I swear that Boston Globe editor Brian McGrory does not send me these messages. But people do, and I thought this message to the Globe staff was worth sharing after what was a pretty amazing experience for all of us—let alone those who were trying to cover it as it unfolded.
From: McGrory, Brian
Date: Wed, Nov 9, 2016 at 4:09 AM
Subject: Thank you
Well, that didn’t exactly follow the script.
Which is what made your collective performance all the more extraordinary tonight. At 7 o’clock, people were exchanging notes about exit polls that indicated an early bedtime. At 3 a.m., we were redrawing the site and the print edition to allow for Trump’s victory speech. Charlie Mansbach, who has seen quite a bit in his half century, said he’s never seen anything like this.
It actually began a couple of months ago when a team of technologists and designers began the work of creating the elections pages and interactive graphics, which were nothing short of breathtaking. For a good chunk of the night, we had well over 20,000 concurrents, peaking at over 25,000. We were a destination for a huge number of readers.
It’s easy to understand why. Not only did we have some of the best graphics in the industry, but the work from the field was beyond impressive, whether it was NY, DC, or in and around Boston. The Washington bureau turned on a dime to allow for Matt [Viser] to write his extraordinary analysis in what seemed like 20 minutes. The mainbar read like a breeze. Locally, the Metro crew wrote the hell out of the ballot questions and so much more.
Photo was what photo always is, which is wildly creative and ambitious. Our graphics team covered us all in glory. It was nothing short of great to have the world-class technologists sitting among us, keeping the site purring along. Ditto for the social media crew.
As these things always happen, the pressure ratcheted up through the night. What was different here was that it kept going through the morning. Chris Chinlund was like a maestro at her page 1 perch, bringing everything together for print, with David Dahl playing an equally impressive role. I’m told we caught 33,000 papers with the final news. On the digital front, we’ve grown to accept how great the bg.com team is, but you see it more clearly than ever on a night like this. Katie [Kingsbury] was effectively everywhere—and always deeply effective. Jason [Tuohey] is simply a rock and a rock star. There are so many others, too, up and down the chain. Give credit, too, to the talented team at boston.com for keeping their site filled with energy while also playing a key role steering readers to Globe journalism.
It literally took the work of over 100 people to accomplish what we did tonight, from eagle-eyed copy editors to systems managers who arm-wrestled with Methode [the Globe’s content-management system] when things got hairy at exactly the time they couldn’t. History was made, and you responded as you always do, with some of the highest quality journalism in the nation. Thank you, sincerely.
And now we’ll do it again.