In year-end message, Linda Henry announces that the Globe is expanding

The Boston Globe is expanding, according to chief executive officer Linda Pizzuti Henry.

The news comes in the form of a full-page ad in Sunday’s print edition — an odd choice, given that the Globe has about 220,000 digital-only subscribers and, according to the Alliance for Audited Media, has a Sunday print circulation of about 140,000. But maybe a lot of those digital subscribers use the e-paper and saw it anyway. (Update: I’m told Henry’s message was emailed to digital subscribers last week. I can’t imagine why I didn’t see it, but there you go.)

Henry begins by thanking readers following a difficult year of pandemic, economic collapse and “an overdue reckoning around race, equity and social justice.” And, of course, she praises the Globe as a “local, independent news organization,” citing highlights such as the paper’s COVID coverage, Mark Shanahan’s article and podcast about recovering from prostate cancer and “A Beautiful Resistance,” a celebration of Black life in New England by culture columnist Jeneé Osterheldt.

Now about the expansion:

  • Reporters and editors will be added to beef up the paper’s innovation, political and investigative beats.
  • A new Health and Science section will be launched, featuring coverage from Stat News and the Globe’s staff. (Perhaps something to keep an eye on: Stat News is non-union, whereas the Globe’s union and management have been at loggerheads over a new contract for several years.)
  • The Rhode Island bureau is being expanded, an initiative that had been announced previously.

Particularly welcome is the news that the Globe will be “improving our mobile app experience.” I hope those improvements extend to tablets as well as phones.

We all have our quibbles with the Globe, but the past few years have been extraordinary in putting the paper on a sustainable financial footing.

Publisher John Henry announced in late 2018 that the Globe had become profitable after years of losses and cost-cutting. The paper passed the 200,000 digital-subscription mark in early 2020, a long-sought measure of viability. And when Linda Henry was made CEO of Boston Globe Media Partners in November, the company said it currently employs more than 300 full-time journalists across its three platforms — the Globe, Stat News and Boston.com.

That is an impressive number at a time when The Denver Post’s newsroom, to cite just one example, has been slashed to about 60 by its hedge-fund owner, Alden Global Capital.

The full-page ad appears below.

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3 thoughts on “In year-end message, Linda Henry announces that the Globe is expanding

  1. Marcus Jonathan Breen

    Good points here Dan – I read it when it appeared with surprise.

    I suspect that the trick for the BG is twofold: 1. have very deep pockets (and a husband who is loaded – not cynical just the evidence) 2. leverage every piece of content across multiple platforms and monetize every one.

    Also, as a daily Globe reader it is instructive to read many syndicated pieces from The NY Times. Washington Post and Reuters as major stories appearing the Globe. That must be dispiriting for the Globe newsroom journalists. Do you know?

    Finally, the statement from Linda Henry suggests positive opportunities for mainstream liberal media in Boston. Alternative and left media will find a home elsewhere…

    1. Dan Kennedy

      It’s been a long time since the Globe’s own reporters have covered much in the way of national and international news aside from the Washington bureau. Under New York Times Co. ownership, then-editor Marty Baron refocused everything the Globe did on regional and local news.

  2. Thanks, Dan — I hadn’t seen this. Do you have any insight, from this or otherwise, about what happens next with the education team, which was expanded maybe 18 months ago on the heels of the success of the January 2019 Valedictorians Project? Malcolm Gay left the project to return to his previous beat maybe six months ago. I haven’t heard much else.

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