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Ainsley to Globe: "We have to succeed"

There's no bad news in the note that Boston Globe publisher Steve Ainsley sent to the paper's employees yesterday. But there's not really any good news, either.

Here's the Cliffs Notes version: we're going to figure out how to make the Globe work as a business proposition, because there's really no other choice.

Or, as Ainsley put it:

Dear Colleagues,

I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays.  To those who took some deserved time off, welcome back, and to those who worked right through the season, thank you.

It would be nice to say that the new year looks like a happy one for our business, but you know differently.  Nonetheless, I’m sure we will have any accomplishments to be proud of over the next 12 months, including meaningful progress toward stabilizing the business for the long term.

Many of you have heard me say I am not a fan of business books, save one. In Good to Great author Jim Collins dispensed some advice that may be useful in thinking about how to approach the new year: “Confront the brutal facts, yet never lose faith.”

Yes, we all know it’s brutal out there.  But, have faith in our abilities and our mission.  To put it in sloganese - we've got to believe to succeed.

We are going to succeed.  The solutions may not be obvious, but working together we will create them.  Our journalism will continue to inform, safeguard, and entertain Bostonians for a long time to come.  We will create a new business model that is sustainable for the long term.

We have to succeed.  Who else is going to do the hard reporting that uncovers corruption and abuse of power?  Who else will provide high quality and comprehensive coverage of arts, culture, sports, and business?  Who but us can and will consistently and intelligently raise the awareness of important issues facing the region – give voice to the less than powerful?

I know I’m preaching to the choir.  Your resiliency and determination are forever evident.  It seems that everyone is asking the right questions, taking the right actions, and working together.  We’re all pushing ahead, winning small and large victories, listening to our customers and responding.

We’ve done a remarkable job at building traffic and engagement for Boston.com and now we’re working on new ways of generating a larger revenue base.  For The Boston Globe, we’re focusing on the information needs of our core audience in order to minimize circulation losses and advertising evenue. We’re developing new products that add to the bottom line and
speak to new audiences.

Based on what I observe and what I know about the people who work here, we will succeed using ingenuity, good sense, collaboration, and grit.

Thank you.

Steve

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