By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Charles Sennott to leave Globe

Another first-rate journalist is leaving the Boston Globe. Charles Sennott, best known for his years as a foreign correspondent, will join New England Cable News founder Phil Balboni’s new venture, Global News Enterprises, according to a memo written by Globe deputy manager Mark Morrow and obtained by Media Nation.

Sennott will be executive editor, co-founder and vice president of Global News, according to the memo. Here’s the full text of what Morrow had to say:

We are living in a season of too many good-byes, and this one, like so many, is hard. Charlie Sennott is leaving the Globe after 14 amazing years chasing stories all over the region, nation and world. With his unstoppable — indeed, occasionally overwhelming — energy, verve and passion for our craft, he has been a singular presence among us since the day he migrated north from the mad-cap universe of the New York Daily news to take a job with the paper he grew up with and had dreamed of working for from an early age. From day one, he thought big — and delivered. He has also been, there can be no doubt, one of most intrepid reporters in the paper’s history, time and again taking on risky overseas assignments, right up to his return trip last month to Baghdad. (More about that in Sunday’s paper.) I am really going to miss him; we all will.

It will surprise no one that Charlie will land on his feet, in his post-Globe life. He will be joining, as executive editor, co-founder and vice president, a Boston-based web startup — Global News Enterprises — which aims to be the first American-based website dedicated solely to international news. It is an exciting notion, which has already drawn some impressive financial backers, and will doubtless be an adventure. All of us who know Charlie can be sure he is more than up for that.

He won’t be leaving until early April, but he wanted to get the word out as Global News will be announcing his appointment soon. So there will be some days yet to reflect on Charlie’s years with us, to raise a glass and to pick his brain about what is coming next.

Despite Sennott’s long experience in international reporting, he’ll always be known — to me, anyway — as the reporter who told the astounding story of Claribel Ventura, a welfare mother accused of child abuse, and the 100 or members of her dysfunctional family.

Sennott’s story, which closed with a startling quote from one of Ventura’s sisters when asked what message she had for taxpayers (“Just tell them to keep paying”), had much to do with the passage of welfare reform Massachusetts. In 2004, Sennott wrote a 10th-anniversary update.

Sennott is also the author of “The Body and the Blood: The Middle East’s Vanishing Christians and the Possibility for Peace” (2002).

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  1. Anonymous

    It wasn’t Claribel, but her sister, Maribel, who uttered the “keep paying” line.I know this sounds like a joke, but it’s true.Bob in Peabody

  2. acf

    I’m sorry to hear that the Globe is losing another piece of fine institutional memory. I caught ‘Beat the Press’ Friday night, and I think that even with a new improved product that successfully mines the Internet fiscally, there will be a need for the old timers who have that memory. A new way to use the Internet may be found, but it will never change the one fundamental of the business, and that is the delivery of news and information. The old folks are needed to know how to find it and prepare it. It’s the new folks who will know how to deliver it profitably. Save for 8 years living in CT, I’ve read the Globe faithfully for most of the past 53 years I’ve known how to read (now that’s a scary thought). If the product they are producing keeps traveling down the ‘exciting, dynamic’ path it has been for the past 3 or 4 years, then the dumbing down they will have accomplished will lose me as a subscriber and a reader. I want my news presented intelligently, thoroughly, and seriously, not fluff that looks good but is shallow. I want information, not entertainment.

  3. BJM

    I worked as a co-op student in the Boston Globe national/foreign desk in the winter/spring of 1999 and I was — and still am — impressed by the work of Charlie Sennott and the rest of the foreign desk at that time: Indira Lakshmanan in Hong Kong, Richard Chacon in Mexico City, David Filipov in Moscow, Colin Nickerson in Quebec and, of course, Kevin Cullen in London. That was an exciting time with the U.S. bombings in Iraq and the NATO bombings in Kosovo. Part of my job, back then, was transcribing the stories with the reporters on their satellite phones. What a dream job, I thought at that time. But those words then seem to be even more of a reality now. BJM in Salem

  4. Ken Doctor -- Content Bridges

    I’ve not been familiar with Charlie’s work, but lately caught up on it in talking with him about Global News. While it is the Globe’s loss, it can be a huge gain in rethinking global coverage, and doing it with a clean slate and no legacy burdens.My take on how it fits into the journalism of the moment, here:

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