Peter Gelzinis Kisses the Boston Herald Goodbye

One of the two rational columnists at the feisty local tabloid. (Come on down, Kimberly Atkins!)

The heart of the Herald to Howie Carr’s spleen.

“Always stuck up for poor and working people, and for veterans and active service military” (tip o’ the pixel to @GlobeCullen).

“A solid, compassionate stand up guy” (ditto to @BostonFire).

There are a lot of ways to describe Peter Gelzinis. The saddest one is “gone.”

That’s what he told us in his farewell column in today’s Boston Herald.

A little hand leading into next chapter

Columnist pulled in new direction by grandson

The tiny fingers belong to a beautiful little boy of four months named Jack. They are clamped around a bigger, slightly arthritic finger that belongs to the grandfather who is absolutely crazy about him — me.

That index finger has tapped out maybe 10,000 stories for this paper over the last (gulp) 45 years. And this one will be the last … at least as a member of the staff.

I’ve shaken the hands of rich and poor, famous and anonymous, but none has exerted a more powerful grip on me than this precious little one that pulled me across a generational threshold back in August.

It’s a lovely piece, as befits a writer who could hold his own with the powerful and empathize with the powerless.  Many of them have acknowledged that in a nice sendoff on Twitter today.

But his exit after “[tapping] out maybe 10,000 stories for this paper over the last (gulp) 45 years” is a sad harbinger of what will likely be a slow-motion unbuilding of the shaky local tabloid.

(To be sure graf goes here)

To be sure, there are other potential buyers than the behemoth, budget-obsessed  GateHouse Media. And even if GateHouse does acquire the Herald, it won’t necessarily mean the paper will be significantly diminished in the future.

But it certainly was today.

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Bad News: GateHouse Media Gives Boston Herald Vote of Confidence

From our Hark! TheHerald! desk

Let’s start with a vocabulary lesson. Define dreaded vote of confidence: “A chairman saying that he has complete confidence in the manager or coach, ‘dreaded’ because it is almost always followed by being fired.”

Substitute “parent company” for “chairman” and “newly acquired daily” for “manager or coach,” and you have the proper context for Jordan Graham’s piece in today’s Boston Herald.

‘We want the Herald to thrive,’ says GateHouse chief executive

GateHouse Media plans to throw its advertising and promotions muscle behind the Boston Herald and leverage its sports and political coverage if it is successful in acquiring the paper, the head of the national company said.

Boston Herald Radio content could also be in play for a wider audience, said Kirk Davis, chief executive of GateHouse Media.

Here’s the part that might worry all those Heraldniks applying to GateHouse for their jobs: Davis told the shaky local tabloid, “I look at the opportunity to, and I’ll say thoughtfully, consider the portfolio we have in Massachusetts, New England, and figure out which of these writers, beats, innovations — radio and so forth — would be welcomed by our readers in our other publications or on our websites.”

Hard to know what that means, since “Davis declined to lay out his complete vision for the future of the Herald.” But it sure sounds like the survivors will be serving more than one master, eh?

There are still three other potential bidders who might get into the bakeoff when the Herald goes up for auction in February, as the bankruptcy process requires. But there are some hurdles they would have to clear.

For a bidder to beat GateHouse’s $4.5 million deal, the higher offer would need to factor in a $200,000 “break-up fee” and up to $100,000 in due diligence expenses to GateHouse. The companies have also proposed requiring the next higher bidder to beat GateHouse’s bid by $100,000.

Considering that it’s something of a miracle publisher Pat Purcell got even one bid,  odds are the gavel will come down for GateHouse.

And then the hammer will drop on the Herald.

From the Hardreading Staff at Two-Daily Town

The sale of the Boston Herald to GateHouse Media has caused a great deal of consternation among the staff at the scaredy local tabloid and a great deal of confusion among the rest of us, as we detailed in a conversation with Meghna Chakrabarti at WBUR’s Radio Boston.

And now there’s competition, as the selfie local tabloid reports.

Three new suitors surface in sale of Boston Herald

Three additional parties have shown interest in buying the Herald in the days following its declaration of Chapter 11 bankruptcy and $4.5 million sale agreement with publishing giant GateHouse Media.

Herald finance chief Jeff Magram confirmed three inquiries have been made into the newspaper since the announcement last Friday.

“One just surfaced today. It was two as of yesterday. I’m happy there’s more interest,” said Magram, who declined to identify or characterize the inquiring parties in any way.

Can you cover this nut graf:

“For a bidder to beat GateHouse’s $4.5 million offer, the higher offer would need to factor in a $200,000 ‘break-up fee’ and up to $100,000 in due diligence expenses to GateHouse. The companies have also proposed requiring the next higher bidder to beat GateHouse’s bid by $100,000.”

That’s definitely good news for Herald staffers, who face losing severance and pension payments in the GateHouse deal.

Bottom line: We hope the fine folks at the feisty local tabloid get the best deal possible.

And we hope we never have to post to this blog again.