One of the stories currently featured on Boston.com is this piece on the matchmaking power of the Obama campaign. According to Globe reporter Meredith Goldstein, Exhibit A of said power is the new union of Cass Sunstein and Samantha Power:
When President-elect Barack Obama becomes the real deal next week, try to picture him wearing a toga and holding a bow and arrow - something like the cherub above, but maybe without the red high heels (Obama would never wear such impractical shoes).
There's no bad news in the note that Boston Globe publisher Steve Ainsley sent to the paper's employees yesterday. But there's not really any good news, either.
Here's the Cliffs Notes version: we're going to figure out how to make the Globe work as a business proposition, because there's really no other choice.
Or, as Ainsley put it:
No, Tom Finneran's not a journalist. But as a talk-radio host, he really needs to be able to speak critically about the powers that be. Assuming he wants to do his job well, of course.
And what does he do instead? Surprise his bosses at WRKO by getting into lobbying--and then, as the Globe's Frank Phillps reports today, enlist the help of a few ex-MA governors as he tries to finagle a presidential pardon.
Time for a new career, Tom.
Yesterday's Globe "Names" column included a nugget re: Gwen Ifill's new book, The Breakthrough, on the new generation of black politicians. After calling the flap over Ifill's role as presidential-debate moderator overblown, "Names" proceeded to pluck one--and only one--detail from Ifill's text:
One tidbit: Recalling the controversy over Patrick's decision to replace Mitt Romney's Ford Crown Vic with a new Cadillac DeVille DTS, the governor's wife, Diane, takes issue with the Boston Herald for calling the car "tricked-out."
If you're confused about whether Boston might lay off 200 police officers or not, I urge you to check out Dan Kennedy's deconstruction
of the Globe and Herald's duelling treatments of the subject. As Dan
notes, this is partly a political story and partly a media one--and
despite the Herald's bluster (online headline:"Riled mayor Thomas M.
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.
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.
From Boston.com's front page: "Teens' nude photos get surprising results."
The results in question? Teens love looking at pictures of each other naked.
If you thought that the recent decision by Boston Globe drivers to accept a wage cut and fewer holidays meant that Globe management was successfully making the case for austerity to the paper's employees, think again.
Yesterday--in advance of a December 9 meeting on the possible re-opening of the contract of the Boston Newspaper Guild, the paper's largest union--BNG head Dan Totten sent a memo to Globe management that excoriated management's approach to employee relations.