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Boston Herald Publisher Pat Purcell On The Future Of The Newspaper

Mar 29, 2012|

Boston Herald owner and publisher Pat Purcell joined us to celebrate the opening of the new Herald offices and take questions on the newspaper business.

Transcript - will not be 100% accurate

As you know audio and work at the Boston Herald and that Syria been working their for a long time and we recently we recently moved. With -- the south and for a number of years. That one on Harrison avocado and that we just moved to the it's we don't -- we don't printing presses any more than papers printed elsewhere. And today is today that the the new offices are being officially on unveiled in and I we're joined on the line by yeah pat Purcell. The publisher of the Boston Herald and the owner of the Boston Herald that it's good to have you here on the Howie -- show. -- thanks cameo we'll listen are are rough we in the black that's what people all was asked me. Yeah. Pretty much pretty much. So we're -- that we are gonna survive is that that's -- that's correct course we are. I try I just. I just have to get that out there there's everybody's always ask him you know it's been a you don't have a tough time for newspapers over the last few years with especially with the Internet. Absolutely and you know we've been I think we've been extremely resourceful over the years. People have been. Counting us out especially since the from the time that I bought the paperback in 1994. And you know I think. Can I -- been told by people from a global employees that they they actually budgeted for our demise almost every year until recently so you know it's pretty gratifying that we. Still around. We budgeting for their demise. No I wouldn't go that -- I remember other day that they the that the day they announced back in I think 2009 that they were about to go out of business and you know they didn't get these concessions I was out of a restaurant that night in the back they all these people were coming up to millions and kid saying just come up and say congratulations I know I wouldn't want you finally won this I never I never heard that before and I'm glad that the newspaper personal sales. But you know what -- it's a shame -- -- world gone through. Really really dramatic changes and you know the the the the editorial team that we have in place is really trying to exploit. All the -- detection technology the -- -- we're using a lot more video now and you know -- is going to be able to take advantage of all sorts of promotional opportunities and in our audience is really love and at our audience is up dramatically. And you know terms of visits in terms of time spent on the on the web site. And and the Paper. Is it is more important than it's ever been even gone back to when you know our circulation was at an all time high so. The number of people who rely on us every single day it is is bigger than it's ever been so with you know we've we've we're very encouraged by that now. You know now just a question of making sure the the advertisers understand that and you know starts spend some money -- 18774694322. Of you wanna talk about the the the Harold or just newspapers in general you have questions about pat Purcell was with us the owner of the Boston Herald and he's one of the survivors. And it you know pat it it is it is rather ironic isn't it that you know every every six months the BC numbers audit bureau of circulation numbers come down all the newspapers -- way our way down and circulation. Yet yet the the irony the great irony is there's probably more people reading The Herald and every other newspaper and how -- than have ever been reading the papers. It's just the absolute truth and you know we still -- all know and we've always we've always maintained our. Are focused on local news that's always been -- Bellwether. -- Practically speaking we couldn't afford to do much else. But we we would -- and now better than -- very redundant and and so I think people appreciate debt and in every most of the papers are coming around our way of thinking anyway. Yeah the the other thing that truly ironic too is that you know you know -- -- came along you know back in the seventies and a -- about the -- ever used at the the old timers serves quarter and portal timers used to talk about you know having an addition every hour and a yeah you know but that they had the -- rewrite men you know who were standing by and they would take the stories from like man and that sort of thing. And you know then then we went to this a situation where we're going -- one edition today basically you know we did the morning or afternoon editions. But with the with the Internet -- you know you have to. If you think that he if you think the globe horror or somebody else is gonna beat you to the punch with a story you you have to -- what that story immediately it's almost like we're back to the old to the old days you know where there's an addition every war you know. -- mean like the story there's a story now on the on on the front page of The Herald there if I call up front package that home page of The Herald about the the three lifers giving getting. Getting up -- I mean that's a that's a story that normally does somebody would've written about 7 or 8 o'clock tonight you know in the old days but now what now listeners this was the story breaks at like 10 o'clock in the morning. Boom it's up there in 1520 minutes. There's there's no additions didn't even when we started we introduced our. Our new and what we took the Paper on on the Internet you know people talk about what what are we gonna break it and you know we -- the -- -- between pearl for a long time what we should hold certain stories today that things have. We know that of the people are gonna happen we're gonna put a map they're quicker and then and then beat everybody else in the -- Now it doesn't matter anymore you gotta you gotta get after this thing that I would say -- Men and tanks. Thanks to view into Marjorie and over the columnists one of the things that we can still hang our hat on his. The unique voices that we have. Whether it's our editorial page whether it's our columnists. Whether it's a sports reporters you know that unique content and unique voice is critical to our. Importance to readers. Yeah it's it's also amazing to be how how heavy obvious forces of the sports pages. How many hits vague yet you know some days some somebody's all five of the top stories we're getting the most -- -- sports sports stories you know -- just. It's just like you've got to you've got to have people people love to read the and I'm sure it's beat and it's like just like people listen to this radio show down in Florida. You know they they listen on the Internet they the they read the Paper ballot down in Florida you know there and everywhere and everywhere else around the world. There's no geographical limits and there's all the time constraints no geographic constraints it's you know. The world is our oyster. Right and everybody is is our -- Every -- you know whether or whether every newspaper every radio station every Internet. You know a lot of streaming streaming device TV. You and I have talked about you know I was getting into the radio business and you know I've talked to other people about being able to combined with a TV station. We our -- media company now weeds you know we have we have we have voice we have video. We have at all and it's in it's it's right there forever for people to take advantage of mono whatsoever. Yeah ask pat -- used to these attacks now and again that's another reason again we'll take some calls -- if you if you -- 617. Or seven security 8774694322. Asked pat if he thinks that Carroll was doing better than the globe because it's a more conservative newspaper. I think we each have our audience I think there's there's a larger audience for the globe. And certainly in Massachusetts for their point of view I think there's a larger audience for us -- our point of view and and that's the beauty of being in this community because. Well one of the few to newspaper cans left in America -- mean you know Boston New York Chicago Washington DC. A lot of the other papers so to some extent San Francisco let the other pavement like the other top ten markets step toward markets. There's just one Paper and and and one primary voice poor. For -- community and and and that's and that's and that's really a shame because. You know there -- an awful lot of people who you know really would rely on or could could turn to. Someone with a more conservative point of view and so where I think you know that's that's. That's a service that I wanna continue to provide her forever if we can possibly do that. Yeah I -- I agree I mean I -- I I -- say its own self serving -- -- say this -- -- -- town with two newspapers no matter how bad is better -- in the town with one newspaper no matter -- good question because your monopoly you only got to get the one person and you know that's you know 11 -- one publisher and that you couldn't you can keep something in under -- and that's just so glad to -- -- yeah they'll Wear -- no -- Did it by the way that pat just let something slip about a radio stations I think that's in the that's in the past while pat as -- Yeah that's pretty much and that's pretty much in the past I mean there's no. That the rule the rule is still in place. You know unless. Someone was in danger and what's going out of business the FCC would probably not look favorably on. I -- trying to buy our -- for example. But. But I think you know that there's almost no need anymore because as I mentioned earlier we do. We do video we do voice we do we do prints we got at all. For readers to take advantage of right now. Assault was complaining the price like the 150 outside of the fifty mile radius he's from New Hampshire I just don't buy it as much access. Well you know we've got to get the money from somewhere we're gonna continue to serve our readers and you know the advertising. Advertising revenue for all newspapers across the country is down about 50% since 2007. Astonishing in the newspaper industry. To get too technical here but the newspaper industry has lost. Forty billion dollars in the last ten years and advertising -- it's gone from sixty billion for the industry in the United States to twenty billion. It cracked the twenty billion mark in 1951 and now it's back to where it started. So you know we. Unfortunately the advertisers are. Have turned to other other other avenues Google for example went from no ad revenue to twenty billion in ten years so -- it's it's actually amazing and the the pretty efforts that we're putting for two to capture more advertising dollars on the Internet. If that continues to grow and it's hard pretty dramatically right now that continues to grow then then then cut the prices and stabilize its. Yeah the good here. Yeah the it's it's ironic too that you know global always used to kill us in the old days to say all the classified advertising you don't -- story to World War II but but you know when you've always used to say when the global got a call we caught pneumonia well you know this time with classifieds went away we call a cold in the globe but caught pneumonia. Absolutely I mean that they used to run fifty pages of help wanted advertising every Sunday. Now it's three. It's just folded into this little this -- -- Tabloid section and I don't. Mean to. Me and everything. About that -- -- have broken up what that's like when they tell like the globe magazine that big shoes of being a smaller than the CVS up I don't know about losing too much sleep over that these were more for the industry. Billiard acts with a point guard pat Purcell the owner publisher Harold go ahead bill. Our this is an interesting. Topic to me that Bobby is going we're talking about at the dangers of put the story O line and they have no you know dividend date that summit of our objective thing we write it and what they'll do it anymore. And I mean the beauty all the newspapers like everything had to be double selected and there was no product that can attack. Well in the -- the best or another -- are we doing Matt. Yet the stories the stories in the on the newspaper web sites are still pretty much. China. Some of it and our government arm of the show you -- are you were talking about. Telecommuting although they although -- with the story that summit could actually. -- you know activity you're. Lions take it. I don't know what you have to. About Abdullah at that has happened I mean I think the problem is obvious sometimes you're that the problem is that everybody is is out they're putting up things like the trade on -- nothing that happened recently this week somebody put up by a so somebody Photoshop directory tree on Martin and have been given the finger. 21 given to grab your record that was that was not a news that was a that was done by that was involved my newspaper web site to review the problem was that got picked up by some people were pretty reputable like that Michelle Malkin and she had to apologize -- cut -- kind of like on the other sites Spike Lee had to apologize for right -- -- wrong address for rob. For the -- that's evident that April. Yeah no he did he did it was it was terrible thing they -- the -- thanks for the call -- Charles your next with how we Kerr and pat Purcell go ahead Charles. Interest in the case where you were sued by the mosque in black -- -- brought to stay off the I would -- -- also send. And I thought of as you and I source that forty boxes of discovery material. I'm a little. I think that that its schedule a policy that's it's. It's. The that they stop incitement ineffectual was it something else can do as an advocate illegal. -- get my deposition. What are arrest what are rationale for that is so. I think -- will that the court play out on the island OK -- -- -- taken -- that went out. Okay thanks thanks Charles 1877469432. To keep your next with Howie -- and pat Purcell. Go ahead keep. And there guys. I just step in -- years ago I remember she imperil trucks down here on the tape every single day and I was on delivery and spoke for. I looked him -- -- delivery short time ago. They sent it wasn't available on the tape anymore what we have to see that they again. I hope so it's once again it's sick it's a question of economics and you know it's it's it's tough to serve an audience when it was his little as limited as it was. And so you know we are and especially now when you can and you know you can still you can access the Paper. In numerous ways without our having to. Physically deliver it you know it's not. You know for those of us is still need to hold something in our hand it's not it's not the greatest solution that. What I -- what I'm trying to do is keep this voice alive for as many people for as long as I can't so that's that's kind of driving everything. Like I always say that for one's like can pat you know say Satan who's used for a. Okay how did you around for a -- Hey enjoy -- Paper. I'll keep reading it but we've got I might have a stroke and my driveway on. Thank you thank you keep 18774694322. I still like going on and get that every morning it's -- -- it is it is fun to get them off the the drive for -- -- actually right about that. That they know that vicarious. Experience of just to turn the pages and you know just -- to implement them -- expecting is really it's still drives me. Yeah I love seeing my kids might my kids were teenagers to look at the Paper to me and that's just look to see -- reading Iranian newspaper mean people. People gotta have the -- people need to do you know when the early sources of information and yet people seem to be more ignorant now about current events and politics than they than they ever have bandits it's ridiculous you know they're wasting their time on the Internet they were there just. You know to. Chewing gum for the guy faces Fred Allen used to say of TV now Bob your next what -- -- pat Purcell go ahead Bob. -- -- -- Hello hello -- This kind of trivial thing but. -- the newspaper we've seen over Logan Airport. I've noticed -- I bought my north on the scene NORTHERN IRELAND remain the same. There anything that matters but it's an isolated incidents missile and and actually understood the question could you know on the you know the Paper boxes and -- -- -- -- -- In the -- plot element missing has gotten. Is that a friend over there and log in order don't go to I'm. You know what's appropriate you know as the price gets up and you have to use you know instead of four point six -- five coins whatever the case may -- Sometimes that once again that becomes an economical. So old you know some even you may have to go get it at the you know inside the terminal. Okay panorama. OK okay thanks -- rush your next with how we card pat Purcell owner publisher of the Boston Herald go ahead rushed. -- I would -- that out that what I really thank you of people in the Paper alive Dexia creativity. I'm in my sixties definitely but that doesn't I would think kids. Used to be the awaiting some related this year and so I can bring the price drops my -- -- -- the big numbers. -- love you. Know exactly where it's. -- the other big Iowa you know I mean and now that the atmosphere. Printed in distributed. People about it that -- Part of it is and we as you know about three years ago. And in Lou we're gonna it was in about twenty minutes of them have a group of people commitment and it talked about. Just you know the reasons for the move to the new office and we have a we have we herald put out a special section back in 1959. To. Celebrate the opening of the the -- herald building -- Harrison avenue. That was 53 years ago and it would brand new presses brand new technology. Which today and which for years ago was actually archaic. And they want -- that one of those those presses were was when would not function. Couldn't keep them running. So it made its decision to outsource to. Two Chicopee and street. -- yeah it's yeah what more recently we we moved to prevent part of the production to the globe which. You know they they recognized makes sense and we part of it distribution. We combined with the of the people now so. You know we'd -- twice as many. Pleased with both of -- used to -- twice as many papers. And print twice as many and we go to the same location so. But just from a practical standpoint it makes sense we're. Cannot have two -- to trucks and two sets it. Same situation in Chicago right -- with the Tribune and the sun times and and you know -- it's -- it's not just The Herald it's printed on Morrissey boulevard now it's what the patriot ledger of the enterprise all the New York papers that that there were voters circulated in Albion in Boston. And yet the yet to circulate the print circulation is is so far down -- they've never even had to to reopen the bill -- a printing press. Protestors. So they've sold Divx -- at least one of those press is often I'm not sure what they've done with the other -- Yeah -- thanks for the call -- Jim your next what powered car and pat Purcell. -- gonna take amber what were called and we'll take a break here go ahead jump. -- expect in the attic. Great newspaper and my one -- immigrant. One criticism would be the web site like -- go. What's -- Arnold knock on eject -- -- on polished version but it if you go to trust you get as clean air urgent. And I iPod opposes. You know at stake in such job with the website -- get anywhere close to a lot of people paid for it yeah. And apparel and it's just great they are still I'd still disgruntled I don't read it -- and really. Thank you thank you thank you -- I don't know -- -- -- how they created that America. Alex thanks very much -- -- I guess. I didn't know where we're all about face thanks pat and -- so why you're gonna you're gonna have the unveiling of the official unveiling of the offices the new offices this afternoon that enjoyed. Great thanks a lot parent around compartment and played OK I'll talk to as soon pat thank you. That's pat Purcell -- owner publisher of the Boston Herald and I just wanna check him it's things that things are changing. Wrap up we in the newspaper business and let the -- Malia. Pat's -- been very much honest pose them we've been able survive well while some of the papers. Have I recently and -- as long as one is you know. People like -- -- a lot of that most of the other people were there have anything to say about a week and keep you know keep him go 11877469432. To -- --