If you are a weekend Romenesko reader, then you already know that Boston Globe city editor Michael Paulson is leaving for the New York Times, where he’ll edit stories about local politics and religion for metro editor Carolyn Ryan — herself a former Globe reporter and editor. (Both are alumni of the Patriot Ledger in Quincy as well.)
It still seems strange to refer to Paulson as the Globe’s city editor because, before that, he was a very good religion reporter — among the best working for a general-interest publication, in my opinion. He shared in the Globe’s Pulitzer-winning coverage of the sexual-abuse scandals within the Catholic Church, but he also excelled at covering religion-as-religion.
You can read the memo from Globe metro editor Jen Peter at Romenesko. Below is another memo, from Ryan at the Times:
I am very happy to tell you that Michael Paulson, city editor at The Boston Globe, will be joining us as Political Editor in Metro.
Michael has a dazzling array of journalistic gifts: he is imaginative, endlessly energetic, insightful and intelligent.
He was an outstanding reporter, who covered local politics, city hall, Washington, and religion — and helped lead the Globe’s coverage of clergy sex abuse in the Catholic Church, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.
But Michael is also a natural editor, of expansive curiosity, sly humor and engaging manner. On the Globe’s metro desk, he has overseen a range of subjects, including transportation, the mayoral election and higher education.
Patrick Healy, a colleague of Michael’s at the Globe, described him as “a rare breed — both tenacious and thoughtful, competitive and determined.”
Michael began his reporting career at the age of 21 amid the cranberry bogs and jaywalking wild turkeys of Halifax, Massachusetts, covering a town of 6,000 people and one traffic light for The Patriot Ledger. He then went to the San Antonio Light in Texas, where he covered politics, and from there moved to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, serving as city hall reporter, state house bureau chief, and, ultimately, as the paper’s correspondent in Washington, D.C.
He joined the Globe in 2000 to cover religion, and wrote with nuance and depth about the intersection of faith, culture and politics. He spent several weeks in France researching Mitt Romney’s experience there as a Mormon missionary and traveled to Dearborn to write about Muslims and Arab Christians in the 2008 election. He also captured the complicated role of the Catholic Church during the same-sex marriage debate in Massachusetts. Michael will oversee our religion coverage, in addition to New York politics.
Michael has many ties to New York. His paternal grandparents were born and raised in Brooklyn; the Paulsons moved to Boston in the 1930s when his grandfather, a hosiery salesman, got a job there.
Michael already has a fair number of fans here at the Times.
Diego Ribadeneira, another Globe alumnus, praised Michael’s “wonderful combination of keen intellect, intense curiosity and reassuring temperament.”
He inspires confidence, respect, and affection among his colleagues. I am thrilled we will be partners again.
Michael will join us in April. He can be reached at xxx.Please join me in welcoming him.