On his first day at the Globe, Baron asked why the Archdiocese of Boston’s papers on clergy sex abuse were under court seal, said Walter V. Robinson, former editor of the Globe’s Spotlight team. Baron then asked the Globe’s lawyers to take steps to get the documents unsealed, and asked the Spotlight Team to move forward with an investigation, Robinson recalled.
“There wouldn’t have been a church story if it wasn’t for Marty,” said Robinson.
The disclosures that rocked the Catholic Church in Boston have reverberated nationally and internationally for over a decade now, emboldening thousands of Catholics to come forward with allegations of molestation by priests.
Baron also oversaw the Globe newsroom during an extraordinary period of transformation for the newspaper industry, as readers and advertisers flocked to the Internet for news. The shift has forced the Globe and media organizations around the country to build a robust Web presence and integrate digital and print operations in the newsroom.
Baron helped build Boston.com into the region’s leading news website and among the nation’s largest newspaper websites with more than 6 million monthly unique visitors. Last year Baron also oversaw the launch of BostonGlobe.com, a subscription-only news website.
Just this year, the Globe and Boston.com won numerous multimedia awards including six national Edward R. Murrow Awards in the competition sponsored by the Radio Television Digital News Association, and three EPPY awards in the competition sponsored by Editor & Publisher magazine.
Baron’s tenure also was marked by deep cuts that plagued the entire newspaper industry. Steep losses in print advertising, aggravated by the global financial crisis that began in 2008, prompted the Globe’s parent, The New York Times Co., to threaten in 2009 to shut down the Boston paper unless its labor unions agreed to $20 million in concessions. The paper survived and regained its financial footing, but has endured several rounds of buyouts and layoffs in recent years.
“From what I can see, the Globe has been kind of an island of journalistic stability through a lot of storms,” said Ken Doctor, media analyst for research firm Outsell Inc. in Burlingame, Calif. “The Globe has kept its eye on the ball with what it does with its longstanding commitment to quality journalism and the cooperation with its digital side. Those two things, which would seem to be standard operating procedure, are not what we’re seeing at other metro dailies around the country.”
Prior to the Globe, Baron served as executive editor of The Miami Herald, and under his leadership, the paper won the Pulitzer for breaking news coverage in 2001 for its coverage of the return of Elian Gonzalez, the Cuban boy at the center of an immigration custody battle.
A native of Tampa and a Lehigh University graduate who speaks fluent Spanish, Baron has also held high-level jobs at The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times. In 2001, Baron was named “Editor of the Year” by Editor & Publisher magazine.
Under Brauchli, the Post won four Pulitzer Prizes — for international reporting, feature writing, criticism, and breaking news photography.
The Post has a daily circulation of nearly 500,000 and Sunday circulation of 675,000. The Globe has a daily circulation of about 230,000, and a Sunday circulation of about 372,000.
Robert Weisman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.