Later this year, the Boston Globe will move most Globe content off its free Boston.com site and onto a paid, redesigned BostonGlobe.com. Which raises a question: Will the still-free Boston.com include enough high-quality, original material to stand on its own?
We got an encouraging answer to that this week in the form of an announcement that veteran political reporter Glen Johnson will be returning to the Globe as Boston.com’s political editor. According to a staff-wide e-mail from deputy managing editors Jen Peter and Bennie DiNardo, Johnson —
— will oversee the expansion and redesign of the site’s political coverage leading into the 2012 presidential race and beyond, with a blog, videos, aggregated content, the smart display of original Globe stories, and any other creative ideas we can come up with.
You can be sure that Eric Fehrnstrom is thrilled.
Peter and DiNardo’s full statement follows:
We are thrilled to announce that Glen Johnson, most recently of the AP’s State House bureau in Boston, will be returning to Morrissey Boulevard to become boston.com’s political editor. In this role, Glen — who has covered Massachusetts politics for nearly two decades — will oversee the expansion and redesign of the site’s political coverage leading into the 2012 presidential race and beyond, with a blog, videos, aggregated content, the smart display of original Globe stories, and any other creative ideas we can come up with. He will draw on the expertise of our political staff, both locally and in D.C., to make the page a must-read for anyone interested in Massachusetts and New England politics. We will also look for opportunities to republish some of Glen’s politics blogs in the Globe, and we contemplate a regular presence for Glen in the Globe in the form of a regular political column that would be based on his reporting and analysis. With his deep knowledge of the local political scene, his agility as a writer, and his embrace of new media, Glen is the ideal candidate to fill this position. And it couldn’t come at a better time for us, as we prepare to strengthen our web presence with a two-brand strategy and gear up for a presidential primary in our backyard.
This is a homecoming for Glen, who worked for the Globe for more than five years, from 2000 to 2005, in between two stints at the Associated Press. He has covered four presidential races — including Paul Tsongas’ 1992 bid, when Glen worked for the Lowell Sun — and four administrations on Beacon Hill, stemming back to the Weld years. Most recently, he served as the AP’s lead Romney reporter in 2008. He lives with his wife in North Andover and has two college-age sons. He is an avid cook and observer of professional cooks (ask him about his stint in the kitchen at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon). Glen will join us on Jan. 31, and we couldn’t be happier to have him back on board. All cooking tips welcome.
Jen and Bennie
Glen is a good guy and a dogged reporter. A very smart move by the Globe.