Boston Globe editor Brian McGrory thanks staff in his year-end memo

Boston Globe editor Brian McGrory’s year-end message came in a little later than expected — he sent it out on New Year’s Eve, and I only received it just now from one of my trusted sources. It’s unusual for its brevity.

There is one tidbit worth flagging: McGrory says the Globe now has “more than 230,000 digital-only subscribers.” Just a few weeks ago, Tom Brown, vice president for consumer revenue, put the number at 226,000. I’ll chalk it up either to different counting methods or the possibility that McGrory was writing off the top of his head. I doubt that the Globe added 4,000-plus subscribers in two weeks.

Here’s the full text of McGrory’s memo:

It’s taken me a lot of years to realize that perhaps an overly long note from the editor is not exactly the thing you’re looking for on New Year’s Eve. So when I say again I’ll be brief, I mean it more than in the past.

If 2020 was the year in which we rode massive adrenaline waves to do the best and most important work that the Globe has ever done, which we did, then 2021 is entirely different. Whole stretches of this year felt like metal grinding against metal. Exhaustion ran deep. The pandemic, and all that came with it, got really old. Hope kept getting trampled by reality.

And yet you wouldn’t ease up — every hour, every day. Maybe it’s because of your commitment to each other, the craft, the organization, or the community. Probably it’s a lot of each. What you accomplished this year, every single aspect of this newsroom, is nothing short of remarkable. There’s a good argument to be made that it was somehow even more impressive than the year before.

It matters, to the region and to the Globe’s future. We now have more than 230,000 digital-only subscribers. We are financially healthy and investing in our journalism, which you know is rare in the world of major metro news organizations. Every part of the Globe, beyond the newsroom, is operating at peak performance, which is truly something to behold. And there’s simply no region in the country better informed than ours.

Amid the exhaustion and anxiety and remaining bits of hope, take more than a moment tonight and this weekend to allow yourself a big dose of pride. The Globe just had another year for the ages, and everyone in the newsroom played a vital role.

Happy New Year might be a slight stretch on a day with 21,397 new cases. But I’m really proud of the whole organization and grateful to you all.

Brian

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