g, didn’t we say sort of the same thing in 2008?

Batman was unable to save g from its ultimate demise.

Batman was unable to save g from its ultimate demise.

After a little more than six years as a tabloid, The Boston Globe’s arts-and-features section returned to the broadsheet format on Monday. In case you missed it, here is an excerpt of editor Brian McGrory’s explanation for the shift:

This seems like the right time to reveal a secret. For two years, we’ve been quietly plotting to convert the Globe’s daily features tabloid, g, into the section that you’re holding now — not because g wasn’t good. It was actually quite good. But given the insights of our arts critics (who’ve won three Pulitzer Prizes in the past seven years), the quality of our feature reporters, the mastery of our food writers and restaurant critic, and the depth of our photo journalists, we’ve wanted their work to spread across a full-throttle broadsheet section with greater ambitions and a bolder design. It seemed only fitting…. The goal is to give you more, in better form.

A better form. Hmmm … where have we heard this before? Maybe in the message the Globe posted to mark the debut of g in October 2008? Here’s part of that message, written when Marty Baron was the editor.

Our new magazine-style section will be called “g” — for Globe — and it reflects what you, our readers, have been telling us about how you prefer to receive your reviews, previews, profiles and arts, culture and features coverage.

You want to find stories of interest quickly and easily. You want it in a format that can be carried easily as you move about town — while on the train or on a lunch break.

The two messages do have a different emphasis. The Baron-era message stresses convenience, whereas McGrory sounds more interested in giving his journalists room to breathe. (The comics, though, don’t seem to have as much room to breathe as they did in g. Friend of Media Nation John Carroll thinks they’ve gotten smaller, though he’s still searching for a back copy of g and a ruler so he can be sure.) Still, the meta-message both times was the same: We’re doing this for you.

Mrs. Media Nation was a g fan; I was agnostic. In any case, our preferences were purely theoretical, since we’re digital-only readers except on Sundays, which was a g-free day.

5 thoughts on “g, didn’t we say sort of the same thing in 2008?

    1. Dan Kennedy Post author

      @Tinker: Not sure that it ever made sense to put health coverage in g. It’s unclear as to whether this means health coverage is being cut back in general. Do you know?

  1. Laurence Kranich

    Most comics are within a millimeter or two of their previous size. The six at the bottom of the second page are smaller (do you think they took a readership survey?). No drops. Otherwise, the space total for the section, including the features that moved, is actually bigger than before. So far. The only cutback I predicted correctly is that TV listings have shrunk in half. In fact, the whole section is huge compared to most other regional papers and I hope the Globe can keep it up.

    I did notice that today’s G section (yes, it’s still called that) was bundled separately from the others. That suggests it’s printed earlier like the tabloid was. Monday’s G section was probably on a special late deadline so they could include Golden Globes coverage, which they’ve done before.

  2. Tinker Ready

    I don’t have any information on how the end of the section will impact overall health coverage. I do know that the Daily Dose blog was shut down when Deb Kotz took the buy-out.

    1. Dan Kennedy Post author

      @Tinker: I’m hearing a pretty emphatic “no” in answer to the question of whether health coverage will be cut back.

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