Bob Sillick | for editor and editor
In Massachusetts and throughout New England, the Boston Globe has been the great rotating world of information for 150 years. His 26 Pulitzer Prizes are a clear testament to his journalistic excellence. Readers and leaders alike recognize him as the main source for everything that happens in the city and in the region.
In the summer of 2019, he launched Globe Rhode Island in Providence, not to be a satellite office but to become a separate news world for the state. This is part of a strategic initiative by The Globe to recognize and serve distinct New England audiences with the news that matters to them.
The Globe’s move south was discussed on a recent E&P Reports vodcast hosted by Editor & Publisher editor Mike Blinder. His guests were Michelle Micone, vice president of innovation and strategic initiatives at the Boston Globe; Lylah Alphonse, editor of the Rhode Island Globe; and Dan McGowan, host and producer of Globe Rhode Island’s morning bulletin, Rhode Map.
“Our goal with Globe Rhode Island was to create a distinct brand that people in the state could identify with. We also rely on the well-known Globe brand to establish the credibility that Globe Rhode Island reporting would offer the same level of excellence,” said Micone.
The recent purchase of Rhode Island’s largest news publication, the Providence Journal, by a hedge fund has certainly influenced The Globe’s strategy. The acquisition resulted in the reduction of staff from more than 200 reporters and various offices to 14. Globe Rhode Island’s staff includes several former reporters from the Journal, also known as ProJo.
“Our goal is to cover a lot of local stories that aren’t covered as well as provide more investigative reporting, which is what people in the state want,” Alphonse said. “We want to shed light in dark corners and use in-depth reporting to answer the ‘why’ question for readers.”
Alphonse added that showcasing the Rhode Island lifestyle is equally important, and the impending launch of an RI Food & Dining section is an example of this. She said the introduction of a series of newsletters, including the highly successful Rhode Map, quickly established Globe Rhode Island’s value to the community. This is an essential first step before the possible future launch of a paper edition.
“During my interview to join Global Rhode Island, I highlighted what I thought it could do differently and not necessarily replace previous reporting. My two recommendations were a morning newsletter and sponsorship and organization of ‘live events,’” McGowan said.
McGowan also pointed out that Globe ownership is heavily invested in The Globe Rhode Island and its staff receives strong editorial support from Globe staff. Over three years, this support has helped Globe Rhode Island show it cares deeply about the community.
Micone said Globe Rhode Island has proven its worth, first, as a respected news organization with the 27 reporting awards it recently received from the Rhode Island Press Association and second, as a revenue generator with 100% of advertising on Rhode Map sold for the remainder of 2022.
Micone invites news organizations to contact her at [email protected] to learn more about Globe Rhode Island’s strategy and its application in other markets.
Bob Sillick has held numerous leadership positions and served myriad clients over his 47 years in marketing and advertising. He has been a freelance/contract content researcher, writer, editor and manager since 2010. He can be reached at [email protected].