So I’ve been meaning to address a number of professional changes for me for some time. The tricky thing is you never know how much you can say and who is gonna throw a fit because you said it. (And then after awhile you just lose track of the time.)
About two weeks ago, we had a major shakeup at Boston.com that will help the site better differentiate itself from the Boston Globe. For all of my friends and family that are wondering, yes, there is a difference between the two sites. While Boston.com has been the portal site of the Boston Globe newspaper since 1995, that relationship between the paper and the site changed significantly when the paper decided to launch BostonGlobe.com in September 2010 (it went live just a year later). When the site went live, we began the company’s two-site strategy, with one site remaining free (Boston.com) and the other subscriber based (BostonGlobe.com). Obviously that confused everyone involved because multiple pieces of content, whether they be stories, photos, or video, were on both sites.
I can’t tell you how many times I tried to explain to Claudia what the difference was between the two sites. Let’s just say she never fully understood.
What’s sad is that as someone who works in the business of communication, it’s really distressing to not be able to explain clearly to your friends and family how your company actually operates, especially when our job is as simple as getting the news out. But that’s been the case now for three years. BostonGlobe.com is, and will continue to be, the home of the full breadth of the Boston Globe’s journalism. Boston.com, while it has shared pieces of the Globe’s resources since BG.com’s launch, has always been something more.
So a couple of weeks ago, new team Globe members David Skok (the digital advisor to the editor), Andrew Perlmutter (executive vice president at the company), and Globe editor Brian McGrory announced a decisive split between the brands, making Boston.com its own news entity.
This needed to happen for several reasons. 1) We needed to clear up the confusion for our readers. 2) We have to better divvy up our resources. 3) And the Globe needed to stop hindering the growth of Boston.com.
But it’s more than a simple split between the two sites and brands. Boston.com is also taking a creative pivot from what has been the editorial sensibility of the Globe. While there will continue to be a journalistic vision and news orientation for Boston.com, there will now be new-found edge and emphasis on commentary. That’s already evident on the site.
For me, which is probably nine tenths of the reason you’re on my site, I’ll be taking on a larger role in coverage of the New England Patriots. You must be thinking, well what’s different than before? (Again with this question.) Now, I’m officially labeled the Patriots “beat writer.” Before, I was just contributing to Patriots coverage while cycling off to high schools and wherever else needed. But much like Boston.com’s new editorial mission, my new job on the beat will not necessarily be to do the same old stories as the newspapers, but to seek out new angles and stories to cover. And, yes, bring some edge.
We’ll see how that goes. Things will certainly kick off to a greater degree later this month and in early April when the re-design for Boston.com goes live. All I can say is life is pretty interesting right now.