Boston Herald

Last updated on 13 November 2017

The Boston Herald is an American daily newspaper whose primary market is Boston, Massachusetts and its surrounding area. It was founded in 1846 and is one of the oldest daily newspapers in the United States. It has been awarded eight Pulitzer Prizes in its history, including four for editorial writing and three for photography before it was converted to tabloid format in 1981. The Herald was named one of the "10 Newspapers That 'Do It Right'" in 2012 by Editor & Publisher.[2]

Boston Herald
Boston Herald logo.png
Boston Herald (cover).jpg
Type Daily newspaper
Format Tabloid
Owner(s) Herald Media Inc.
Publisher Patrick J. Purcell
Editor Joe Sciacca
Founded 1846
Headquarters 70 Fargo Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02210
United States
Circulation 95,929 weekdays
73,913 Saturdays
73,043 Sundays in Q1–2 FY2013[1]
ISSN 0738-5854


The Herald's history can be traced back through two lineages, the Daily Advertiser and the old Boston Herald, and two media moguls, William Randolph Hearst and Rupert Murdoch.

Old Boston Herald Building.png
The old Herald headquarters at 255 Washington Street (built 1878)

The Original Boston Herald

The original Boston Herald was founded in 1846 by a group of Boston printers jointly under the name of John A. French & Company. The paper was published as a single two-sided sheet, selling for one cent. Its first editor, William O. Eaton, just 22 years old, said "The Herald will be independent in politics and religion; liberal, industrious, enterprising, critically concerned with literacy and dramatic matters, and diligent in its mission to report and analyze the news, local and global."

In 1847, the Boston Herald absorbed the Boston American Eagle and the Boston Daily Times.[3]

The Boston Herald and Boston Journal

In October 1917, John H. Higgins, the publisher and treasurer of the Boston Herald[4] bought out its next door neighbor The Boston Journal and created The Boston Herald and Boston Journal[5]

The American Traveler

Even earlier than the Herald, the weekly American Traveler was founded in 1825 as a bulletin for stagecoach listings.[6]

The Boston Evening Traveller

The Boston Evening Traveler was founded in 1845. The Boston Evening Traveler was the successor to the weekly American Traveler and the semi-weekly Boston Traveler.[7] In 1912, the Herald acquired the Traveler, continuing to publish both under their own names. For many years, the newspaper was controlled by many of the investors in United Shoe Machinery Co. After a newspaper strike in 1967, Herald-Traveler Corp. suspended the afternoon Traveler and absorbed the evening edition into the Herald to create the Boston Herald Traveler.

The Boston Daily Advertiser

Boston Advertiser Building.png
The old Boston Advertiser Building

The Boston Daily Advertiser was established in 1813 in Boston by Nathan Hale. The paper grew to prominence throughout the 19th century, taking over other Boston area papers. In 1832 The Advertiser took over control of The Boston Patriot, and then in 1840 it took over and absorbed The Boston Gazette.[8] The paper was purchased by William Randolph Hearst in 1917. In 1920 the Advertiser was merged with The Boston Record, initially the combined newspaper was called the Boston Advertiser however when the combined newspaper became an illustrated tabloid in 1921 it was renamed The Boston American.[9] Hearst Corp. continued using the name Advertiser for its Sunday paper until the early 1970s.

The Boston Record

On September 3, 1884, The Boston Evening Record was started by the Boston Advertiser as a campaign newspaper. The Record was so popular that it was made a permanent publication.[6]

The Boston American

In 1904, William Randolph Hearst began publishing his own newspaper in Boston called The American. Hearst ultimately ended up purchasing the Daily Advertiser in 1917. By 1938, the Daily Advertiser had changed to the Daily Record, and The American had become the Sunday Advertiser. A third paper owned by Hearst, called the Afternoon Record, which had been renamed the Evening American, merged in 1961 with the Daily Record to form the Record American. The Sunday Advertiser and Record American would ultimately be merged in 1972 into The Boston Herald Traveler a line of newspapers that stretched back to the old Boston Herald.

The Boston Herald Traveler

In 1946, Herald-Traveler Corporation acquired Boston radio station WHDH. Two years later, WHDH-FM was licensed, and on November 26, 1957, WHDH-TV made its début as an ABC affiliate on channel 5. In 1961, WHDH-TV's affiliation switched to CBS. Herald-Traveler Corp. operated for years under temporary authority from the Federal Communications Commission stemming from controversy over luncheon meetings the newspaper's chief executive had with an FCC commissioner during the original licensing process (Some Boston broadcast historians accuse the Boston Globe of being covertly behind the proceeding. The Herald Traveler was Republican in sympathies, and the Globe then had a firm policy of not endorsing political candidates.) The FCC ordered comparative hearings, and in 1969 a competing applicant, Boston Broadcasters, Inc. was granted a construction permit to replace WHDH-TV on channel 5. Herald-Traveler Corp. fought the decision in court—by this time, revenues from channel 5 were all but keeping the newspaper afloat—but its final appeal ran out in 1972, and on March 19 WHDH-TV was forced to surrender channel 5 to the new WCVB-TV.

The Boston Herald Traveler and Record American

Without a television station to subsidize the newspaper, the Herald Traveler was no longer able to remain in business, and the newspaper was sold to Hearst Corporation, which published the rival all-day newspaper, the Record American. The two papers were merged to become an all-day paper called the Boston Herald Traveler and Record American in the morning and Record-American and Boston Herald Traveler in the afternoon. The first editions published under the new combined name were those of June 19, 1972. The afternoon edition was soon dropped and the unwieldy name shortened to Boston Herald American, with the Sunday edition called the Sunday Herald Advertiser. The Herald American was printed in broadsheet format, and failed to target a particular readership; where the Record American had been a typical city tabloid, the Herald Traveler was a Republican paper.

Murdoch purchases The Herald American

The Herald American converted to tabloid format in September 1981, but Hearst faced steep declines in circulation and advertising. The company announced it would close the Herald American—making Boston a one-newspaper town—on December 3, 1982. When the deadline came, Australian media baron Rupert Murdoch was negotiating to buy the paper and save it. He closed on the deal after 30 hours of talks with Hearst and newspaper unions—and five hours after Hearst had sent out notices to newsroom employees telling them they were terminated. The newspaper announced its own survival the next day with a full-page headline: "You Bet We're Alive!"[10]

The Boston Herald once again

Murdoch changed the paper's name back to the Boston Herald. The Herald continued to grow, expanding its coverage and increasing its circulation until 2001, when nearly all newspapers fell victim to declining circulations and revenue.

Independent ownership

In February 1994, Murdoch's News Corporation was forced to sell the paper, in order that its subsidiary Fox Television Stations could legally consummate its purchase of Fox affiliate WFXT (Channel 25) because Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy included language in an appropriations barring one company from owning a newspaper and television station in the same market.[11][12][13] Patrick J. Purcell, who was the publisher of the Boston Herald and a former News Corporation executive, purchased the Herald and established it as an independent newspaper. Several years later, Purcell would give the Herald a suburban presence it never had by purchasing the money-losing Community Newspaper Company from Fidelity Investments. Although the companies merged under the banner of Herald Media, Inc., the suburban papers maintained their distinct editorial and marketing identity.

After years of operating profits at Community Newspaper and losses at the Herald, Purcell in 2006 sold the suburban chain to newspaper conglomerate Liberty Group Publishing of Illinois, which soon after changed its name to GateHouse Media. The deal, which also saw GateHouse acquiring The Patriot Ledger and The Enterprise respectively in south suburban Quincy and Brockton, netted $225 million for Purcell, who vowed to use the funds to clear the Herald's debt and reinvest in the Paper.[14]

Boston Herald Radio

On August 5, 2013, the Herald launched an internet radio station named Boston Herald Radio which includes radio shows by much of the Herald staff.[15][16] The station's morning lineup is simulcast on 830 AM WCRN from 10 AM Eastern time to 12 noon Eastern time.


The Herald's four Pulitzer Prizes for Editorial Writing, in 1924, 1927, 1949 and 1954, are among the most awarded to a single newspaper in the category. In 1957 Harry Trask was a young staff photographer at the Traveler when he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for his photo sequence of the sinking of SS Andrea Doria in July 1956. Herald photographer Stanley Forman received two Pulitzer Prizes consecutively in 1976 and 1977, the first for Fire Escape Collapse, a dramatic shot of a young child falling in mid-air from her mother's arms on the upper stories of a burning apartment building to the waiting arms of firefighters below. The 1977 Pulitzer was awarded for The Soiling of Old Glory, as Ted Landsmark, an African American civil rights lawyer, was charged at by a protester with an American flag during the Boston busing crisis. The 1978 Pulitzer for Feature photography for staff coverage of The Blizzard of 1978.

In 2006, the Herald won two SABEW awards from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers: one for its breaking news coverage of the takeover of the Boston-based Gillette Company by Procter & Gamble, and another for "overall excellence."[17]


  • Joe Sciacca is the paper's editor-in-chief. Sciacca is a former political reporter and columnist.
  • Warren T. Brookes was an economics reporter at The Herald from 1975 until 1985, when he moved to the Detroit News but based in Washington, D.C.[18]
  • Howie Carr writes extensively on local politics and is a radio talk show host and frequent TV commentator.
  • Peter Gelzinis is a longtime metro columnist, as is Joe Fitzgerald, who was formerly a sports columnist.
  • Joe Battenfeld is the Herald's political columnist and multi-media reporter.
  • Michael Graham is an op-ed columnist for the Boston Herald.
  • Gerry Callahan is a sports columnist and talk show host for WEEI.
  • Steve Buckley is a longtime sports columnist.
  • Olivia Vanni writes the Herald's Inside Track[19] and covers celebrity news.
  • Bob McGovern is the Herald's legal columnist and also works as a reporter.
  • Peter Lucas was a longtime political columnist and reporter
  • Ron Borges is a sports columnist.


Borges has been named Massachusetts Sportswriter of the Year by the National Association of Sportswriters and Sports Broadcasters five times since 1999. He also holds the record for most first prizes and overall awards in the annual competition of the Professional Boxing Writers Association. He has also been awarded a half dozen writing awards in the Associated Press Sports Editors' annual competition and his work has been included in the annual anthology "Best Sports Stories" eight times. He has been awarded either a first or second prize 20 times in writing competitions held by the Professional Football Writers Association as well, including multiple awards in the same year three times. In 1995, he was the recipient of the Nat Fleischer Award for boxing journalism from the Boxing Writers Association of America. He is one of less than 25 boxing writers to ever receive that honor.


Borges' hostile opinions have frequently earned him criticism. He has severely criticized Bill Belichick; some media figures, including Bill Simmons, have asserted that this is because Borges relied on former quarterback Drew Bledsoe, benched and traded by Belichick, as his primary source of Patriots information. Borges also wrote a controversial column asserting that Lance Armstrong is not an athlete.

In person, most people have been very kind to me, A few people haven't, usually when they're under the influence of some stimulants or depressants. It's not nice. I don't like it. It happened to me once in a mall with my daughter when she was about 10 years old. Some guy was cursing and yelling. I tried to use it as a learning experience for her on how not to behave. I'd be lying if I said I thought it was cool. But I accept it. I'm not complaining. I know what this is.[20]

Borges was a stand in for WWF referee and wrestler Danny Davis whenever the WWF did house shows in France and Florida. Borges was the in game commentator for the Battle of the Network star-American Gladitors crossover video game on Sega Saturn in 1997 and for its sequel on the 3DS in 2006.

Ron Borges also played a part in starting the long running feud between the Boston Globe and Boston sports talk radio station WEEI. In 1999, the Boston Globe's executive sports editor banned Globe sportswriters from appearing on WEEI's afternoon 'The Big Show' after Borges appeared on it and allegedly used a racial slur to describe New York Yankees pitcher Hideki Irabu. Glenn Ordway, host of the show defended Borges stating that he was only trying to 'recall Yankees owner George Steinbrenner's infamous description of Irabu as a "fat, pussy toad."[21] Ordway claims he corrected Borges on the air and was surprised when the ban was announced. Two weeks later, Skwar banned Globe sportswriters from appearing on WEEI's morning Dennis and Callahan Show because of its perceived lowbrow humor. After this ban, WEEI retaliated by banning Globe sportswriters from all WEEI programs.[22]

Altercation with Michael Katz

In June 2004, Borges was involved in a physical altercation with New York Times and reporter Michael Katz at a press conference in Las Vegas. Reports state that Katz was in the process of interviewing boxing promoter Bob Arum when Borges interrupted to ask Arum a question. Katz objected to the interruption and allegedly accused Borges of "being a shill for" boxing promoter Don King. In a column earlier in the year Katz had called Borges "a vomit-smelling sleaze" and criticized Borges for "writing about a fight without revealing he was being paid by King to provide television commentary". Borges responded by striking Katz, who responded by striking at Borges with his cane. Katz was described as "a short, fat man in his 60s who walks with a cane and wears a neck brace because of chronic back problems". The fight between the two was broken up by Arum and his aide.[23][24]

Plagiarism allegations

On March 4, 2007, Borges was caught in plagiarism allegations after an online reader on's New England Patriots message board revealed that there were extensive similarities between a March 4 article by Borges in the Boston Globe and a February 25 article written by sportswriter Mike Sando of the Tacoma News Tribune.[25] On March 5, Borges was suspended for plagiarism by the Globe, without pay, and barred from broadcast appearances for two months.[26]

Other Globe columnists on Borges

  • "Borges doesn't care, I think he fires away and doesn't think about the fans or anyone else. I think he fires away with honesty and candor with no other objective but to tell people what he really thinks. And if people don't like it, fuck 'em." – Bob Ryan[20]
  • "He's always expressed his opinions, bluntly." – former Globe sports editor Don Skwar.[20]
  • "We should have one of those Globe polls—'Who do you hate more?' I've challenged Borges to see who could get out the vote. It would be close. And it would be a lot more interesting than who’s going to win the MVP." – Dan Shaughnessy[20]

Transition to The Boston Herald

On May 18, 2007, Less than two weeks after returning from his 2-month suspension for plagiarism, Borges announced his retirement from the Globe.[27] In October 2008, Borges resumed his role as a Boston sportswriter, this time with the Boston Herald.

Boston Herald in Education Program

The Boston Herald Newspapers in Education (NIE) program provides teachers with classroom newspapers and educational materials designed to help students of all ages and abilities excel. This is made possible through donations from Herald readers and other sponsors. The Boston Herald is available in two formats: the print edition and the online e-Edition. The website can be found at


The Boston Herald prices are: $2.00($2.50 Outside Greater Boston) daily, $3.00 Sunday.[28]

See also


  1. ^ "AAM Report: Circulation Averages for the Six Months Ended March 31, 2013". Arlington Heights, Ill.: Audit Bureau of Circulations. Retrieved May 19, 2013.
  2. ^ Kristina Ackermann, "10 Newspapers That 'Do It Right' 2012". Editor & Publisher, March 12, 2012.
  3. ^ King, Moses (1881), King's Hand-book of Boston ...: Profusely Illustrated, Cambridge, Ma: Moses King, pp. 268–269
  4. ^ The New York Times "James H. Higgins, Retired Publisher; Also Was Treasurer of Boston Herald for 10 Years After Merger With Traveler DIES AT CENTRAL VALLEY In 1917 He Bought The Boston Journal and Consolidated It With The Herald". The New York Times, page 13, August 1, 1938.
  5. ^ The New York Times "Boston Papers Merged.; Herald Absorbs The Journal and Will Use the Joint Title". The New York Times, page 12, October 6, 1917.
  6. ^ a b Stanwood, Edward (1886), Boston Illustrated: Containing Full Descriptions of the City and Its Immediate Suburbs, Its Public Buildings and Institutions, Business Edifices, Parks and Avenues, Statues, Harbor and Islands, Etc., Etc. With Numerous Historical Allusions, Boston, Ma, New York, N.Y., Cambridge, Ma: Houghton, Mifflin and Co, The Riverside Press, p. 104
  7. ^ King, Moses (1881), King's Hand-book of Boston ...: Profusely Illustrated, Cambridge, Ma: Moses King, p. 267
  8. ^ The Encyclopædia Britannica: A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, Literature and General Information, 19, New York, NY: Encyclopædia Britannica, 1911, p. 567
  9. ^ Hudson, Frederic (2000), American Journalism, 1690-1940, New York, N.Y.: Routledge, pp. 661–662, ISBN 0-415-22894-8
  10. ^ "Purcell Toasts 25th Anniversary of Herald's Survival". NEPA Bulletin (Boston, Mass.), December 2007, page 11.
  11. ^ Gold, Allan R. (January 11, 1988). "Kennedy vs. Murdoch: Test of Motives". The New York Times. Retrieved November 22, 2012.
  12. ^ Gold, Allan R. (January 7, 1988). "Kennedy and Paper Battle in Boston". The New York Times. Retrieved November 22, 2012.
  13. ^ Lenzner, Robert. "Rupert Murdoch,The Boston Globe, And Me". Forbes. Retrieved November 22, 2012.
  14. ^ Bailey, Steve, and Robert Gavin. "Herald's Owner to Sell Suburban Papers". The Boston Globe, May 6, 2006.
  15. ^ Joe Dwinell. [1]. The Boston Herald, July 29, 2013.
  16. ^ Alyssa Martino [2]. CommonWealth Magazine, August 7, 2013.
  17. ^ Boston Herald staff, "Herald named `best in business'". Boston Herald, Finance page 31, April 5, 2006.
  18. ^ "Warren Brookes, 62, Syndicated Columnist". The New York Times. December 30, 1991. Retrieved November 24, 2016.
  19. ^ Inside Track | Boston Herald
  20. ^ a b c d Gonzales, John (November 2006). "Mr. Popularity". Boston Magazine.
  21. ^ APRIL, 1999 |
  22. ^ Don't Quote Me | Archived December 25, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  23. ^ David, Weber (2004-06-05). "Heavyweight Times Co. scribes go a couple of rounds in Vegas". Boston Herald.
  24. ^ Cote, John (2004-06-08). "Winners emerge from no-decision". ST. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 2007-05-04.
  25. ^ "A cyberspace episode of "24"". Cold, Hard Football Facts. March 5, 2007.
  26. ^ Paulson, Michael (March 6, 2007). "Globe suspends sports reporter Borges". The Boston Globe.
  27. ^ Borges retires from Globe.
  28. ^ "Notice to Herald Readers". May 5, 2017. Archived from the original on |archive-url= requires |archive-date= (help). Retrieved 2017-09-25.

Further reading

  • Perry, Edwin A. (1878), The Boston Herald and Its History, The Herald
  • Sterling Quinlan, The Hundred Million Dollar Lunch (Chicago, J.P. O'Hara, 1974), ISBN 0-87955-310-3.

External links

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