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The Boston Globe

The Boston Globe

The Boston Globe (sometimes abbreviated as The Globe) is an American daily newspaper founded and based in Boston, Massachusetts, since its creation by Charles H. Taylor in 1872. The newspaper has won a total of 26 Pulitzer Prizes as of 2016, and with a total paid circulation of 245,824 from September 2015 to August 2016,[3] it is the 25th most read newspaper in the United States. The Boston Globe is the oldest and largest daily newspaper in Boston.[4]

Founded in the late 19th century, the paper was mainly controlled by Irish Catholic interests before being sold to Charles H. Taylor and his family. After being privately held until 1973, it was sold to The New York Times in 1993 for $1.1 billion, making it one of the most expensive print purchases in U.S. history.[5] The newspaper was purchased in 2013 by Boston Red Sox and Liverpool F.C. owner John W. Henry for $70 million from The New York Times Company, having lost 93.64% of its value in twenty years.

Historically, the newspaper has been noted as "one of the nation's most prestigious papers."[5] The paper's coverage of the 2001–2003 Roman Catholic Church sex abuse scandal received international media attention and served as the basis of the 2015 American drama, Spotlight.[4] In 1967, The Globe became the first major paper in the United States to come out against the Vietnam War.[6]

The chief print rival of The Boston Globe is the Boston Herald; however, The Globe is more than twice the size of the Boston Herald.[7] As of 2013, The Globe prints and circulates the entire press run of its rival.[4] The editor-in-chief, otherwise known as the editor, of the paper is Brian McGrory who took the helm in December 2012.[8]

The Boston Globe
The Boston Globe, April 18, 2011.jpeg
The April 18, 2011, front page
of The Boston Globe
TypeDaily newspaper
Owner(s)Boston Globe Media Partners, LLC
PublisherJohn W. Henry
EditorBrian McGrory
FoundedMarch 4, 1872 (1872-03-04)[1]
HeadquartersExchange Place
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Circulation245,572 weekdays in March 2013
223,623 Saturdays in 2012
382,452 Sundays in March 2013
100.000 digital-only in 2018[2]
ISSN0743-1791 [117]
OCLC number66652431 [118]
Websitewww.bostonglobe.com [119]


The old Globe headquarters on Washington Street (part of the Boston Advertiser's building can be seen just to the right)

The old Globe headquarters on Washington Street (part of the Boston Advertiser's building can be seen just to the right)

An advertisement for the Boston Globe from 1896, boasting of the largest circulation of any newspaper in New England.

An advertisement for the Boston Globe from 1896, boasting of the largest circulation of any newspaper in New England.

Boston Globe headquarters in September 2009

Boston Globe headquarters in September 2009

The Boston Globe was founded in 1872 by six Boston businessmen, including Charles H. Taylor and Eben Jordan, who jointly invested $150,000 (equivalent to $3,137,083 in 2018). The first issue was published on March 4, 1872, and sold for four cents (equivalent to $0.84 in 2018). Originally a morning daily, it began a Sunday edition in 1877, which absorbed the rival Boston Weekly Globe in 1892.[9] In 1878, The Boston Globe started an afternoon edition called The Boston Evening Globe, which ceased publication in 1979. By the 1890s, The Boston Globe had become a stronghold, with an editorial staff dominated by Irish American Catholics.[10]

In 1912, the Globe was one of a cooperative of four newspapers, including the Chicago Daily News, The New York Globe, and the Philadelphia Bulletin, to form the Associated Newspapers syndicate.

In 1965, Thomas Winship succeeded his father, Larry Winship, as editor. The younger Winship transformed The Globe from a mediocre local paper into a regional paper of national distinction. He served as editor until 1984, during which time the paper won a dozen Pulitzer Prizes, the first in the paper's history.[11]

The Boston Globe was a private company until 1973 when it went public under the name Affiliated Publications. It continued to be managed by the descendants of Charles H. Taylor. In 1993, The New York Times Company purchased Affiliated Publications for US$1.1 billion, making The Boston Globe a wholly owned subsidiary of The New York Times' parent.[12][13]

The Jordan and Taylor families received substantial The New York Times Company stock, but the last Taylor family members have since left management.[14]

Boston.com, the online edition of The Boston Globe, was launched on the World Wide Web in 1995.[15] Consistently ranked among the top ten newspaper websites in America,[16] it has won numerous national awards and took two regional Emmy Awards in 2009 for its video work.[17]

Under the helm of editor Martin Baron and then Brian McGrory, The Globe shifted away from coverage of international news in favor of Boston-area news.[18] Globe reporters Michael Rezendes, Matt Carroll, Sacha Pfeiffer and Walter Robinson and editor Ben Bradlee Jr. were an instrumental part of uncovering the Roman Catholic Church sex abuse scandal in 2001–2003, especially in relation to Massachusetts churches. They were awarded the Pulitzer Prize for their work, one of several the paper has received for its investigative journalism,[19] and their work was dramatized in the 2015 Academy Award-winning film Spotlight, named after the paper's in-depth investigative division.[20]

The Boston Globe is credited with allowing Peter Gammons to start his Notes section on baseball, which has become a mainstay in all major newspapers nationwide. In 2004, Gammons was selected as the 56th recipient of the J. G. Taylor Spink Award for outstanding baseball writing, given by the BBWAA, and was honored at the Baseball Hall of Fame on July 31, 2005.[21]

In 2007, Charlie Savage, whose reports on President Bush's use of signing statements made national news, won the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting.[22]

The Boston Globe has consistently been ranked in the forefront of American journalism. Time magazine listed it as one of the ten best US daily newspapers in 1974 and 1984, and the Globe tied for sixth in a national survey of top editors who chose "America's Best Newspapers" in the Columbia Journalism Review in 1999.[23]

The Boston Globe hosts 28 blogs covering a variety of topics including Boston sports, local politics and a blog made up of posts from the paper's opinion writers.[24]

On April 2, 2009, The New York Times Company threatened to close the paper if its unions did not agree to $20,000,000 of cost savings.[25][26] Some of the cost savings include reducing union employees' pay by 5%, ending pension contributions, ending certain employees' tenures.[25][26] The Boston Globe eliminated the equivalent of fifty full-time jobs; among buy-outs and layoffs, it swept out most of the part-time employees in the editorial sections. However, early on the morning of May 5, 2009, The New York Times Company announced it had reached a tentative deal with the Boston Newspaper Guild, which represents most of the Globe's editorial staff, that allowed it to get the concessions it demanded. The paper's other three major unions had agreed to concessions on May 3, 2009, after The New York Times Company threatened to give the government 60-days notice that it intended to close the paper.[27] Despite the cuts helping to "significantly [improve]" its financial performance by October of that year, The Globe's parent company indicated that it was considering strategic alternatives for the paper, but did not plan to sell it.[28] In September 2011, The Boston Globe launched a dedicated, subscription-based website at bostonglobe.com.[29]

In February 2013, The New York Times Company announced that it would sell the New England Media Group, which encompasses the Globe; bids were received by six parties, of them included John Gormally (then-owner of WGGB-TV in Springfield, Massachusetts), another group included members of former Globe publishers, the Taylor family, and Boston Red Sox principal owner John W. Henry, who bid for the paper through the New England Sports Network (majority owned by Fenway Sports Group alongside the Boston Bruins). However, after the NESN group dropped out of the running to buy the paper, Henry made his own separate bid to purchase The Globe in July 2013.[30][31] On October 24, 2013, he took ownership of The Globe, at a $70 million purchase price.[32][33] On January 30, 2014, Henry named himself publisher and named Mike Sheehan, a prominent former Boston ad executive, to be CEO.[34] As of January 2017, Doug Franklin replaced Mike Sheehan as CEO,[35] then Franklin resigned after six months in the position, in July 2017, as a result of strategic conflicts with owner Henry.[36]

In July 2016, the 815,000-square-foot headquarters located in Dorchester was sold to an unknown buyer for an undisclosed price.[37] The Globe moved its printing operations in June 2017 to Myles Standish Industrial Park in Taunton, Massachusetts. Also in June 2017, the Globe moved its headquarters to Exchange Place in Boston's Financial District.[38]

2018 death threats

Between August 10–22, 2018, approximately 14 threatening phone calls were made to Boston Globe offices. The caller stated that the Globe was the "enemy of the people" and threatened to kill newspaper employees.[39] On August 16, 2018, the Globe and more than 400 news outlets from across the United States jointly published editorials in support of free press.[40]

On August 30, 2018, California resident Robert Chain was arrested by an FBI SWAT team and charged with a single count of making a threatening communication in interstate commerce.[39] In May 2019, Chain plead guilty in a US federal court to seven counts of making threatening communications in interstate commerce.[41]

Editorial page

Since 1981,[42] the editorial pages of The Boston Globe have been separate from the news operation, as is frequently customary in the news industry. Editorials represent the official view of The Boston Globe as a community institution. The publisher reserves the right to veto an editorial and usually determines political endorsements for high office.[43] Ellen Clegg, a long-time Globe journalist and former top spokeswoman for the newspaper, was named editor of the Editorial Page in 2015.[44]

Describing the political position of The Boston Globe in 2001, former editorial page editor Renée Loth told the Boston University alumni magazine:

The Globe has a long tradition of being a progressive institution, and especially on social issues. We are pro-choice; we're against the death penalty; we're for gay rights. But if people read us carefully, they will find that on a whole series of other issues, we are not knee-jerk. We're for charter schools; we're for any number of business-backed tax breaks. We are a lot more nuanced and subtle than that liberal stereotype does justice to.[45]

The Boston Globe endorsed Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in the run-up for the 2016 U.S. presidential election.[46] In August 2018, the editorial board launched a coordinated campaign for newspapers nationwide to respond to President Donald Trump's "enemy of the people" attacks and "fake news" rants against the media by publishing locally produced editorial responses on Thursday, August 16.[47][48] Within a couple of days, an estimated 100+ newspapers had pledged to join the campaign,[49] jumping to roughly 200 a few days later.[50] On Aug. 13, the Radio Television Digital News Association and its Voice of the First Amendment Task Force encouraged its 1,200 member organizations to join the campaign[51] while other media organizations also helped spread the call to action.[52] Even as some right-leaning outlets portrayed the Globe's campaign as an attack on the president, rather than his rhetorical attacks on the fourth estate,[53][54][55] some newspapers got a head start, releasing content on Wednesday the 15th, including the Virginia-based Connection Newspapers group,[56] the combined East Bay Times and Mercury News,[57] and the Baltimore Sun.[58] On Thursday the 16th, 350 newspapers participated in the event.[59][60]

The president responded with a tweet accusing the media of collusion. The Globe later received several phone threats with at least one threat mentioning an afternoon bomb. While authorities did not consider the threat to be "super serious", uniformed police nonetheless raised their presence in and around the building, building management notified other tenants, and the FBI was investigating.[61][62][63]


Appearing in the Sunday paper almost every week is The Boston Globe Magazine. As of 2018, Veronica Chao is the editor.

On October 23, 2006, The Boston Globe announced the publication of Design New England: The Magazine of Splendid Homes and Gardens. This glossy oversized magazine is published six times per year.[64]


  • Robin Abrahams writes "Miss Conduct" (see below)

  • Veronica Chao, Editor

  • Neil Swidey, staff writer

  • Tina Sutton, writes "The Clothes We Wear"

  • Adam Ried, writes food-related articles and recipes

  • Meredith Goldstein, writes Love Letters advice column

  • Melissa Schorr edits the Dinner with Cupid matchmaking column

Regular features

  • Editor's Notes: notes which relate to one of the features in that week's magazine

  • Letters: readers' correspondence

  • Q/A: mini interview with a local person

  • The Big Deal: profile of a transaction that recently took place

  • Tales From the City: heartwarming stories from Boston and elsewhere

  • The Clothes We Wear: style column

  • Miss Conduct: advice column focusing mainly on good manners and propriety.

  • The Globe Puzzle: crossword puzzle

  • Coupling: essay about social chemistry, usually pertaining to someone's love life

  • Sunday Ideas section features reporting and commentary on the ideas, people, books, and trends that are shaking up the intellectual world.[65]

Bostonian of the Year

Each year in December since 2004, the magazine picks a Bostonian of the Year.[66] Past winners include Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein (2004), retired judge and Big Dig whistleblower Edward Ginsburg (2005), governor Deval Patrick (2006), Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America founder and CEO Bruce Marks (2007), NBA champion Paul Pierce (2008), professor Elizabeth Warren (2009), Republican politician Scott Brown (2010), U.S. attorney Carmen Ortiz and ArtsEmerson executive director Robert Orchard[67] (2011), Olympic gold medalists Aly Raisman and Kayla Harrison (2012),[68] three people who were near the Boston Marathon bombings, Dan Marshall, Natalie Stavas, and Larry Hittinger (2013),[69] Market Basket employees (2014),[70] and neuropathologist Ann McKee (2017).[71]

Pulitzer Prizes

  • 1966: Meritorious Public Service for its "campaign to prevent the confirmation of Francis X Morrissey as a Federal District judge."[72]

  • 1972: Local Reporting, The Boston Globe Spotlight Team for "their exposure of political favoritism and conflict of interest by office holders in Somerville, Massachusetts."[73]

  • 1974: Editorial Cartooning, Paul Szep.[74]

  • 1975: Meritorious Public Service, The Boston Globe, for its "massive and balanced coverage of the Boston school desegregation crisis."[75]

  • 1977: Editorial Cartooning, Paul Szep[76]

  • 1980: Distinguished Commentary, Ellen Goodman, columnist.[77]

  • 1980: Distinguished Criticism, William A. Henry III, for television criticism.[78]

  • 1980: Special Local Reporting, The Boston Globe Spotlight Team for describing transit mismanagement.[77]

  • 1983: National Reporting, The Boston Globe Magazine for its article "War and Peace in the Nuclear Age".[79]

  • 1984: Spot News Photography, Stan Grossfeld for photographing the effects of the Lebanese Civil War.[80]

  • 1984: For Local Investigative Specialized Reporting, Kenneth Cooper, Joan Fitz Gerald, Jonathan Kaufman, Norman Lockman, Gary Mc Millan, Kirk Scharfenberg and David Wessel of The Boston Globe for a series on racism including self-criticism.[1] [120] [80]

  • 1985: Feature Photography, Stan Grossfeld for a "series of photographs of the 1983–85 famine in Ethiopia and for his pictures of illegal aliens on the Mexican border." The Pulitzer was also awarded in equal parts to Larry C. Price of the Philadelphia Inquirer for his series on the war-torn peoples of Angola and El Salvador.[81]

  • 1995: Distinguished Beat Reporting, David M Shribman for his "analytical reporting on Washington developments and the national scene."[82]

  • 1996: Distinguished Criticism, Robert Campbell

  • 1997: Distinguished Commentary, Eileen McNamara

  • 2001: Distinguished Criticism, Gail Caldwell

  • 2003: Public Service, Boston Globe Spotlight Team for "courageous, comprehensive coverage in its disclosures of sexual abuse by priests in the Roman Catholic Church"[83]

  • 2005: Explanatory Reporting, Gareth Cook for "explaining, with clarity and humanity, the complex scientific and ethical dimensions of stem cell research."[84]

  • 2007: National Reporting, Charlie Savage

  • 2008: Distinguished Criticism, Mark Feeney

  • 2011: Distinguished Criticism, Sebastian Smee[85]

  • 2012: Distinguished Criticism, Wesley Morris[86]

  • 2014: Breaking News, for coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings[87]

  • 2015: Editorial Writing, Kathleen Kingsbury[88]

  • 2016: Distinguished Commentary, Farah Stockman[89]

  • 2016: Feature Photography, Jessica Rinaldi[90]


PublisherYears activeNotes
Charles H. Taylor1873–1921Founder of The Boston Globe
William O. Taylor1921–1955
William Davis Taylor1955–1977
William O. Taylor II1978–1997
Benjamin B. Taylor1997–1999Last of the Taylor family to serve as a publisher for the paper
Richard H. Gilman1999–2006
P. Steven Ainsley2006–2009
Christopher Mayer2009–2014
John W. Henry2014–present



  • John L. Allen, Jr.

  • Amalie Benjamin

  • John Ellement

  • Jeff Jacoby

  • Tony Massarotti

  • Dan Shaughnessy

  • Joan Vennochi

  • Adrian Walker

  • Dan Wasserman

  • Carlo Wolff

  • Cathy Young


  • Mike Barnicle

  • Ben Bradlee Jr.

  • Ron Borges

  • Gail Caldwell

  • Steve Curwood

  • Gordon Edes

  • Ray Fitzgerald

  • George Frazier

  • Peter Gammons

  • Ellen Goodman

  • George V. Higgins

  • Michael Holley

  • Richard Kindleberger

  • Stephen Kurkjian

  • Diane Lewis

  • Jackie MacMullan

  • Will McDonough

  • Eileen McNamara

  • Leigh Montville

  • Wesley Morris

  • Tim Murnane

  • Gloria Negri

  • Martin F. Nolan

  • David Nyhan

  • Charlie Pierce

  • Frederick Pratson

  • Alan Richman

  • Bob Ryan

  • Charlie Savage

  • Justine Schiavo-Hunt

  • Michael Smith

  • Patricia Smith

  • Farah Stockman

  • Paul Szep

  • Lesley Visser

  • Larry Whiteside

  • Elizabeth Winship

Reporter fabrications and plagiarism

In 1998, columnist Patricia Smith was forced to resign after it was discovered that she had fabricated people and quotations in several of her columns.[91] In August of that year, columnist Mike Barnicle was discovered to have copied material for a column from a George Carlin book, Brain Droppings. He was suspended for this offense, and his past columns were reviewed. The Boston Globe editors found that Barnicle had fabricated a story about two cancer patients, and Barnicle was forced to resign.[92]

In the spring of 2005, The Boston Globe retracted a story describing the events of a seal hunt near Halifax, Nova Scotia that took place on April 12, 2005. Written by freelancer Barbara Stewart, a former The New York Times staffer, the article described the specific number of boats involved in the hunt and graphically described the killing of seals and the protests that accompanied it. In reality, weather had delayed the hunt, which had not yet begun the day the story had been filed, proving that the details were fabricated.[93][94]

Other controversies

In 2004, the Globe apologized for printing graphic photographs that the article represented as showing U.S. soldiers raping Iraqi women during the Iraq War from a city councilor's presentation before they were verified. The photos had already been found by other news organizations to be from an internet pornography site.[95][96]


The Boston Globe maintains two distinct major websites: BostonGlobe.com is a subscriber-supported site with a paywall and content from the printed paper; and Boston.com, one of the first regional news portals,[97] is supported by advertising. Between September 2011 and March 2014, the Globe gradually withdrew stories written by Globe journalists from Boston.com, making the sites more and more separated.[98] BostonGlobe.com was designed to emphasize a premium experience focusing on content and emulating the visual appearance of The Boston Globe newspaper; the site was one of the first major websites to use a responsive design which automatically adapts its layout to a device's screen size. Boston.com followed suit in 2014. The two sites are aimed towards different readers; while Boston.com became targeted towards "casual" readers and local content, the new Boston Globe website is targeted towards the audience of the paper itself.[99][100][101]

In 2012, the Society for News Design selected BostonGlobe.com as the world's best-designed news website.[102]

Digital subscriptions

In December 2016, the Globe reported a total of 72,889 "restricted digital access" subscriptions and this grew to 90,440 by the end of June in 2017. In a memo to the Globe staff on New Year's Eve of 2017, editor Brian McGrory said the newspaper was closing in on 95,000 digital subscribers and would pass the 100,000 mark in the first half of 2018. Globe spokeswoman Jane Bowman later confirmed that the Globe had reached the 100,000 goal. McGrory has stated in the recent past that reaching 200,000 digital subscribers would make the Globe self-sustaining.[103]

Boston Globe Media Partners, which owns the Globe, operates a number of websites covering certain niche subjects. The sites share many resources, like office space, with the Globe, but are often branded separately from the newspaper:

  • Boston.com is a regional website that offers news and information about the Boston, Massachusetts area.

  • Loveletters.boston.com is a love advice column run by Meredith Goldstein, an advice columnist and entertainment reporter for The Boston Globe.

  • Realestate.boston.com is a regional website that offers advice on buying, selling, home improvement, and design with expert advice, insider neighborhood knowledge, the latest listings to buy or rent, and a window on the world of luxury living.

  • BetaBoston, launched in 2014, covers the local technology industry in Boston, its suburbs and New England as a whole.[104]


Crux[105] was launched by the Globe in September 2014 to focus on news related to the Catholic Church.[98][106][107] At the end of March 2016, The Globe ended its association with Crux, transferring ownership of the website to the Crux staff. With Allen as the new editor, Crux received sponsorship from the Knights of Columbus and several Catholic dioceses.[107][108][109]


Stat, launched in 2015, covers health, medicine and life sciences, with a particular focus on the biotechnology industry based in and around Boston. Stat employs journalists in Boston, Washington, D.C., New York City and San Francisco.[110]

Globe Grant (charity program)

The Boston Globe started the GRANT (Globe Readers And Non-profits Together) in 2013 as a way to give back to the New England community. All Boston Globe subscribers receive a GRANT voucher during February, ranging from $25 to $125 of GRANT dollars. The amount depends on length of tenure as a subscriber; the longer one has been subscribed to the Globe, the more GRANT dollars are received. Anyone who wishes to take part in this program can enter their respective subscriber number online and choose their favorite New England non-profit. The GRANT dollars earned by every non-profit can be redeemed for free advertising space in The Boston Globe. Organizations usually utilize this advertising space to promote events, fundraise, or simply advertise. Every year, more and more non-profits are recognized and given the opportunity to earn free advertising space. In only three years, The Boston Globe donated over $3 million of advertising space.[111]

Top five non-profit donations (2016)

  1. Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Inc./Jimmy Fund - $56,455

  2. Mass Audubon Society, Inc. - $44,020

  3. Planned Parenthood League of Mass, Inc. - $32,895

  4. Rosie's Place, Inc. - $28,930

  5. Greater Boston Food Bank, Inc. - $28,005[111]

See also

  • The Boston Evening Transcript

  • The Boston Daily Advertiser

  • The Boston Herald

  • The Boston Journal

  • The Boston Post

  • The Boston Record

  • WLVI, a television station the Globe held half-ownership of from 1966 to 1974


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