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Where's John Henry?

Forlorn Boston Globes just sitting on Main Street in Framingham

Forlorn Globes just sitting on Main Street, Framingham this morning. Photo by Rich Shap.

It's nice that Globe reporters, editors and other officer workers (some 200 in all) volunteered to assemble and deliver papers this morning. Globies really do want you to read their work. Hopefully, they at least get some pizzas out of the deal.

But, ultimately, the Globe is a for-profit concern and we've yet to hear from the guy who, at the end of the day, hopes to make a profit from his investment in the Globe. And has anybody heard anything from ACI, the company that said it could take over Globe delivery?

In the meantime, we get a statement from the Globe's vice president of consumer affairs and marketing (atttached, below), that getting reporters to deliver one day's paper is:

One small gesture to show our Globe customers that we are working hard with ACI to address these issues. We expect the process to improve not instantly, but steadily with each passing day and thank our customers for their patience.

Meanwhile, the Herald's complete non-coverage shows we're no longer really a two-paper town. Remember when Howie Carr used to love getting in digs at "bow-tied bum kissers"? Who's the bum kisser now, Howie? Or has he really, finally gone off the deep end into Limbaughland and is now content to just spend 15 minutes a day churning out rants about how Obama is finally, no, really, this time we mean it, going to take our guns away?

But back to the Globe for a moment: Will the reporters with a newfound appreciation for the hard work that goes into delivering the paper now start writing about the scores (hundreds?) of low-paid newspaper deliverers who are suddenly out of work becaus their bosses decided they could save money with a new contractor?

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Comments

I thought this was great and I had a lot of respect (I suppose I still do) for those who stepped up to the plate here, but then our paper wasn't delivered this morning and it became harder to applaud their actions.

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This is a publicity stunt.. everyone knows Boston Globe sales have been down for quite a while, now -with all the media attention focusing on why The paper has not been delivered to their clients in a timely matter, it makes other non subscribers curious, and it will make non subscibers become subscribers.

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I got TWO Sunday Globes, right next to each other on the porch.

After 7 days, I've averaged a paper a day.

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The only difference was the first one that arrived had the Metro West section and the second copy (came an hour or so later) didn't.

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Their statements about making the switch to "improve service" are just inaccurate -- it was made to go with a cheaper fulfillment service and to move their distribution center to be closer to their suburban clients who garner higher ad revenues because of their salaries/demographics are more appealing to advertisers.

I mean. Treat us with some respect and just be up-front about why the switch was made.

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The service of a newspaper is to report the truth.

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Can I assume that the folks who don't offer much to the readers in print like CHB, KPD, the fearless business columnist, etc... didn't help out with this either?

Can I also assume McGrory was driving around Hingham taking papers off of people's porches?

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Please STFU. And it figures that you wouldn't be volunteer to deliver today. They might assign you to the South End and you might soil your shoes on a dirty sidewalk. You add no value to the discussion and you add no value to the Globe.
Btw , I subscribe to the Sunday Globe only, and as of 5:45 pm tonight, no paper. I guess they're running late.

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I did, and I miss nothing.

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Day 2 of my paper actually showing up in the low-rent part of Lincoln. I had rather hoped to hear my doorbell ring at 8 AM to see John Henry holding the paper with a befuddled look on his face as he thought he had been sent to one of the big fancy manses (maybe Paul Pierce's old house?).

Looking at the paper, I was struck with how thin it has become. A significant number of stories were truncated versions of stories which had run in the NYT or the WaPo -- stuff that I can read on line with my digital subscriptions to those papers. So, cost cutting in the newsroom + cost cutting with delivery = deteriorating product and customer experience. You don't see that kind of cost-cutting with the Red Sox, huh?

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Using stories from NYT (which used to own the Globe, remember?), WaPo, or AP has been true for years, if not decades. The Globe's focus has always been local news and investigative reporting (i.e., Spotlight Team), which it does well. That's why, at least for the 4 decades I've lived up here, so many people have kept subscriptions to both the Globe and the NYT.

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The Globe had national ambitions prior to its acquisition by the NYTimes. One example, they were the third paper, after the TImes and the Washington Post, to publish the Pentagon Papers. There were overseas bureaus as well. Some of their former columnists trashed the Times for defenestrating the Globe of resources. I think Eileen McNamara and David Nyhan were among them, but am not sure.

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Never has been a big week for ads.

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"You don't see that kind of cost-cutting with the Red Sox, huh?"

We would if the majority of fans quit buying tickets in favor of going down to the local park and watching Little League games.

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This is all some PR magic from the Globe to try to make you forget how much they screwed up on switching delivery vendors.
I delivered papers for 14 years growing up. After the evening paper went under after 10 years, I switched to a Sunday route with 140 papers. What would eventually take me 45 minutes to complete took me 4 hours the first Sunday. Let alone the trouble coming up with a good system to assemble the papers.
The idea that bringing in 75 reporters/editors to help deliver is going to help, is laughable. Maybe hire back those folks you shoved out the door to save a buck a couple days before Christmas. Nice business move, Ebeneezer Henry.
You need only look at the WaPo to see what a billionaire investing in journalism can actually do.

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Am I the only one that thinks this whole thing is deliberate, a Bain Capital-type move to eliminate, for once and for all, the non-profitable print version of the newspaper?

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NYT Boston edition replaces the Glob.

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Just ask the OTHER former governor who now works for Bain Capital.

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John Henrey is an owner not an exec, or an employee. You understand business as well as Bernie. Stick to the MBTA blogs.

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So I guess we're even.

We're not talking major shareholder of some widget company here. We're talking about the sole owner of what is every bit as much of a civic institution as, oh, the Red Sox. "Publisher" means a lot more than just "CEO."

People care about it, its words still matter and, yes, it's a major employer in this town. If he wants to stay on his yacht in Ibiza (or wherever he is), obviously, that's his right. But he really does so at his peril as publisher.

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Yes.

I would fathom a guess that in most businesses, if the owner adopts the attitude that he just owns it, and its not his problem to address major operational issues, he wouldn't have much of a business to own soon.

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which is faring worse: the sox or the globe?

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What was once easily done by kids on bicycles can no longer be accomplished.

P.S. to Globe reporters: Get off my lawn!

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Don't bother taking the coupon to 7/11 for a free paper. They didn't get their papers either!

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This Henry character illustrates how greed and literalism destroy companies and institutions. He's doing the same with the Globe as he did with the Sox.

He clearly believes that a capitalist's only obligation is to milk customers and beat down suppliers for maximum short-term profit. (Oh yes, and let the brains walk out the door by driving away employees.) That is a way — a simple-minded way — of viewing capitalism. His direction raised the Fenway prices to MLB's highest. For the paper, he's kicked up subscription and electronic prices repeatedly to the highest around. He seems intent to keep at it until he reaches or even exceeds customers' chokepoints. Now he takes a sort-of working delivery system and cripples it in the hopes of just a little more profit.

His ostentatious ski-resort looking mansion speaks to his success at shaking down his publics. On the other side, he almost certainly is far less wise in retaining employees, customers and suppliers.

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I'm still up for picketing his house, remind his neighbors that there can be consequences/inconveniences to stupid capitalism. So what is intelligent capitalism? Sweden? France? (where people still get vacations and reasonable maternity leave). Maybe intelligent capitalism is someplace with no billionaires, and where millionaires pay their fair share of taxes. I'm an elderly, spoiled-brat snob who can't live without my BSO subscription. And yet, as a former organizer who was in many trenches over the decades, I have a clue about how much harder it is for anyone other than a millionaire to survive these days.

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He's doing the same with the Globe as he did with the Sox.

So the Globe is about to win three World Championships after decades of futility?

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...only if he suddenly becomes willing to spend for the big prizes...

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Or they are a Yankee fan? It's kind of unclear how the Sox are worse under Henry than they were previously.

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Pulitzers...

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Were amongst the highest in MLB back in the 1980s. So let's not pretend that the face value (versus secondary market prices, which obviously are higher) ticket prices mean anything in the FSG universe.

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Non-Globe reporter here. I have the an ACI SVP's cell phone number. CA based, but he is in Boston. I have called every day. Been ignored. I have called the Globe every day and been ignored. I have sat on hold like everyone else just to see how long it would take to achieve human contact. Gave up. I have other things to do.

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....and I wish I was right there with you, but I'm having a real hard time giving a crap.

Don't get me wrong. I wish I cared about newspapers. I subscribed for decades. Then the internet happened and I both got me news more quickly and simultaneously got sick of my paper getting stolen from my apartment foyer all the time.

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Didn't get my paper today, either. Thanks for nothing, @leung.
Would like to see her, as "business editor", investigate the details of exactly what's going wrong with the new vendor.

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Is WBUR gathering a news story about the distribution company/ies and their leadership? Any other journalists reporting in greater depth about who is behind the delivery vendors' lack of leadership and conditions for the door to door newspaper deliverers?

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Globe reporters follow the example of reporters from the Las Vegas Review Journal who broke a story about their own papers' ownership follies.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/las-vegas-review-journal-reporters-owner_56734d24e4b014efe0d4ecd6

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To be fair, I never expect a media outlet to be an honest broker in reporting on itself. Too many conflicts of interest and too much self-preservation involved.

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10 YEAR OLDS! 10 year old kids on bicycles!

Why on earth can an army of snot-filled kids do a better job than the company hired, reporters and John Henry combined?!?!?!?!

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Is the delivery company the Globe is using also delivering the Sunday Times? Because it didn't come after having come every week during last winter.

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