CommonWealth magazine editor Bruce Mohl interviews Boston Globe chief executive officer Mike Sheehan in the just-posted summer issue. The most interesting takeaway is that the Globe, according to Sheehan, is currently profitable:
The Boston Globe is a profitable enterprise. I think it can be more profitable, but it’s a profitable enterprise. Look, we’re not going to run this like a hedge fund trying to raise crazy EBITDA. You could do that. You could cut. John’s [a reference to Globe owner John Henry] objective is to make the Globe sustainable, to come up with a model that makes it sustainable forever. The better we do on the revenue side, the more we’re going to pump into the content side.
I’ve heard it before, but it’s significant that the CEO would say it on the record. No specifics, though — under John Henry’s ownership, the Globe is a private company that doesn’t have to disclose its numbers.
The headline of the interview is “Mr. Sunshine,” and it fits the tone of the interview. If Sheehan was determined not to make news, then he succeeded. But it’s an interesting read, and there are some details I didn’t know about Sheehan’s longtime family relationship with editor Brian McGrory — who, Sheehan says, “was put on the face of the earth to be the editor-in-chief of The Boston Globe.”