What Boston Herald writers are saying about the sale of their newspaper

About a quarter of the paper's employees are expected to lose their jobs.

Boston Herald publisher Patrick Purcell in his office during an interview in 2008. Joseph Kahn / The Boston Globe

Boston Herald reporters and columnists reacted with mixed emotions to the news Friday that their paper filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and is being sold to Gatehouse Media.

Patrick Purcell, the Herald‘s publisher, wrote in a letter to his employees that the pending sale is the “best pathway forward” for financially struggling newspaper, which is the second-largest daily in Boston.

According to the terms of the sales, Herald employees will have to interview with Gatehouse for positions next month. About a quarter of the staff is expected to lose their jobs. The Herald will continue to publish a daily newspaper as it moves forward with its bankruptcy filing and sale, according to Purcell’s letter.

Purcell announced the agreement to the Herald newsroom Friday afternoon in what reportedly was an emotional speech.


In an interview with The Boston Globe, Purcell said he wanted to keep Boston a two-newspaper city as long as he could.

“Apparently this is as long as I could,” he told the Globe.

In an impassioned article Saturday, Herald columnist Steve Buckley echoed the sentiment being expressed across the media industry since the news broke: Having more than one newspaper in a city benefits both outlets and their readers.

“Each newspaper makes every other newspaper stronger, hungrier … better,” Buckley wrote.

“I write these words not just because I happen to work for the Herald — and would very much like to continue doing so — but also because I’m a longtime reader who thoroughly enjoys getting the daily rush of two competing dailies,” he wrote, later adding that the city needs more voices “now more than ever.”

Many writers and editors thanked fellow employees and readers expressing support. Others simply expressed gratitude for the experience of working at the paper.

Despite the news of an uncertain future, some reporters defiantly vowed to push forward with their work.