Media Moves: Boston Globe Moving Downtown, Mike Beaudet Joining WCVB
Welcome to the first installment of Media Moves, a briefing of Boston media news. We’ll cover comings and goings, openings and closings, and more, all while putting a nice little bow on it. So here’s what happened in the week that was:
The Boston Globe is returning to Downtown Boston for the first time in over a half-century.
Staffers at the broadsheet were informed via an internal memo from Boston Globe Media Partners CEO Mike Sheehan on Thursday that the newspaper will leave its Dorchester home of 58 years for the friendly confines of 53 State Street in January 2017. The move downtown brings the newspaper to within walking distance of the city’s old newspaper row, a portion of Washington Street downtown that was occupied by several newspapers. The move to the new downtown digs will include the Boston Globe, Boston.com, and the media company’s business arm. The opening at the old Morrissey Boulevard location creates a major redevelopment opportunity on a large parcel that also happens to be transit accessible.
Here’s the full memo from Sheehan:
Over Memorial Day Weekend in 1958, The Boston Globe left our home on Washington Street’s Newspaper Row and moved to Morrissey Boulevard in Dorchester. The move was a catalyst for the most dramatic transformation in our history, both in the depth and quality of our journalism and in the scope of our media operations. Under the leadership of seven world-class editors, 23 Pulitzer Prizes were earned here, and we’ve grown from a single media offering to over a dozen print, digital, and broadcast properties.
Today, we signed a Letter of Intent with UBS to move our editorial and business operations to 53 State Street, Exchange Place. Assuming this leads to a signed lease, and we have every expectation that it will, the move will mark a bit of a homecoming, bringing BGMP back to the same neighborhood we vacated 58 years before. We plan on occupying the second and third floors, which are the largest floor plates in the building, integrating the former Boston Stock Exchange space with the glass tower that was built in 1985.
I have a particular fondness for the building, having moved another company there eight years ago. The reasons for choosing Exchange Place extend far beyond the inarguable fact that I am a creature of habit. First and foremost are location and accessibility. For a journalistic enterprise, there is just no substitute for being able to walk to City Hall, the State House, and virtually every corporate headquarters in the city. If you had to drop a pushpin on the single location that’s most accessible by public transportation, this would be it. The MBTA’s Blue Line and Orange Line have a stop under the building, the Green Line is a block away at Government Center, and the Red Line is just down the street at Downtown Crossing. The building is equidistant and walkable from the North Station and South Station commuter rail terminals as well as the commuter boat.
This move would materially change the answer to “where do you want to meet for lunch?” Cosi and Au Bon Pain are in the building, and there must be a few hundred other dining options within walking distance.
What excites me most about the move is the ability to design our space around the vision of where we want to go. We have retained Gensler (gensler.com) to help us create our new work environment, and they have begun the process of space planning and design.
I honestly believe there is no greater opportunity to redefine and transform the culture of The Boston Globe than to move to and work in the ideal location, right in the heart of the city, in an environment designed for the future of journalism. It worked for us when we moved to Morrissey Boulevard in 1958. And it’ll be equally powerful when we move to Exchange Place which, if all goes according to plan, will be on January 1, 2017.
The move by the paper appears to make a lot of sense, but there is one glaring downside: Monthly parking rates in the area around the future home of the paper are upwards of $500. Fortunately for the Globies and BDCers, there are many transit stops near their new office.
Mike Beaudet joins WCVB
Former WFXT investigative reporter and current Northeastern University journalism professor Mike Beaudet is returning to the field with WCVB as part of their investigative team. Beaudet joins Kathy Curran and Karen Anderson as part of the station’s multi-media investigative news team. Beaudet will incorporate his Northeastern students and teaching into his real world investigations at WCVB. “This trio, all Massachusetts natives, presents the strongest lineup of investigative reporters anywhere,” said WCVB News Director Andrew Veres in a statement posted on WCVB.com.