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

The Globe’s OT is O-U-T

The Boston Globe’s sports weekly, OT, might have had a chance if it had been given away at sporting events. A good-quality sports tabloid would have been attractive to advertisers if it could have actually been put into the hands of sports fans.

Instead, the Globe decided to charge 50 cents — a trivial amount, but it made distribution a hassle. (I think I’ve seen it once.) OT never attained lift-off, and, as David Scott reports, it’s now been canceled.

Success would have been difficult under any circumstances, but this was an opportunity lost. (Via Universal Hub.)

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12 Comments

  1. acf

    OT? Never heard of it. The Globe published it? So, where was it sold, and when? All this is from a long time Globe reader. If I’m not even aware of it, how could they expect to sell it anywhere?

  2. Dunwich

    I think the NY Post tried it briefly. Two dumbest cuts I’ve seen are charging for obit’s (since rescinded) and the dropping of the Sunday TV section, both by the Providence Journal.

  3. Ron Newman

    The Globe dropped the Sunday TV magazine months ago.I saw OT for sale at the Government Center T station, and I think at my local CVS.

  4. Amused

    The net press run was 13,500. Looks like they just didn’t want to invest the newsprint. The market for magazine style sports publications seems to be waning quickly as sports devotees who don’t have to wait for scores, highlights and analysis aren’t interested in wading through something a bit more thoughtful.In their instant gratification world, there is no time to wait for perspectrive, or for profiles that are actually sourced (!!) with on-and-off the record interviews and for and not-for attribution comments. They’d rather watch those churn-’em-out TV pieces featuring a) highlights of player, b) public statements by player, associates and foes, c) a script heavy on irony, voiced by a voice you usually hear selling Volvos or insurance and d) the Moronic Talking Head Factor: Brief, usually inane, always off the top of the head, comments by observers who play no role in the subject’s story uttering foolishness. Hence, video of Yaz hitting a homer, tape of Ken Coleman saying Sox win on last of the ninth HR, and 30-something babbling “He was so huge they named a bread after him” or montage of Dave Egan columns, still photo of Ted, and some guy who grew up in New Jersey babbling “Yes, Ted spit at the crowd and Yawkey was mad at him.” I give the Globe credit for trying, but it was a venture aimed at an audience for which reading is less important since every game ever played is within the reach of the clicker.

  5. LFNeilson

    Better to stay with the youth sports, where parents buy papers for scrapbooks and fridge fronts. It takes a consistent effort, so you have a dependable reputation.zzzzzzz

  6. Peter Porcupine

    DT – First, full disclosure; I never buy the Boston Globe, as it merely encourages them. But I am fascinated by this example of piecemeal journalism.This is the second or third reference to a supplement – some stand alone, some not – that the Globe produces. Sidekick, G, now OT. I never saw any of them, but what’s the logic? Instead of putting these stories in your paper, you put them in little Weekly Readers and hope THAT will make money?

  7. Cope

    This is interesting as I just saw it for the first time at the Bruins’ game on Saturday — in racks and presumably free for the taking.In Pittsburgh the Post-Gazette had naming rights to a portion of the stadium and they used to have people handing out free copies of the paper when you walked into Sunday afternoon games (with booths set up on the concourse if you wanted to subscribe). It seemed a lot more effective than a nondescript rack tucked by the men’s room door.

  8. Ron Newman

    Peter: Sidekick was, and ‘g’ is, a regular section of the Globe. OT was a separate tabloid sold separately and not delivered with the Globe.

  9. Dan Kennedy

    PP: Whether coming up with a variety of different products is a good idea or not, it is, nevertheless, current thinking within the newspaper business as to how to survive.The idea is that there is no such thing as a mass audience anymore, so you need to find ways of serving different audiences — and of making money from each of them.

  10. Ani

    It could have been just a function of my age, but I used to have this sense that The New York Times and Walter Cronkite were actually serving not an audience but some higher authority and we in the audience were being allowed to overhear the performance and indirectly benefit from it.

  11. rozzie02131

    I would have bought this at least a time or two if I had EVER seen it on sale. But it wasn’t at my local grocery store, I never saw anybody hawking it at T stops where I travel, and there weren’t any machines where you could buy it.They could make it easier to buy the daily and Sunday Globe for that matter. It used to be that you couldn’t walk through a T stop without somebody selling newspapers right in your face. Now, you have to look for a machine and hope you have enough quarters to buy one. On Sunday it’s even more difficult because most machines don’t have the Sunday paper.

  12. io saturnalia!

    G and, before it, Sidekick are as much about work-flow management as about selling a discrete product. Get the A&E and the "ladies' pages" out of the way early, and focus on more exigent news closer to deadline.OT's problem is that, as a sports tab, it's essentially competing against Patriots Weekly (et al), the USA Today seasonal sports tabs (I can't remember their names — might just be something like "USA Baseball Weekly") and, it can be argued, ESPN the Magazine and Sports Illustrated. However, the latter two boast glossier pages and an avenue for compelling sports photography, and all of OT's competitors are staffed up for the product itself, not just repackaged or reformulated material from the newspaper (at least that's my understanding of OT — like just about everyone here, I never actually saw it).

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