Is Boston too snooty for the Herald?

So says Joe Keohane, in a very entertaining homage/fauxbituary published in February's Boston magazine:

It's not just a fading lust for mayhem that's putting the hurt on our tab. Demographic shifts and the decline of the working class in Boston--traditionally the Herald's bread and butter--have taken a bite as well. And the paper in its present form will have a hard time replacing those readers, because our exploding population of white-collar types and wealthy empty-nesters takes pride in not reading the Herald, as if it's a sign of character and refinement to never sully one's manicured hands with it.

Granted, I'm a sucker for anyone who thinks critically about Boston's changing fabric. That said, it's an intriguing question: can the Herald survive in a Boston that's becoming a city of the rich and the poor?

So I put the question to Herald editor Kevin Convey. Not surprisingly, Convey takes issue with Keohane's diagnosis.

"I'm grateful for Joe's appreciation for what we're doing, and also that he's feeling some nostalgia for us, but it's going to be hard to miss us since we're not going away," Convey says. "In terms of his theory that demographic changes are driving his circulation loss, I guess I'd have to say that I don't understand how [those losses] could affect all newspapers in the fundamentally the same way, if it's demographic change that affects specifically us.

"Look at the performance of almost every single newspaper in America," he adds. "It's not demographic change that's driving the decline in circulation nationwide; it's a change in the way people are getting their news and the way they're using their time. That affects us; it affects the Globe; it effects the New York Times."

One final Convey gripe, slightly off topic: "While I agree with some of what Joe says, I certainly disagree with a lot of what he says about what we do. We aren't simply a crime and grime tabloid. We haven't been since I took over."

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