The Globe’s Doug Most moves to the business side

Doug Most. Photo via DougMost.com.

Doug Most. Photo via DougMost.com.

Doug Most, The Boston Globe’s deputy managing editor for special sections and new initiatives, is moving to a job in the front office, where he will be director of growth initiatives.

According to a memo to the staff by Globe editor Brian McGrory, Most will work on projects ranging from special sections to seeking sponsorships and helping with the paper’s native-advertising efforts. He’ll work alongside CEO Mike Sheehan and chief growth officer Tim Marken.

Most is the author of “The Race Underground: Boston, New York, and the Incredible Rivalry That Built America’s First Subway.”

Given the recent round of buyouts and layoffs, it’s clear that the Globe’s efforts to stem the revenue decline have been insufficient, as they have been across the newspaper business as a whole. So best wishes to Most. He’s got his work cut out for him.

The full text of McGrory’s memo follows:

Mike Sheehan called me a few weeks ago with a rather direct request: Give me Doug Most.

It made an unusual amount of sense. Since Doug took the job of deputy managing editor for special sections and new initiatives in January 2014, and even before that, he’s done spectacular work matching our journalism with advertising opportunities. Some for instances: Doug conceived and then executed a magazine special section on the opening of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute; he conjured up and oversaw a magazine section on Angell Memorial Hospital; he devised and ran the summertime Cape Cod sections for two years running; he oversaw special magazines or sections on the University of Massachusetts, MIT, and the Boston Children’s Museum. Doug could basically fund his own small newsroom with the proceeds — and as important, he provided the reader with often fascinating journalism, some of our most widely read online.

So the question became whether it would be better for the advertising department to have someone in the newsroom to connect our missions, as Doug already did, or whether it would be better for the newsroom to have someone work in advertising to press our cause and preserve our values. In the end, the latter seems to be the best option in terms of opening up new possibilities and opportunities, so Doug will be leaving the Globe newsroom next week to take a position in the front office with the loose title of director of growth initiatives.

This is a big deal move, certainly for Doug, but really for the entire Globe. Among Doug’s many talents, he has an innate understanding of our readers, a restless mind, and a fundamental drive to creatively wring revenue from journalism. This new position will have him, as ever, thinking both editorially and commercially. He will at times be focusing on projects as straightforward as a special section, but the job could also range to a ground-breaking initiatives to help grow our audience reach. He’ll be given the freedom to seek sponsorship opportunities and to have a hand in native advertising.

Doug will work especially closely with Tim Marken, the chief growth officer, Mike Sheehan, the CEO, and me — and by me, I mean us. Doug will remain a regular presence in the newsroom, welcome in all corners. And make no mistake, he will be seeking out your new and innovative ideas and pressing you to collaborate on his — ideas that will help fund the vital journalism that is produced by this organization.

I’m sure I don’t have to remind you of Doug’s unique qualifications, so just some highlights. Doug arrived here in 2003 with orders to revamp the Sunday Magazine, working closely with advertising, marketing, circulation, and production. Mission accomplished, in 2009, Doug stepped into the newly enhanced job of deputy managing editor/features, overseeing Living, Arts, Travel, and the magazine. He took his current job overseeing new initiatives in January 2014. Along the way, he also launched the hugely successful Sunday Address section, played a key contributing role in the stunning, premium Sunday magazines, and helped straighten the ship at boston.com when they hit some choppy seas last winter. Just a week ago, Doug created the special Head of the Charles section, sponsored by Capital One — another example of advertisers aggressively searching for unique and creative initiatives they can sponsor. This also helps explain why Mike and Tim are aggressively seeking to have Doug join their team.

There’s no need to do a formal sendoff for Doug, in that he’s not going anywhere far; in fact, you’ll still see him around all the time. He’ll start in his new position in the middle of the week. Please take a moment to thank Doug for all he’s done and wish him well on what’s to come.

Brian