Read all about it
The newspaper business is changing in so many ways but none more disheartening than the financial stability, which affects any and all aspects of the industry.
But one of the interesting angles is how does a paper cover the business problems of itself or its competitors? One of the more stark examples comes in Wednesday’s Boston Herald, a paper that rarely takes a critical look at itself or admits errors while touting its successes and gleefully jabbing its archrival, the Boston Globe.
“The Herald paid substantial salaries to its publisher and top executive as the newspaper’s finances grew dire and management directed the company to a bankruptcy sale, according to court papers,” Herald staffer Brian Dowling wrote in the lead of his story about the latest bankruptcy proceedings.
That is not the top of a piece one would expect to see in the tabloid. But with publisher Pat Purcell on his way out regardless of who the buyer is, someone was going to write it so it might as well be the home team. Among the eyebrow-raisers was the fact that part of Purcell’s million-dollar compensation included a golf membership and company-paid car. The story also included the salaries of his four children, none especially outlandish. But all of that will not sit well with staffers anxious about their jobs and their pensions.
“The culture of the Globe on the business side … needed to be reset, not because of staff but because of management,” Henry said in an email to BBJ reporter Don Seiffert. “The biggest fear in this industry, but especially at the Globe, should be the status quo. When I first became involved with the Globe, my fear was that the great challenge would be with journalists, pressmen — the people who make the Globe what it is. But the challenge and disappointment has been squarely with senior leadership. We’ve finally dealt with those issues. I am squarely responsible for not dealing with these issues in the first year.”
While the names wouldn’t mean much to the reading public, the ousters sent a seismic shockwave through the rank and file.
“It’s a period of uncertainty,” said Globe insider told Seiffert. “No one knows what [Globe president] Vinay [Mehra]’s plan is or how small the company is going to get.”
Henry wouldn’t share that with Seiffert, saying he’ll tell his plan only in his own paper. “I’m not going to present a vision for the Globe in a periodical other than the Globe,” he said.
He better talk soon, then, before someone beats him to it.
A group of lawmakers is pushing legislation that would require auto insurers to charge the same rates to drivers with identical driving histories even though they live in different areas. (Eagle-Tribune)
Methuen joins a lawsuit against manufacturers and distributors of opioids. (Eagle-Tribune)
Scot Lehigh says President Trump seemed downright presidential in his session yesterday with members of Congress on immigration issues. (Boston Globe) But his bar for drawing that conclusion seems pretty low, as Trump didn’t actually seem to have a grasp of the policy issues at play, with Republican congressional leaders jumping in at a crucial point to get Trump back onto the GOP policy wagon. (Vox) The Herald’s Kimberly Atkins was also less than impressed with Trump’s deal-making prowess.
A federal judge in California ordered Trump to resume the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), saying it was legally started by the Obama administration and is in the public interest. (New York Times)
Gov. Charlie Baker’s popularity in Massachusetts persists while Donald Trump’s keeps falling, according to a new MassINC Polling Group survey for WBUR. (WBUR)
Ann Romney green-lights a Utah Senate bid by Mitt. (Boston Globe)
State Auditor Suzanne Bump determines early voting in 2016 cost cities and towns more than $1 million and recommends the Legislature make the communities whole in a supplemental budget because it’s an unfunded mandate. (MetroWest Daily News)
The Airbnb gold rush is on in Massachusetts, as investors buy up housing units and convert them into short-term rentals. Some entire buildings have been converted. (CommonWealth) Everyone knows Anthony in the North End — just not this one. (CommonWealth)
A Rhode Island legislative committee moves along a Pawsox stadium bill, as the race between Worcester and Pawtucket for the Red Sox farm team seems to be coming down to the wire. (Telegram & Gazette)
Falmouth selectmen, ordered to take down a shuttered wind turbine because it violates the town’s bylaw on abandoned property, are mulling a proposal to turn it into a cell tower and are looking at relocating the other non-spinning turbine. (Cape Cod Times)
Attorney General Maura Healey sued a mental health clinic with offices in Springfield and Worcester for using “unlicensed, unqualified, and unsupervised” staff. (MassLive)
The flu season has already been bad — and seems likely to get worse. (Boston Globe)
Riders on the Greenbush commuter rail line say the trains and parking lots are packed to the gills with passengers who normally take the suspended ferry service and Keolis has added no more cars to the normal four- and five-car configurations. (Patriot Ledger)
Millions of gallons of raw sewage are flowing into Massachusetts rivers each year because of inadequate sewer system capacity to deal with heavy rainfall. (Boston Herald) Sen. Pat Jehlen is pushing legislation that would allow residents to sign up for email notifications anytime raw sewage is spilled into a nearby waterway. (Boston Herald)
Former CommonWealth reporter Gabrielle Gurley weighs in from the dry ground of Washington, DC, on the rising tides that washed over Boston in last week’s bomb cyclone storm. (American Prospect)
Worth noting: A Middleboro man with a pickup truck posted a message on Facebook to plow out any residents, mainly elderly and disabled, who needed it in the wake of the blizzard last week and ended up doing 30 driveways — for free. He said he plans to do it all winter as a way to help his community and set an example for his kids. (The Enterprise)
US Attorney Andrew Lelling’s hard-line stance on marijuana is starting to have an impact. A Westborough company that processes debit card transactions has told several medical marijuana shops it is severing ties with them. (CommonWealth) Some of the state’s top pols, all of them opposed to pot legalization, are moving cautiously in the wake of Lelling’s statements and are asking for meetings with the US Attorney. (CommonWealth)
A Lowell Sun editorial applauded the federal government’s renewed interest in marijuana. “We believe federal oversight — however limited — of this controversial decision to legalize recreational marijuana will only benefit Massachusetts residents, who appear increasingly opposed to legalized pot.”
With a US Supreme Court decision appearing to clear the way for a tribal gambling hall on Martha’s Vineyard, might the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head use that as leverage for its longstanding goal of a casino on the Massachusetts mainland? (Boston Globe)
Police arrested a Lynn man after they found 140 pounds of marijuana in the back of a truck driven to Massachusetts from California. (Salem News)
MEDIA“Sloppy Steve” Bannon has left Breitbart News after the blowback from his comments about President Trump’s family and aides, completing a swift fall from the Trump inner circle. (U.S. News & Report)
It was a who’s who of pols of yore at the funeral yesterday for former state treasurer Robert Crane, who died last week at 91. (Boston Globe)