Boston Herald Is Remarkably Gracious on News of the Boston Globe Sale

A visit from John Henry seems to have wooed the local rival.

New Boston Globe owner John Henry has a daunting—some might say impossible—task ahead of him running a local newspaper in an internet age, but hey, it seems he’s already accomplished one impossibility: He got the Boston Herald editorial board to say something gracious about their cross-town rivals. In today’s dispatch, the board reports that soon after purchasing the Globe, Henry showed up to the Herald offices:

Henry and his co-owners came to the Herald for a lunch
eon with the publisher and editors. Henry came bearing a hatchet — yes, a real hatchet — which he insisted he had come to bury. It was a memorable moment.

In the rough and tumble businesses of sports and media a little bit of humor goes a long way.

How long a way do Henry’s theatrics go? Well, it got the Herald to say this:

[T]he fact that The New York Times has found a buyer for The Boston Globe and its related properties—and a financially savvy buyer at that—is indeed good news for the community and, yes, even for those of us here at the Boston Herald.

Elsewhere, they call the Globe a “worthy competitor,” which … what is going on here? This is a paper that regularly gives over inch space to local Newman-impersonator Howie Carr, who gleefully imagines the Globe going out of business.

But lest you think there’s been some kind of cosmic tear in the local media fabric, Carr has already issued a column on the Globe’s sale. “There’s a sucker born every minute,” Carr said of Henry’s decision to purchase “the Titanic” and “other assorted media dinosaurs.” It always amazes to see Carr writing such things as if the Boston Herald is somehow immune from the trends of print journalism. (But then again, the Herald is diversifying. They have a radio station, as their editorial irrelevantly reminded us for the 1,726th time this week.)

But back to the saner editorial board. No one, least of all the two newspaper staffs, would want them to truly bury the hatchet. Their sniping and grumbling about the other’s misdeeds is too fun to watch. (Already, the Herald’s news pages have been all over the idea that Henry’s ownership will corrupt the Globe’s sports coverage.) But it is nice to see them remind us that a city is better off with two newspapers than one, and that the one’s survival can only bode will for the other’s future.