenges of living a Catholic life, and publish the wide-ranging thoughts and opinions of Catholics and others. It will be found atwww.cruxnow.com. Readers can follow Crux on Twitter, @Crux, and Facebook,facebook.com/crux.

Teresa Hanafin, editor of the new site, said Eagan’s exploration of her own spirituality through retreats and extensive reading will add a valuable dimension to Crux. “There are many, many Catholics who engage in a very deep, spiritual examination of their faith and their personal relationship with God,” Hanafin said. “Margery is of that world. She understands it, she experiences it, and now she will discuss it with the readers of Crux.”

A native of Fall River, Massachusetts, Eagan received a bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Stanford University. She has written for the Fall River Herald News, the New Bedford Standard Times, the Burlington Free Press in Vermont, Boston Magazine, and the Globe. She has appeared on CNN and Fox News, and is a regular panelist on “Beat the Press,” a media criticism show that is part of the “Greater Boston” public affairs show on WGBH television.

 


Boston Globe Namesniks Done Alan Cumming Wrong

April 30, 2014

Start with full disclosure: The hardreading staff met Masterpiece Mystery man Alan Cumming at his Boston University Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center Friends Speakers Series appearance Monday night and found him to be the sweetest guy ever.

Exhibit A: His Twitter feed that featured this selfie with his mum:

 

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So we were a bit dismayed when we saw this Names item in yesterday’s Boston Globe.

The comings and goings of Alan Cumming

 

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Alan Cumming spent a busy day in Boston Monday. The Scottish actor, who stars on CBS’s “The Good Wife” and is currently reprising the role of the lascivious emcee in “Cabaret” on Broadway, began the afternoon at WGBH’s Calderwood Studio, taping a series of intros for the new season of “Masterpiece Mystery.” Then it was off to BU’s Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center, where Cumming talked about his life and work. The actor was adorable as ever, even if The New York Times, in its review of “Cabaret,” called him a “little softer around the jaw.”

 

(Fuller disclosure: The hardreading staff has numerous connections to the Gotlieb Center, which we’re happy to detail upon request.)

Not to get technical about it, but said Times review  of “Cabaret” was a full-throated endorsement of Cumming’s reprise of his 1998 performance as the M.C.:

Alan Cumming, who won a Tony as the nasty M.C. in 1998, is back, offering a slightly looser, older-but-wiser variation on the same performance . . . Mr. Cumming’s M.C., who commandeered a part that Joel Grey would have seemed to own exclusively, has become the new model for most interpretations of the role . . .

So that Names item might have been a little soft around the jawboning, yeah?

 


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