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Vanishing Boston

A field guide to Boston's 'lasting' treasures — to be enjoyed before they're razed in favor of chain stores

herald

The Boston Herald: The scrappy tabloid that was
The parking lot next to the squat, sprawling offices of the Boston Herald, located just south of Chinatown, is still filled with bright-yellow Herald delivery trucks. But earlier this year, the Herald closed its printing presses for good, outsourcing the job to a Dow Jones facility in Chicopee. And with Herald publisher Pat Purcell engaged in a joint venture to develop the real-estate parcel his paper currently calls home, the editorial and business offices could get shipped to the suburbs soon, as well. Of course, that's assuming they're still around at all. Yes, newspapers everywhere are hurting. But the Herald is worse off than most: staff cuts on the news side have gone through the fat into the bone, and the circulation (168,000 on weekdays and 101,000 on Sundays, according to the most recent Audit Bureau of Circulations report) is down in the Red Zone. If Vegas were currently taking bets on the next American daily to go under, the Herald would be a heavy favorite. What's that? You're sick of reading about PERVS!, won't miss Joe Fitzgerald, haven't read the sports section since they dropped the ball on Spygate? Points taken. But consider the benefit to readers when multiple dailies fight to cover the same city. (Even some BostonGlobe staffers pine for the days when the Herald offered tougher competition.) Note, too, that the Herald embodies a fading aspect of Boston's identity — a cranky, blue-collar populism that seems increasingly outmoded as the city morphs into a playground for the rich and a prison for the poor. By all means, hate on the Herald — but fret over its shaky future while you're at it. — Adam Reilly

BOSTON HERALD | At newsstands everywhere, including Out of Town News — while it lasts

Mike Miliard, Adam Reilly, and Chris Faraone are slowly vanishing too. They can be reached at mmiliard@phx.com, areilly@phx.com, and cfaraone@phx.com, respectively.

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