Purcell spends $1m on computer system

 A new computer system at The Boston Herald is being sold internally as a concrete symbol of publisher Patrick Purcell’s long-term commitment to the newspaper.

Kevin Convey, the Herald’s editor, says Purcell has never considered walking away from the newspaper. Yet he said Purcell’s purchase of a nearly $1 million computer system for the Herald is a strong statement about his belief in the newspaper’s future.

“Why else buy a near-$1 million computer system that’s going to take you five years to pay off?” Convey asked.

Convey said he carried the same message to a recent meeting with Herald employees. He said many were reassured by the long-term nature of the purchase.

In recent years, Purcell sold has pared back his holdings and his costs, selling Community Newspapers Co. to GateHouse Media and outsourcing the printing of the Herald. He also announced a joint venture with National Development of Newton to redevelop the Herald headquarters and printing plant.

According to Convey, the Herald, which has 130 editorial employees, has been earning a “modest profit over the last several years.”

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine.

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