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The Media Businesses

New York Times Sells Boston Globe At 93% Loss 178

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-bad-for-a-newspaper dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The New York Times announced this morning that it has sold the Boston Globe newspaper and related assets, including the Boston.com website and the Worcester Telegram & Gazette daily paper, to John Henry, the principal owner of the Boston Red Sox. The price was $70 million in cash, a small fraction of the $1.1 billion the Times paid to acquire the Globe in 1993, and does not include assumption of the Globe's pension liabilities, estimated at $110 million, which will remain with the Times. Since then the paper's weekday circulation has fallen from 507,000 to 246,000 (including digital), mirroring the declining fortunes of many other daily newspapers across the country. Henry, who also owns the Liverpool FC and various other sports- and media- related properties, made his fortune in the investment industry; however, his hedge fund company recently closed after several years of poor performance."
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New York Times Sells Boston Globe At 93% Loss

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  • by rsilvergun (571051) on Sunday August 04, 2013 @01:33AM (#44468561)
    Seriously. What information do they have that is at all useful? In the old days we had muckrakers telling us all the awful things our politicians were doing. These days since they're all owned by big corps they don't want to step on any toes. After all, you won't last long if you say bad things about the boss. It feels like all they have left is sports news I can get from the source, some 30 year old comics and classifieds full of H1-B bait :(.
    • by wiggles (30088) on Sunday August 04, 2013 @01:45AM (#44468595)

      Because nobody else pays people to do serious investigative journalism on a municipal level.

      Newspapers serve a vital public function - they employ journalists to expose malfeasance and corruption in city governments.

      You should subscribe to your local paper - even if you don't read it. Think of it as a voluntary tax, your civic responsibility to pay someone to make sure your elected officials aren't screwing you as a taxpayer.

      • by Mashiki (184564) <mashiki@NOspAM.gmail.com> on Sunday August 04, 2013 @02:25AM (#44468689) Homepage

        Haha.

        Yeah, that's nice, except very few papers do investigative journalism anymore. They all use stringer stories from one of the large media companies, which you can read on *insert dozen other newspapers*. There's a reason why it's dying, and it's because it's become a monoculture.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Haha.

          Yeah, that's nice, except very few papers do investigative journalism anymore. They all use stringer stories from one of the large media companies, which you can read on *insert dozen other newspapers*. There's a reason why it's dying, and it's because it's become a monoculture.

          Don't be a prick. This doesn't mean that the local expert journalists aren't needed. The fact is right now that newspapers went corporate, fell under Wall St. control, and then went to the Wall St model of short term profits model. The newspapers cut staff and used those stringer stories to increase their profit margin. But eventually the customers realized it was bullshit and bailed. Now the product is soiled. By listening to Wall St. the newspaper companies caused their own demise and a major safeguard to

          • by Mashiki (184564)

            Yeah that's nice, except I'm not being a prick. Rather I'm pointing out that your post has no basis in reality. Nor did I say that local journalists aren't needed(reading is an issue on /. these days apparently). To point out the reality of this all? Bloggers are today's local expert journalists. The general newspaper and TV media threw themselves on the spear of "easy news" all on their own, and people have been leaving in droves for a very good reason.

            Wonder why that in the US that somewhere around 2

          • because people love sports and will gladly pay. As soon as you try to get them to pay for gov't and corporate oversight the corps move in with billions and scare the hell out of everyone.
        • by mcgrew (92797) * on Sunday August 04, 2013 @07:47AM (#44469477) Homepage Journal

          Indeed. You would think the daily rag in a state capital would be digging, but the Springfield State Journal-Register [sj-r.com] is close to worthless. From looking at it you would think that every crime, fire, and accident is reported but few actually are. They want you to pay for worthless "news" as well as being subjected to popups, popunders, animated ads and all the very worse, annoying advertising? They're insane. The local TV station, wics, does more investigative reporting. There's a police scandal [wics.com] right now that they uncovered; the daily paper sort of repeats their nightly news of it in the next day's paper.

          Meanwhile, we have a weekly paper [illinoistimes.com] that even the paper edition is absolutely free, its advertising is non-intrusive, and it does do investigative reporting. It also has movie reviews, a "pub crawl" section highlighting live music, recipes, etc. The SJ-R no longer has an editorial cartoonist; he was let go in their last round of layoffs. The Illinois Times hired him after the SJ-R layed him off. There are also a couple of syndicated [thismodernworld.com] cartoons.

          Traditional newspapers are dead. There's way too much good free news to pay for it, especially when the free is better than the paid.

          • by siride (974284)

            Same situation here in NC. We have a free local paper called the Independent Weekly. It's definitely liberal (perhaps leftist), but they do investigative journalism and are always happy to expose problems in local and state governments. They also have a lot of information about local events and music, including useful reviews by real people with real opinions. There are ads, of course, but it's actually better than the for-pay papers.

          • Traditional newspapers are dead. There's way too much good free news to pay for it, especially when the free is better than the paid.

            It must be a very nice place you live in where the free is better than the paid - welcome to Earth where that's generally not the case.

            And the claim above is especially interesting since you don't go to any trouble to point out that the Illinois Times is better - just that it covers popular culture and gives tips on where to drink, had unobtrusive ads, and... oh, bef

            • by mcgrew (92797) *

              Ignore that AC, he's trolling. However, if the SJ-R wasn't such a shitty mess the paid would be superior, but free often is superior. Linux has more features, a better UI, is faster than Windows, and upgrades speed it up rather than slow it down. Those free tomatoes in your back yard are far tastier and nutritious than store bought. They don't grow well with city water you pay for but grow well with free rain. And I love the free nectarines that grow on the tree in my yard.

      • by giorgist (1208992)
        If you don't read it, the metrics will show it, so paying will do nothing for you. Its game over for papers but the internet has the millions of eyes theory that hopefully will make up for it. The papers in the end got mostly bought out and simply served their masters.
      • Yeah, but my point was that now that they're all owned by a few big corporations they've stopped doing that. The Malfeasance and corruption benefits the mega corps. And if you think the mega corps aren't interested in your local politics you're dead wrong. Local elections decide how the districts get drawn for state elections. That's how the corps have locked in the House/Senate. The only election they can't completely own is the Presidential, but since it's just one they can pour so much money into it (ove
    • by xaxa (988988)

      Seriously. What information do they have that is at all useful? In the old days we had muckrakers telling us all the awful things our politicians were doing. These days since they're all owned by big corps they don't want to step on any toes. After all, you won't last long if you say bad things about the boss. It feels like all they have left is sports news I can get from the source, some 30 year old comics and classifieds full of H1-B bait :(.

      The Guardian [theguardian.com] has recently expanded (online) to the USA and Australia. I haven't read the US edition until just now, and it looks more international than other US newspaper websites I've seen, but look roughly as international as the normal British edition.

      It is independent, you can see the details of the organisation here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Trust_Limited [wikipedia.org]

      (I read it online, and buy a paper copy about every six months.)

      • by rtb61 (674572)

        Now that is what is really killing off corporate propaganda channels. A requirement to be globally competitive in providing the news on-line because that news channel is now available globally. Part of that is of course developing the ability to gather news locally, nationally and internationally and to distribute it locally, nationally and internationally according to the preferences of you readership at the time.

        Big part of this is the real cost of corporate propaganda versus the truth. Tells lies and

    • Most of th blogs I read simply link to an original news source like a newspaper and add a few comments

      No original news, no blogs for the kiddies

    • by MightyYar (622222) on Sunday August 04, 2013 @08:51AM (#44469689)

      The NY Times does some pretty good journalism. Yes, in aggregate they have a liberal view of the world, and their stories are written with a narrative that reflects this. But most of the time they get their facts right, and they have things like an internal investigation team to "prosecute" their own reporters. Read another liberal-leaning (more like propaganda) site like the Huff Post and you will see how far down journalism can go. The scary part is that many people get their news from the Huffington Post and think they just read something educational. I don't mean to pick on the Huff Post - it is just one example. There are conservative propaganda sites, natural food propaganda sites, etc - but none as polished and well disguised as a news site IMHO.

      Another thing that I've noticed is that the motivation for propaganda sites has changed. It used to be that you would see obvious propaganda, and you would know that some interest was behind it. A site sponsored by some trade association, or with some corporate, political, or religious backing, for instance. But now, these sites are just playing on our propensity to seek out self-affirming worldviews to sell ads. If you think that kale can cure cancer, some enterprising soul has set up a site with a cut-and-paste of every positive article about kale they can find. And of course, Fox News figured this out years ago on cable :)

      • Read another liberal-leaning (more like propaganda) site like the Huff Post and you will see how far down journalism can go. The scary part is that many people get their news from the Huffington Post and think they just read something educational. I don't mean to pick on the Huff Post - it is just one example. There are conservative propaganda sites, natural food propaganda sites, etc - but none as polished and well disguised as a news site IMHO.

        Which is pretty much how it's always been. For the bulk of th

        • by MightyYar (622222)

          I agree completely. My point isn't about the biases in journalism - those are plain as day. My main point was the quality of the reporting varies tremendously. Huff Post and NY Times are more or less aligned ideologically, but the quality of reporting is staggering. Unless or until these internet sites do something to improve quality, there is a definite loss when the printed papers die away. Unfortunately, I don't see an economic incentive for web sites to clean up their acts, since any damn fool (or smart

        • Er. Boiled frog. Not frog in a blender. A frog in a blender is going to notice...

          I can't say as I noticed how newspapers worked because I only ever read one, and that only for a class in college. As soon as my subscription expired, I stopped reading a paper, and haven't read one in 18 years. At first, because I didn't care about what they were talking about, and later, because I don't care about the vast majority of what they're talking about. Fires, car wrecks, and murders are not news, but that's wh

          • An ignorant populace is a pliable populace, and we're ignorant.

            There's a difference between being ignorant, and (like yourself) being willfully ignorant.

            • by Zynder (2773551)
              No difference at all. You say that because the theory goes that if someone is ignorant, then once they are educated they will then be able to make an informed decision. If I am being willfully ignorant, that does not preclude the possibilty of me making a new informed choice once you have educated me yet again. When people say what you just said, what they are really saying is: "Look at all this education I am throwing at you. Why won't you choose MY side?" That is the problem (and it's a good thing) w
            • What willful ignorance? You just got through telling us that newspapers are worthless, and described in detail why. I described how I don't read newspapers. Now I'm willfully ignorant for ignoring a source of completely valueless information? That doesn't even make sense.

  • by VinylRecords (1292374) on Sunday August 04, 2013 @01:47AM (#44468597)

    When your entire news slant is to the extreme left you tend to alienate anyone who is on the right, anyone who is centrist or moderate, and anyone who is center-left. You end up with an audience that is composed of one single viewpoint politically. An extreme viewpoint at that. The NYTimes, another extreme left paper, had control over the Globe and ran it into the ground. Everyone saw this coming.

    Of course you're looking at a 93% loss of value. You're only talking to less than 10% of the population. What was once a newspaper that examined all of society with a fair eye it now only caters to a small minority of zealots. There was no investigative journalism at all. No honesty or insight to anyone with a (D) next to their name. Just nonstop bias and pandering to a single narrow viewpoint. Of course you're dooming your paper to obscurity.

    I know that bashing Fox News is a popular opinion. But of the mainstream papers, websites, and news TV stations, it's actually rather moderate. The panels and editorials are filled with a strong selection of liberals, conservatives, and moderates. And the ratings reflect that because Fox News national brings in the viewers. You're just as likely to find a liberal view on a panel segment as you are a conservative one. And the conservative commentators don't hide their bias. Whereas the Boston Globe would pretend that it was 'progressive' and refuse to at all accept the reality that it was practically a propaganda newspaper for liberal Democratic operatives. Fox News gets its ratings because there are enough liberals and moderates to attract a broad audience.

    They can blame it on the internet. On the economy. On low advertising revenue. But a newspaper is supposed to objectively report the news. And stand as the Fourth Estate against political corruption. They are not supposed to maintain the political status quo and effectively serve as a PR firm for politicians. The Globe was failure all over.

    Ultimately this is a win for John Henry. He'll spend $75 million on a busted arm for a pitcher that gives him no return for the Red Sox. But $70 million is almost worth it alone for some of the Boston Globe's web domains that it owns. Now John Henry (who is a major Democratic Party donator, in the millions) has a liberal PR institution to output his views. He has the ability to shut down all negative conversation about the Red Sox from current Globe employees. And he can use the Globe and Boston.com to heavily market Red Sox tickets and jerseys. This will pay for itself within a few years with the boost to Red Sox branding.

    Look at who is buying newspapers now. Extreme right and left wing political donators. As if newspapers aren't PR machines for the politicians enough. Now they are literally being run by GOP and DNC donors.

    • by Tablizer (95088) on Sunday August 04, 2013 @02:17AM (#44468663) Journal

      The [Foxnews] panels and editorials are filled with a strong selection of liberals, conservatives, and moderates.

      Fox just gives the appearance of objectivity. The host picks the topics, not the liberal counter-point guy, and the topics tend to be those that make Democrats look bad such that the counter point person is always on the defensive.

      Benghazi is an example: there's still no evidence of specific wrong-doing, yet they keep talking about it with speculation up the whazoo and word-play to make it sound like something sneaky is going on.

      And the hosts often do a "rehearsal" with the guests such that they know the questions in advance and prepare answers, but the guests don't have the same privilege.

      Fox has relatively high ratings because they cater to the older white rural families who are paranoid of minorities and exaggerated "government intrusion" with regard to guns and religion. I hate to say, but yes, old "rednecks" who don't know how to use the Internet. They are essentially milking the last vestiges of the TV age. Many of their ads are for elder-care stuff, as evidence. Rural is about the only place that such an audience exists, and rural leans right.

      The rest of the US is moving to Internet news and the traditional news outlets cannot compete with the more nimble Internet sources because they didn't have to be nimble for many decades and forgot how.

      • by sumdumass (711423) on Sunday August 04, 2013 @03:00AM (#44468769) Journal

        Benghazi is an example: there's still no evidence of specific wrong-doing, yet they keep talking about it with speculation up the whazoo and word-play to make it sound like something sneaky is going on.

        Something sneaky is going on there. Whether it is a cover up to hide incompetence (which it was all over), a cover up for political purposes, or something even more insidious, something has happened with it.

        Even the liberal CNN or the Clinton News Network as it was/is known because of how much it favored President Clinton in it's reporting, is reporting that there was dozens of CIA operatives in Libya when the attacks happened and that several of their reporters were flooded with operatives wanting to tell what happened then all the sudden they clammed up. CNN is reporting that people who were in the country the night Benghazi happened keep getting reassigned and shuffled around to new geographical locations, alias names are being issued to them making it harder for even representatives to find them, they had to re-sign nondisclosure agreements that they have already signed, and many of them are being given lie detector tests every month or two which other CIA operatives claim is very unusual to have them that frequently.

        I'm sorry, but you picked the wrong issue to gripe about there as partisan.

        • by Tablizer (95088)

          The CIA does secret stuff and wants to remain secret. Them acting secretive is not suspicious because it's their job to be secretive. Part of the "mess" of Benghazi is that the CIA had to end up being involved.

          Still, that's not evidence of a presidential cover-up. Sure, CNN would love to get into the CIA's knickers, but that's usually just wishful thinking.

          Certain members of Congress can look into some of these details and probably have. I suspect they asked, and eventually understood what was going on and

          • by sumdumass (711423)

            Still, that's not evidence of a presidential cover-up. Sure, CNN would love to get into the CIA's knickers, but that's usually just wishful thinking.

            No one says it has to be a presidential cover up. The only reason the president is involved is because he is out there calling it a phony investigation and refuses to detail the events he participated in the night of the attacks. Now it appears that he is participating in the cover up by either intentional acts through the CIA or by incompetence in administrati

            • by Tablizer (95088)

              The leader of the group they claim is most likely responsible for the attacks says no government official (Libyan or US) has attempted to contact him and he is living right in the open in Libya talking to reporters.

              Who is "they"? Maybe the CIA checked into him and found him full of stuff. Everybody wants to be in the spotlight.

              The attack that killed 4 people in Benghazi was the third attack in that area (there was two previous bombing attempts) and we didn't have any security for them or any workable contin

          • by AHuxley (892839)
            Running a weapons warehouse and shipping Libyan weapons to 'freedom fighters' is Syria is a bit more than a "mess"....
            Who is getting the flow of arms in Syria? The best friends the USA ever had: Al-CIA-da.
            The black flags, battlefield bbq, one faith only types.
            "CIA moved missiles out of Libya to Syria's rebels"
            http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4413289,00.html [ynetnews.com]
            "CIA 'clamping down on Benghazi operatives'"
            http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/10219347/CIA-clamping-down-on- [telegraph.co.uk]
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Totenglocke (1291680)
        It's funny, in order to support your claim that Fox News and it's viewers are dumb racists who only want their prejudices confirmed, your entire post is nothing but prejudiced and racist comments towards anyone who disagrees with you.
      • > Fox just gives the appearance of objectivity. The host picks the topics

        This is an excellent observation. Now listen to NPR.

        Bias creeps in when people determine the subjects to harp on all day long, even if, by some miracle, the harping is 100% objective.

      • by dbIII (701233)
        It what sells. Murdoch believes in quite a few things some Fox shows would label as communism (eg. old fashioned Christian charity) so long as somebody else's taxes pay for them.
      • by Rockoon (1252108)

        Fox just gives the appearance of objectivity. The host picks the topics, not the liberal counter-point guy, and the topics tend to be those that make Democrats look bad such that the counter point person is always on the defensive.

        Oh come on...

        FOX, CNN, and MSNBC all cover the exact same topics.

        This idea that FOX cherry picks topics that make liberals look bad is ludicrous given that fact. The only difference between the big 3 cable news stations is the panel selections and thusly the opinions expressed.

        You really dont seem to get that this is theater that we are looking at. The exact same topics covered by all three.

        • FOX, CNN, and MSNBC all cover the exact same topics.

          True but not actually the important point. The viewpoint about those topics matters.

          You really dont seem to get that this is theater that we are looking at. The exact same topics covered by all three.

          What you don't seem to get is that you can cover the same topics with different biases and that the biases matter. Fox News demonstrably has a conservative bias and they "interpret" facts (when they aren't just making shit up) accordingly. Just because they cover the same topic doesn't mean they are presenting the same position or that they have any intention of presenting an unbiased viewpoint. Of course it is theater b

          • by Rockoon (1252108)

            Fox News demonstrably has a conservative bias and they "interpret" facts (when they aren't just making shit up) accordingly.

            You dont actually seem to be saying anything. If you had a valid argument you would be showing that CNN and MSNBC werent biased.

            We both know that you cannot do that.

            So what are you doing here? You are showing us your own bias. You don't seem to mind at all that CNN and MSNBC are biased because apparently its the right kind of bias in your book.

            Thanks for being exactly what you accuse your "enemies" of.

    • While I don't read the NYT (wrong side of the world) I have to point out that anyone calling a mainstream media outlook "extreme" is better off looking at where their own views lie instead of putting labels on something else.

      I've heard a newspaper described as commie and fascist in the space of two minutes depending on who was doing the name calling. Your post reminds me of the utter losers doing the name calling and detracts from whatever worth you may have yourself so I just cannot take you seriously.
      • As you said, you're on the wrong side of the world. Thus, you do not realize how out of touch the NY Times is with most of the US. It's the reason why their subscribers keep dropping and the newspaper that used to be known for their sharp reporting is now known for being a shill for certain political views.
        • by dbIII (701233)
          It's a pity I have to spell things out to you, but unless it's circulation is tiny and restricted to extremists then it's not extreme.
          Maybe it's time to airdrop dictionaries or something :(
    • by cjsm (804001) on Sunday August 04, 2013 @08:53AM (#44469691)
      The New York Times isn't extreme left wing, in fact on many issues it's center right. It supported the war in Iraq, it overall supports the war on terror, it falls in line with the government propaganda 98% of the time. I guess you think their extreme left wing because they have a liberal columnist like Paul Krugman, but they also have right wing columnists like David Brooks. Or maybe its because they had an article exposing the labor abuse at the Foxcomm factory in China making Apple products, I guess stories like that really upset you right wingers, it might hurt the stock price. But for the most part, they supports the capitalist system, they just point out some of the more pernicious abuses. I guess if they stopped doing that you right wingers would like it more.

      The New York Times also supports the bulk of American Foreign policy. I know you right wingers don't give a fuck about the millions of innocent people killed by the U.S. government over the years, and have never shed a tear over innocents killed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Viet Nam, etc, so if anyone like the NYT voices the mildest criticism of the massive crimes committed by the U.S. government, they are extreme left wing in your view. In my view, they are center right for supporting the bulk of it.
    • by sjbe (173966) on Sunday August 04, 2013 @08:59AM (#44469721)

      I know that bashing Fox News is a popular opinion. But of the mainstream papers, websites, and news TV stations, it's actually rather moderate.

      "Moderate"? Compared to what? There is almost endless evidence [newsmax.com] that Fox News intentionally presents a staunchly conservative viewpoint and they have an audience to match. It's not even a meaningful debate at this point.

      You're just as likely to find a liberal view on a panel segment as you are a conservative one.

      Just because they invite some token liberals on to some of the shows doesn't mean their coverage is remotely balanced. Fox News is basically a mouthpiece for the republican party. Name one talking head (ala Sean Hannity or Rachel Maddow) on Fox News who is a clear liberal. Go ahead, I'll wait...

      Fox News gets its ratings because there are enough liberals and moderates to attract a broad audience.

      The audience of Fox News contains a minority of moderates and VERY few liberals. 94% of Fox News viewers [politicususa.com] self identify as republican or republican leaning. In what universe is that a "broad audience"?

      Look at who is buying newspapers now. Extreme right and left wing political donators.

      Really? [businessinsider.com] Warren Buffet is an "extreme" political donator?

      • Just because they invite some token liberals on to some of the shows doesn't mean their coverage is remotely balanced. Fox News is basically a mouthpiece for the republican party. Name one talking head (ala Sean Hannity or Rachel Maddow) on Fox News who is a clear liberal. Go ahead, I'll wait...

        Alan Colmes.

        Of course, he has a face that's perfect for radio, which is why he's mostly on their radio network and only occasionally shows up on TV these days.

      • The audience of Fox News contains a minority of moderates and VERY few liberals. 94% of Fox News viewers [politicususa.com] self identify as republican or republican leaning. In what universe is that a "broad audience"?

        Since Fox has the highest ratings of the news networks, it sounds like you are acknowledging that they are moderate by US standards.

        Also, Warren Buffet is a leftist. Most of the wealthy elite are.

      • by quantaman (517394)

        I know that bashing Fox News is a popular opinion. But of the mainstream papers, websites, and news TV stations, it's actually rather moderate.

        "Moderate"? Compared to what? There is almost endless evidence [newsmax.com] that Fox News intentionally presents a staunchly conservative viewpoint and they have an audience to match. It's not even a meaningful debate at this point.

        You're just as likely to find a liberal view on a panel segment as you are a conservative one.

        Just because they invite some token liberals on to some of the shows doesn't mean their coverage is remotely balanced. Fox News is basically a mouthpiece for the republican party. Name one talking head (ala Sean Hannity or Rachel Maddow) on Fox News who is a clear liberal. Go ahead, I'll wait...

        Fox News can be a bit odd. Next time you're reading about an event open google news and look at the Fox News stories as well, they tend to be relatively mainstream with a mild conservative bias.

        But mixed in with the news are their pundits and opinion pieces, and that's when they go off the deep end. They'll have some fact based coverage followed by analysis that is completely detached from reality.

        The relatively rational news could be the reporters pushing back but I suspect it's a deliberate tactic. Give a

    • Look at who is buying newspapers now. Extreme right and left wing political donators. As if newspapers aren't PR machines for the politicians enough. Now they are literally being run by GOP and DNC donors.

      The sad part is that you seem to believe that somehow this is a sea change... In reality, it's a return to "journalism's" roots. Newspapers have long been political organs, their "neutrality" over the last couple of decades nothing but a fig leaf to market themselves.

  • I don't know who that man is, but he can't possibly be John Henry! Everybody knows that John Henry [wikipedia.org] was a steel-driving man!
  • The Big Picture (Score:5, Informative)

    by mvar (1386987) on Sunday August 04, 2013 @02:35AM (#44468707)
    their site is home to the Big Picture [boston.com], a blog with photographs from around the world regarding various events, celebrations etc..it gets updated with a new entry every couple of days, totally worth the time if you have an interest in photography
  • I have not RTFA because with slashdot summary as written, I'm wondering why this is "news for nerds". Is there something about the Boston Globe that is of inherent interest to science, technology, or other things that have been the usual fare here? I don't mind reading about stuff that belongs in the business/economy section of a news portal. But I didn't expect that Slashdot would be morphing into one.

    • by iggymanz (596061)

      ongoing tech driven decline of paper newspaper empire is interesting to many geeks.

      but of course, horseshoe smiths and buggy whip companies and lamplighters took a beating during 20th century too

      my grandfather was a lamp lighter. work started in morning extinguishing lamps for a couple hours, then during day repair and cleaning, then at night lighting them up again. but don't worry, after city went to electric auto timer street lamps he found jobs made possible by advances in technology.

      • by tloh (451585)

        In that case, a headline along something like "Technology continues to squeeze the survival of traditional news outlets" would have been a lot less misleading. Having now read the linked articles, however, that happens not to be the case. With headlines like "Red Sox owner in deal to purchase Globe" and prominent mentions of pension liabilities, I saw scant mentioning of technology's role in the constant march of progress. Your grandfather's story is cool and I'm glade this post provided an opportunity f

  • That means if the newspaper had been sold at that price including its liabilities, the buyer should have received $40 million. Woah.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      (I am a pension actuary)

      As far as I can tell, they have one pension plan that covers all of their employees and based on its Form 5500 filing (publicly available online) the plan is pretty well funded actually. As of 1/1/2011 they have total Funding Target liabilities of 173,403,797 and assets at market value of 158,880,383. Most plans are in a much worse position because these liabilities (which are used to determine minimum contribution requirements) are now required to be valued using a market interest

  • by tlambert (566799) on Sunday August 04, 2013 @04:31AM (#44469007)

    One thing I would like to see on paper web sites which would make me more likely to subscribe to their physical counterparts is a "suppress syndicated content" checkbox that would let me see how much actual journalism they themselves are engaged in, before I invite their paper in to clutter up my living room. I'll warn you right now, though, if that gets rid of 95% of your content, you aren't going to darken my door.

    I also already get enough coupons and advertising from the direct marketing association, so it'd be nice if they didn't put ads everywhere in the paper copy of the newspaper, since the postman already brings me all the coupons and local advertising I could ever want to recycle. One of the most annoying things the San Mateo Times does periodically is "give you" a "free" copy of their Wednesday or Sunday "supertacular advertising issue" so they can claim high circulation numbers, right before the end of the circulation reporting cycle. 600 pages of crap and 20 pages of content, and 80% of those are Reuters, UPI, or AP stories.

    Finally, I think color is vastly overrated; save it for "fashion week" or other special purpose spreads that get delivered in special sections, and the Sunday comics. I don't get where everyone believes the way to sell physical papers is to look as much like "USA Today" as it's possible to look, without actually putting "USA Today" on the banner. Maybe they get a higher per unit marginal profit or something, like when you go to a restaurant, and they serve you 3X the food you should be eating so they can jack up the price, and the marginal profit per hour, to maximize their profit relative to their flooring costs...

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      They can't make a profit delivering the paper to you without advertising, so what you're really saying is "I don't want a physical paper". Which is cool, neither do I. But it doesn't take three paragraphs to say it.

      • They can't make a profit delivering the paper to you without advertising, so what you're really saying is "I don't want a physical paper". Which is cool, neither do I. But it doesn't take three paragraphs to say it.

        I would maintain that this is the USPS argument, where they claim bulk mail subsidizes things, but were they to raise the unit price for bulk mail one cent, their operating profit would be about as big as their current operating loss. You may recognize the Internet 1.0 "operate at a loss, and make up for it in volume!" business plan here.

        But fine, let's accept your claim for the sake of argument ... crack open the books on a couple of failed newspapers.

        Let's see the balance sheets ourselves with regard to

  • by dpbsmith (263124) on Sunday August 04, 2013 @06:32AM (#44469273) Homepage

    After saying how much they respected and admired the Globe, the New York Times made it clear that they regarded Boston as the sticks and just wanted to milk the cash cow.

    I was a subscriber for decades and might still be if they had basically not driven me away.

    They gradually cut out all my favorite columnists and started to use wire services for national stories they would once have covered themselves.

    Royal Ford, their auto writer, always talked about things like how the tested car did during a snowy ski trip to New Hampshire. So one day I open the paper to find that he's been replaced by a syndicated column written by someone in California.

    The last straw was billing. They screwed up the billing. We were on quarterly billing, and when the New York Times took over, we continued to receive quarterly bills--but EVERY bill we got was accompanied with a 90-day late notice and threats to send it to collection.

    We got that straightened out--went to automatic monthly payments by credit card--and THEN someone at the Globe decided it would be cool to wrap all of their newspaper bundles in computer printouts of customer credit card information.

    My wife says to me, "Well, I hate the work of mailing a check every month, but should we do that?" And I say "Honey, didn't you read the rest of the story? They wrapped the Globe in credit card printouts, but they were wrapping the Worcester Telegram in customer checking account information printouts!

    What can you say to a company that does a thing like that? Except "goodbye."

  • by ScottCooperDotNet (929575) on Sunday August 04, 2013 @01:01PM (#44470829)

    Just over 100 years ago, the Taylor family owned both the Globe and the Red Sox. [wikipedia.org]

    There is some concern that as a public company, the NYT Co. didn't sell to the highest bidder [bostonherald.com] but one can speculate that is due to the conservative views held by the owners of the San Diego Union-Tribune [wikipedia.org]. John Henry is not only a donor to liberal causes, but also has had a business relationship with the NYT Co. via their former minority ownership of the Red Sox.

  • and for the most part they are ignorant and boring
  • I see a lot of people talking about local investigative journalism--or at least reporting.

    To be fair many of you may not know the local Boston market, there are two papers: Boston Globe, and Boston Herald. Globe is the corporate-faced paper (up 'til now) owned by national media conglomerates. Herald is considered more local these days. Generally the Herald is the paper you read when you want to hear about all the dirty BS the local government is dishing, although they can be too conservative and preachy

"If truth is beauty, how come no one has their hair done in the library?" -- Lily Tomlin

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