By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

The Globe’s latest venture

Even as the New York Times Co. shrinks its second-largest newspaper, the Boston Globe, the corporate side continues to invest in ventures of dubious journalistic value. Sidekick, of course, is the most visible example. But Media Nation reader M.S. found this yesterday on the Globe’s Web site. Here are the first few lines:

Globe Specialty Products

(a wholly owned subsidiary of The Boston Globe) is launching a series of small circulation, 100% household penetration publications, the Exchange.

* We need an Account Executive NOW (6 more by January ’06)

We will pay $30k salary + Commission + Bonus + Expenses + Medical, Dental, Disability, Life Insurance, 401K, Pension Plan, Stock Purchase Plan, Paid Vacations, Holiday and Sick Pay.

You should expect first year earnings of $55K. 2nd Year $75K+

So what is the Exchange going to be? It sounds like a freely distributed suburban shopper, primed to compete with the Boston Herald’s chain of weekly suburban newspapers. But “small circulation” suggests something else.

This is fine if the Exchange makes money and enables the Globe to invest in news-gathering. But that certainly hasn’t been the case with the nearly ad-free Sidekick, has it?

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  1. Kevin

    I’m confused. Is this going to be a glorified coupon packet? A weekly like the CambridgeTAB? I guess a coupon packet would make money, but how is a Globe TAB going to generate any profit? They wouldn’t attract any clients that the daily edition doesn’t already have, would they?

  2. Ron Newman

    The Globe tried free suburban shoppers once before, a few years back. They were called “Headliners”, and only lasted a year or two.

  3. Sudoku fan

    Why such hostility toward Sidekick? Doesn’t it deserve a chance?

  4. Anonymous

    Let’s see, we have the zoned twice-weekly sections, designed to take out the competing suburban dailies; buying into the Metro to head off letting it cannabize sales; its lame attempts at creating a knockoff of the Phoenix; this new apparent attempt to kill all the suburban weeklies, and Sidekick, which … well, I’m not sure what exactly Sidekick is supposed to be. Anyways, I’m guessing they’re too busy focusing on their attempts to devour the entire print journalism industry in this city to notice the main product is a shell of its former self.

  5. Anonymous

    Whoever came up with the phrase “re-arranging the deck chairs on The Titanic” must have been a Globe employee. Talk about clueless…

  6. mike_b1

    Where I live (W. Roxbury) the Globe is running a campaign touting its neighborhood coverage. This while it uses the same “correspondents” as the free paper, the Bulletin. Both elements are laughable.

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