Legal Journo Bob McGovern Vacates Boston Herald

Well the sadreading staff was leafing through this morning’s Boston Herald when we came upon the paper’s double-barreled coverage of the Supreme Court’s sports betting payout.

Strange, we thought – no Bob McGovern, the feisty local tabloid’s legal-eagle columnist. So we hied us to his Twitter feed and found this profile.

We also came upon this tweet from three days ago.

So, gone like a cool breeze.

McGovern also tweeted  a link to this piece he posted on Medium, which tells the tale of more than just his own departure from the shrinky local tabloid.

“If you’re looking for something sugar coated, buy a donut”

Nate Dow edited copy at the sports desk as the Boston Herald newsroom filled with people nervously waiting for a surprise all-staff meeting called by publisher Pat Purcell.

Nate doesn’t work there anymore.

The two sports editors he worked under are gone, too.

Our entire editorial page staff vanished, and so did our cartoonist. Jeff Howe, a fan-favorite Patriots writer, took his talents elsewhere, and our entire business section now consists of the very talented Jordan Graham.

We lost four news editors, our veteran police reporter and a kickass photographer. At one point the Herald encompassed two floors — now advertising and editorial are separated by a little more than 77 inches of carpet.

The piece got even more depressing from there, detailing a thoroughly dehumanizing process of culling the herd. What’s left is a joyless shell of the Herald’s former self.

It should be required reading for every working journalist in the region, especially for McGovern’s depiction of how the paper’s dismantling was totally ignored by virtually every other local media outlet.

As the bankruptcy proceedings moved along, the Herald was the only media organization in the city to cover it properly. Brian Dowling did great work on the story — often hounding Pat and his lawyers — and yet no one asked him to come and talk about the process.

The media critics never even asked for his number. If the Globe was facing the same situation, and one of its fine journalists was doing the same brave reporting, I think you would be able to hear about it on WBUR or WGBH.

Maybe there wasn’t any interest, or perhaps other outlets don’t have the resources to spare. It may have something to do with the fact that Boston media beef has no sell-by date.

It’s still the case. And it’s still a shanda.

Hexit Watch™: Shelly Cohen’s Long Goodbye

Latest in what we expect will be an endless stream

The redoubtable Rachelle Cohen – longtime Boston Herald journalist, most recently as Editorial Page Editor – sang her swan song in yesterday’s edition, marking yet another milestone for the feisty local tabloid.

The Boston Herald I knew, whose death has been prematurely reported for decades, and on whose masthead my name has appeared for the last several of those decades, will sometime Monday be under new ownership. That is, in its own way, a good thing.

As an institution in this community it will live on; it will continue to vigorously compete in the marketplace of journalism because the people who have labored here — and those who will continue to do so — actually don’t know how to operate any other way.

Owners and editors have come and gone, but the abiding spirit of this place has always been a little different — and more than a little quirky.

(Amen to that – we hope. Then again, there’s that wrecking ball new Herald owner Digital First Media has just taken to the Denver Post, which we noted yesterday.)

As is fitting and proper, Shelly also received an admiring tweetoff on the interwebs.

All best wherever you land next, Shelly. They’ll be lucky to have you.

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.