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

What does Times video campaign mean for the Globe?

Trying to figure out where the Boston Globe stands in the New York Times Co. firmament is a little like analyzing the ins and outs of the old Soviet Politburo based on their position on the podium during the May Day parade.

Nevertheless, I couldn’t help but be struck by a story in today’s Times (it also appears in the Globe) reporting that Times content will soon be featured on 850 screens in public places in five cities — including Boston.

The content, according to the story, by Times media reporter Richard Pérez-Peña, will be shown on screens owned by RGM Networks in places such as coffee shops, casual restaurants and newsstands at airports.

Last year, of course, the Times Co. tried to sell the Globe after months of angst, including a threat to shut the paper down, if the paper’s unions wouldn’t agree to $20 million in givebacks. The sale was called off amid reports that neither of the two bidders was willing or perhaps able to come up with sufficient cash.

The Globe remains the Times Co.’s second-biggest paper. So you’d think that the company would avoid doing something that would benefit the Times at the expense of the Globe.

Not to make too much of this. It’s a modest venture, and it’s not as though the Times Co. never promotes its flagship in Boston. But it does play into the notion that, once the economy improves, Arthur Sulzberger and company will put the Globe on the market once again.

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  1. Jerry Ackerman

    Remember the New Yorker cover of years ago that portrayed the landscape of America – with everything west of the Hudson more or less labeled “Indian territory” or “Unexplored”? I sometimes think that in the aeries of Times Tower the picture looking northward is similar, with the view dissolving somewhere just past Stamford. Accordingly, the view of the Globe is most likely blurred – its status relegated to the level of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat or the Houma, Louisiana daily also in the NYTCo fold. Let ’em cover the local stuff, publish the school lunch menus, take photos at the bean suppers – and leave the rest to Daddy. And you know, sad as it may seem, recent experience in the newspaper publishing world at large suggests this may be a viable business plan.

  2. BP Myers

    Recently finished Robert R. McCammon’s The Queen of Bedlam, which takes place at the turn of the seventeenth-century.

    In it, New York is a quaint village of barely 4,000 souls, and though it does have a nascent broadsheet, the Bedbug, it suffers from a severe inferiority complex with regard the more prosperous and Godly Philadelphia and Boston.

    And the recent installation of the cross-dressing Lord Cornbury as Royal Governor is not helping their self-image.

    Good times.

  3. Not sure if this is the same thing, but in Amherst, Mass at a local newsstand the times has a 15″ screen built into a Times display. The video display is updated via internet connected wifi. They installed it last year.

    The content is updated news stories, teasers for the paper, etc.

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