Boston moves to the Herald?

Tabloid relocating to South Shore

DESPITE ALL THE ANGST over Digital First’s $12 million takeover of the Boston Herald earlier this year, employees are about to see a $3,100 boost in their paychecks.

The downside is it is coming by way of eliminating paid parking for the tabloid’s staff when the notoriously cost-conscious media chain moves the paper with a century of history out of Boston and into a hermetically sealed building at the entrance of a Braintree retail outlet plaza.

In a memo to staff that reads as much sales pitch as announcement, Herald publisher Kevin Corrado pitched the move as a win-win for all the amenities employees will see when the paper becomes the South Shore’s largest daily.

“This move will provide a great space for our employees in a facility with many amenities including free parking and easy access to public transportation,” Corrado wrote. “While we are making a physical move that will help sustain our organization in the years to come, our commitment to providing the best news and sports coverage in the Boston market is stronger than ever. We’re excited about the future.”

Corrado ticked off a list of area restaurants and shopping to ease staffers anxiety about going to the burbs. Among those places he cited is “easy access” to Dunkin’ Donuts. Seriously? In Massachusetts?

The Herald isn’t the first newspaper in Massachusetts to move from its banner location. The  Eagle-Tribune, once known as the Lawrence Eagle-Tribune, has been running out of North Andover for years. The Enterprise, once called the Brockton Enterprise, has its reporters in an Easton office while its copy editors, what few are left, work out of shared space with the Patriot Ledger in Quincy. Digital First totally eliminated the newsroom for the Sentinel Enterprise in Fitchburg, forcing reporters and photographers to work out of their homes and cars.

But moving the Boston Herald to Braintree has a foreboding feel to it. The Herald moved from its longtime headquarters in the South End, affectionately known as Wingo Square, to an office building at the Seaport. The officers were somewhat antiseptic but still in the city, where it has been in one iteration or another for nearly a century and a half.

The relocation to Braintree follows the same path as another city institution, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston. Much like the Herald, the church’s coffers had seen better days and the move was done as a cost-saving measure.

“Is Braintree where once mighty Boston institutions go to die?” CommonWealth’s Michael Jonas asked on Twitter. “First the Archdiocese, now the Herald.”

Braintree Mayor Joseph Sullivan said he had heard rumors about the move before the announcement and welcomed his new neighbors.

“I think it’s positive news,” Sullivan told the Patriot Ledger. “I hope the Herald will survive and we will have a multi-newspaper town.”

Meet the Author

Jack Sullivan

Senior Investigative Reporter, CommonWealth

About Jack Sullivan

Jack Sullivan is now retired. A veteran of the Boston newspaper scene for nearly three decades. Prior to joining CommonWealth, he was editorial page editor of The Patriot Ledger in Quincy, a part of the GateHouse Media chain. Prior to that he was news editor at another GateHouse paper, The Enterprise of Brockton, and also was city edition editor at the Ledger. Jack was an investigative and enterprise reporter and executive city editor at the Boston Herald and a reporter at The Boston Globe.

He has reported stories such as the federal investigation into the Teamsters, the workings of the Yawkey Trust and sale of the Red Sox, organized crime, the church sex abuse scandal and the September 11 terrorist attacks. He has covered the State House, state and local politics, K-16 education, courts, crime, and general assignment.

Jack received the New England Press Association award for investigative reporting for a series on unused properties owned by the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, and shared the association's award for business for his reporting on the sale of the Boston Red Sox. As the Ledger editorial page editor, he won second place in 2007 for editorial writing from the Inland Press Association, the nation's oldest national journalism association of nearly 900 newspapers as members.

At CommonWealth, Jack and editor Bruce Mohl won first place for In-Depth Reporting from the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors for a look at special education funding in Massachusetts. The same organization also awarded first place to a unique collaboration between WFXT-TV (FOX25) and CommonWealth for a series of stories on the Boston Redevelopment Authority and city employees getting affordable housing units, written by Jack and Bruce.

About Jack Sullivan

Jack Sullivan is now retired. A veteran of the Boston newspaper scene for nearly three decades. Prior to joining CommonWealth, he was editorial page editor of The Patriot Ledger in Quincy, a part of the GateHouse Media chain. Prior to that he was news editor at another GateHouse paper, The Enterprise of Brockton, and also was city edition editor at the Ledger. Jack was an investigative and enterprise reporter and executive city editor at the Boston Herald and a reporter at The Boston Globe.

He has reported stories such as the federal investigation into the Teamsters, the workings of the Yawkey Trust and sale of the Red Sox, organized crime, the church sex abuse scandal and the September 11 terrorist attacks. He has covered the State House, state and local politics, K-16 education, courts, crime, and general assignment.

Jack received the New England Press Association award for investigative reporting for a series on unused properties owned by the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, and shared the association's award for business for his reporting on the sale of the Boston Red Sox. As the Ledger editorial page editor, he won second place in 2007 for editorial writing from the Inland Press Association, the nation's oldest national journalism association of nearly 900 newspapers as members.

At CommonWealth, Jack and editor Bruce Mohl won first place for In-Depth Reporting from the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors for a look at special education funding in Massachusetts. The same organization also awarded first place to a unique collaboration between WFXT-TV (FOX25) and CommonWealth for a series of stories on the Boston Redevelopment Authority and city employees getting affordable housing units, written by Jack and Bruce.

In this day and age of technology and ease of connection, many dismiss the need for a metro paper to be physically in the city. But as one sports desk staffer at the paper pointed out, Boston no longer exists in the tabloid’s operations at all. It will be based in Braintree, printed in Providence, delivered by the Boston Globe, with much of the paper designed and laid out in Colorado.

The move to Braintree is more sad than problematic, except for those general assignment reporters who will have to jump in their cars (or take their chances with the Red Line) to get into the city to cover breaking news. As one former reporter at the paper reminded people, it can create obstacles.

“This is no way to run a daily metro newspaper,” former Herald reporter John Zaremba wrote on Twitter. “Had we been in Braintree in 2013, it would have taken me 37 minutes to get to the Boston Marathon bombing.”