If you haven't already, take a look at Boston magazine editor James Burnett's Q-and-A with Mike Barnicle. Because of the insight it offers into the former Globe columnist's self-conception, it's a fascinating read. But it's also deeply frustrating, because Burnett isn't nearly as tough on his subject as he should have been.
That's the most important point of this Globe business update. If Connors is telling the truth, then the Financial Times got it wrong.
The second most important point is Herald publisher Pat Purcell's statement that he, too, is uninterested in the Globe.
Please note that multiple versions of the FT story have appeared in the past few days.
Might Boston be in for a colossal media makeover? So suggests the Financial Times:
The New York Times is aggressively courting buyers for its stake in
the Boston Red Sox baseball team and potentially the Boston Globe
newspaper in a transaction that could attract bids worth $200m-$225m,
according to a person familiar with the matter.
The news that the NYT Co. is trying to sell its stake in the Red Sox is interesting. But what really struck me about today's Wall Street Journal story was the little tidbit relegated to the end of the fifth graf:
It is possible the Globe could be packaged with the sports assets in a
sale. Jack Connors, a former ad executive in Boston, and former General
Electric Chief Executive Jack Welch took a serious look at the Globe
two years ago, valuing it at $550 million to $600 million, people close
to them said at the time.
Perhaps it's my inner Grinch/Twins fan talking, but I was struck by Sox owner John Henry's response to losing the Mark Texeira sweepstakes to the Yankees. From the Globe's Nick Cafardo:
"From the moment we arrived in Boston in late 2001, we saw it as a
monumental challenge," Sox owner John Henry said in an e-mail to the
Associated Press, in reference to competing with the Yankees.
According to one school of thought, GateHouse's decision to challenge Boston.com's "Your Town" approach in court merits utter contempt. As a commenter on Universal Hub said: "This is a clear case of a bunch of morons who skipped that "Internet
101" class in business school, and now they're pissed because people
aren't going through their website the way THEY want them to."
About that Boston newspaper war I mentioned a couple days ago? Between GateHouse and the Globe?
Well, it just got a whole lot nastier.
As Dan Kennedy notes, there's a very important issue at play here:
Since Boston.com is selling advertising on its "Your Town" pages, the argument is that the New York Times Co., which owns Boston.
My buddy Dan Kennedy dimisses this NY Times Q-and-A with "Caroline Kennedy and her staff" (the paper's phrase) as "crapola," and argues that the Times shouldn't have run it.
His "crapola" assessment is dead on. But to my mind, that's exactly why the Times did the right thing in printing the interview.
Credit my Phoenix colleagues Deirdre Fulton and Jeff Inglis with great timing. "Take Back Barack," which contends that progressives should "reclaim the man [they] put in the White House," appeared the same week that Barack Obama disappointed said progressives by tapping Rick Warren--whose views on gays and lesbians are problematic, to say the least--to give the invocation at his inauguration.
In which I examine the Boston startup's goal of transforming the way Americans get their foreign news coverage.
What interests me most about this article isn't that Boston.com's street-cleaning alert system isn't working well for Somerville. It's that GateHouse--which publishes the Somerville Journal and the related site Wicked Local Somerville--is gleefully using failure to jab at Boston.com and the Globe.
Coming up with a satisfactory definition of who's a journalist is tricky. But as the New Yorker's George Packer notes, to devastating effect, identifying non-journalists is easier. And Sean Penn, who recently wrote some pro-Venezuela/pro-Cuba agitprop for the Nation, is a most definitely a non-journalist.
If you read the last two columns by Ronald Kessler, Newsmax.com's chief Washington correspondent, that's a reasonable question to ask.
First up: "Obama was born in the United States," which ran on December 8 and offered a scathing description of Philip Berg, who's mounted one of a few legal challenges to Obama's pending inauguration.
Politico's Michael Calderone reports that PolitickerMA is one of six Politicker sites to survive a major downsizing. Eleven others weren't so lucky.
I'm glad to hear this, because I've only lately incorporated PolitickerMA into my reading routine. There's a lot of good stuff there--enough that "Jeremy Jacobs" could be a pen name for two or three reporters. (Though I have it on good authority that it isn't.)
According to Boston.com's front page, the Red Sox logo and uniform changes "have some fans wondering--why fix what wasn't broken?"
Hmm, let's see.... Why would the Red Sox do such a thing?
At Boston.com's Extra Bases blog, Steve Silva explores that very question:
According to the team, inspiration for the uniform changes started
during a “turn back the clock” game against the San Diego Padres on
June 22, 2007.