MEET THE NEW BOSS. It's hard to imagine a worse public-relations (or, frankly, substantive) move than this. Yesterday the Boston Globe's corporate owner, the New York Times Company, named James Kilts, the man who's trying to destroy Boston icon Gillette, to its board of directors.
"We are delighted to have Jim join our Board," said Arthur Sulzberger Jr., chairman of the Times Company. "He has 30 years of consumer products industry experience under his belt and is highly regarded as an innovator and industry leader. His skills, expertise and leadership will benefit us greatly."
The Boston Herald has the requisite amount of fun with this, headlining its story "Who's Your Daddy?" According to the article, by Jay Fitzgerald and Brett Arends, Globe editor Marty Baron was unavailable, and neither executive editor Helen Donovan nor Globe spokesman Al Larkin would comment.
I don't believe the Globe will go easy on Kilts just because he's on the Times Company board. In fact, Globe columnist Steve Bailey today has a pretty withering take on the Kilts appointment. But Kilts - who's lined his pockets with gold at the expense of Gillette's workers - has been bad for Boston. And it's an insult to this city that the Times Company would allow him to have any say whatsoever in the business operations of New England's largest media organization.
The Globe's story on the appointment, by Jenn Abelson, centers around the possibility that Kilts's main role will be to rustle up consumer-product advertising. Let's hope so. The last thing we need to find out is that Kilts is trying to convince his fellow board members that copy-editing jobs can be outsourced to Bangalore.
Here is a BusinessWeek story on Secretary of State Bill Galvin's investigation into the Gillette-Procter & Gamble merger - a deal that, if it goes through, will make Kilts and 16 other Gillette executives $450 million richer while costing thousands of people their jobs.
GOOSE-STEPPING RHETORIC. No, Democratic senator Dick Durbin should not have drawn a comparison between American guards at Guantánamo and the Nazis. But before we put him on trial for treason, let's not forget that Republican senator Rick Santorum recently compared Democrats to Nazis.
Kudos to Alan Colmes for showing the video of Santorum on last night's Hannity & Colmes. Even though I assume Sean knew it was coming, I do think he was momentarily flustered.
For the record, I think Durbin and Santorum have proven themselves to be a couple of boneheads.
PANDER MODE. How much damage does Governor Mitt Romney intend to do before his term as governor ends and he can finally start campaigning for president full-time? Now he's lending his full support to a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage in Massachusetts without even guaranteeing civil unions as an alternative. (Globe coverage here; Herald coverage here.)
MEDIA LOG ON THE AIR. In case you're interested in watching, listening to, or heckling me in the next week, here's where you'll be able to find me:
Today, 7 p.m. Greater Boston's "Beat the Press" media roundup, WGBH-TV (Channel 2).
Sunday, 9:30 p.m. Pundit Review Radio, WRKO (AM 680).
Tuesday, 9:30 a.m. Incoming Phoenix media critic Mark Jurkowitz and I will talk about the state of local media on The Point, on WGBH's Cape Cod radio stations.
Thursday, 7 to 9 a.m. I'll be filling in for the vacationing Scott Allen Miller on Blute & Scotto, on WRKO.
Friday, July 1, 7 p.m. Greater Boston, Channel 2.