WNPR

Less Than 7 Months Into The Job, Boston Globe CEO Steps Down

Jul 19, 2017
Originally published on July 19, 2017 6:46 am

Boston Globe CEO Doug Franklin resigned Tuesday, after less than seven months in the role.

In a memo to staff, Franklin cited “differences” over strategy with John Henry, the owner and publisher of the newspaper.

“While John Henry and I share similar passion and vision for the Globe, we have our differences how to strategically achieve our financial sustainability,” Franklin said in his memo. “With disappointment, I am resigning from the Globe, effective immediately, and will not be part of your work shaping the Globe’s future.”

In a separate memo, Henry said he will become “a more active publisher” and Globe managing director Linda Henry, his wife, will “take on more responsibility.” Henry also announced that Vinay Mehra — most recently CFO of Politico and formerly an executive at WGBH — is now the president and chief financial officer of the Globe.

Franklin took over the position in January. He replaced Mike Sheehan, the former CEO of Hill Holiday who served as chief executive of the Globe for three years. Franklin was previously a top executive with Cox Enterprises and Cox Media Group. He had been a publisher of the Palm Beach Post and four daily newspapers in Ohio.

The resignation comes as the newspaper just completed a move last month from Dorchester to a new headquarters in downtown Boston. The Globe has also been undergoing a reinvention initiative to restructure its news operations.

Here is the full text of Franklin’s memo:

Globe Team,

You are part of a very special institution in New England, and everyone here should be honored to serve our readers, advertisers, and broader community through our journalism and business offerings. While John Henry and I share similar passion and vision for the Globe, we have our differences how to strategically achieve our financial sustainability. With disappointment, I am resigning from the Globe, effective immediately, and will not be part of your work shaping the Globe’s future.

There are many great things about the Globe and equally many challenges in the industry. Our business will continue to reshape itself, with some areas getting smaller and more efficient while we invest in new technology and products for our future.

I hope that over the past six months I have provided some clarity, honesty and realistic optimism of what you are capable of accomplishing in the coming years. I have truly appreciated the support and our partnership during the brief period in which I was privileged in getting to know you and your work.

I took on this role because I love the newspaper industry, cherish our First Amendment obligations, and value the role of the Globe in the Boston region. It was a big challenge, but I also believed it was a good fit, given my record of successfully turning around newspapers. The Globe is one of the best brands, best newsrooms and most loyal reader subscription businesses in the country. Hard work is ahead for all of you and I know you will successfully navigate the challenges. I wish you the best and thank you.

Doug

And here is the full text of John Henry’s note:

You’ve seen Doug’s note that he plans to leave the Globe. First, I’m very grateful for Doug’s hard work on behalf of this organization at an especially complex and sensitive time — as we moved from our decades-long home in Dorchester to Exchange Place and Taunton. These are not easy jobs in this industry, and Doug did his with passion, impact, and commitment. We wish Doug well in what will undoubtedly be successful endeavors in the future.

Second, effective immediately, Vinay Mehra will become the president and chief financial officer of the Globe. Vinay has distinguished himself at every stop along his career, most recently at Politico, where he was an active CFO with a strong grasp of the entire business and a commitment to a journalism enterprise supported by novel revenue streams. His prior work at WGBH gave him important insights into the Boston region, where he has always lived while commuting to Washington, and an understanding of the Globe’s vital role in New England.

Third, I will be a more active publisher and Linda will take on more responsibility as we push for financial sustainability in an environment that is extraordinarily challenging for news organizations dedicated to communities where facts and context matter.

This is a great and important news organization, one that is positioned for many more decades of success.

Best,

John

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