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

Keeping tabs on the Globe’s downsizing

Adam Reilly of the Boston Phoenix is keeping on top of the buyouts at the Boston Globe. I really haven’t been, so please take a look at what Adam has been writing here, here and here.

Among those leaving thus far: Pulitzer Prize-winning book critic Gail Caldwell; literary-beat reporter David Mehegan; managing editor for administration Mary Jane Wilkinson; business reporter Jeffrey Krasner; and education reporter Linda Wertheimer.

Good quotes from Mehegan and Wilkinson. Mehegan is especially pointed, telling Reilly:

There’s no Living/Arts section. I used to write these great profiles that were combined with great art and design, and now the section’s gone. In many ways, I feel as if the paper I used to write for has already departed. We can’t do the stories we used to do, and we don’ t have freedom to write in the way we used to; everything has to be shorter and tighter. I don’t know what they’re going to do with my old beat, but I do know it’s one people are intensely interested in.

I think [Globe editor] Marty Baron’s done a wonderful job under very difficult circumstances. I have a lot of respect for him. But the old business model’s broken, and it’s not coming back.

Tough times not just at 135 Morrissey Blvd., but for readers of the Globe, too.

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  1. endangered coffee

    For the paper of record in a supposed intellectual bastion like Boston not to have a living/arts section is a cruel joke.Instead, we get the marketing and focus-grouped inanities of G and Sidekick (is that even still around?)

  2. lkcape

    I sense that Mr. Mehegan’s comments are a little whiney.There is a chicken-egg problem here… Is the problem with The Globe one of less relevant content or something more systemic.I would venture that there is a great deal of both in this issue.Mr. Mehegan may wish to consider himself lucky to have covered the beat he did, for as long as he did,and he may wish to ask himself if his writings weren’t part of the problem.I found the Living/Arts section to be more like a fawning press releases than anything else.

  3. Ron Newman

    I’m guessing that Ric Kahn, most recently of City Weekly, is one of the buyout victims. My e-mail to him, a few days after his most recent article, bounced.

  4. jvwalt

    Whether or not Mehegan’s mourning is justified, he strikes a note that resonates with me as a lifelong newspaper reader. For many years, I was buying two newspapers almost every day. Then it dwindled to one, and checking the other online. Then it got to be a daily decision: do I want to buy a paper today at all? In the last six months or so, it’s rarely even a decision: I buy a newspaper once or twice a week at most. I’m still a loyal newspaper reader. But the truth is, paraphrasing Mehegan, I feel as if the papers I used to read are already gone.

  5. brigidalverson

    For years we have taken both the Globe and the New York Times. As the Globe dwindles to nothing, and the overlap between the two papers increases, we are more and more inclined not to renew our subscription. This may be the year.But I think what broke the newspaper model is the greed of the owners, who don’t regard their staff as a resource worth paying for.

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