Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Boston Herald is slowly dying...and now they have lost me for good

Ironically this comic ran in the Herald on February 18th
(Heart of the City ©2008 Mark Tatulli )

I have been a reader of the Herald since it was the Boston Record. ) OK I'm old
I have seen it go from

  • Boston Record (mornings but actually printed the evening before) (tabloid)

  • Boston American (afternoon but really morning)(tabloid)

  • Boston Record-American (all day 5-6 editions)(tabloid)

When they bought the Herald Traveler in 1972 it became

  • Boston Herald-Traveler and Record American (broadsheet)

  • Boston Herald-American (broadsheet and then tabloid)

Finally when Rupert Murdoch bought them

  • Boston Herald

Now the Herald has never been confused with the New York Times but it has always been a feisty paper that had a pretty good grip on the pulse of the city. Also over the years it had a pretty good intellectual section AKA the comics. However in recent years strips that have been running for decades slowly began to vanish.

First to go was Peanuts that is still distributed today as 'Classic Peanuts' after the death of Charles Schultz. Then a few months B.C vanished followed by Blondie. Dagwood, Blondie and Daisy the dog still make me chuckle after all these years and I missed them so I called to complain.

The editor who makes these decisions is Linda Kincaid (senior editor for features ) and she told me I was the ONLY person who called to complain about Blondie. I knew that wasn't true because several others had called as well and complained on the official Blondie website. On top of this Ms. Kincaid defended the paper's continued running of The Phantom. However since I buy the NY Daily News every day I can still get my Blondie fix.

Then a few weeks ago the Herald pulled another strip which again has been running for decades.

The Wizard of Id. from Creators Syndicate

This was the last straw for me. Why should I remain loyal to a newspaper when the paper shows no loyalty to me a reader who has been buying the paper daily since the 1960's. Once again I left a voicemail to Ms. Kincaid and an email address she leaves on her voicemail. Never heard a peep.

Look everybody in town knows that the Herald is bleeding red ink badly and cutting corners everywhere. The Ira car dealerships just ended print advertising which is a body blow to the paper but there has to be a compelling reason for me to keep spending 50 cents a day for the paper. Metro and BostonNOW are what they are but you get what you pay for with them. But now I am buying both the NY Post and the NY Daily News for my subway ride and a combined cost of $1.75. However I feel I get value for my purchase which the Herald no longer provides.

If I am inclined to see what Howie Carr, Steve Buckley, Gerry Callahan or others are babbling about I can read them online just as I do now for some of my comics. (BTW the NY Post still runs Wizard of Id)

I never wanted to see Boston become a one newspaper town but the reality is we already are.

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