New business editor at the Globe
: Caleb Solomon, former editor of Wall Street Journal/New England, a now defunct weekly section providing regional business news, has been named editor of the Globe’s business section(s).
It’s a great move by Marty Baron. As editor of the Boston Business Journal during Solomon’s tenure at Wall Street Journal/New England, I can attest to Solomon’s credentials. He was a formidable competitor, even though the BBJ and WSJ targeted slightly different niches. For a while there, WSJ/New England was must read for local business readers -- big scoops, interesting features, quirky lists and data, way-ahead-of-the-curve trend pieces. (For some reason, though, the section petered out towards the second half of its run. Don’t know why.) One suggestion to Solomon: Don’t try to replicate what you did at the WSJ/NE. The old WSJ/NE found a niche in covering, for lack of other words, that murky zone where the private sector meets the public sector. One of the biggest complaints about the Globe’s business section, I’ve found, is that too much of its coverage of business is often in that exact same zone -- and not enough on the harder-to-get news on the private sector side. One of the classic mistakes daily newspapers make, when it comes to business sections, is thinking that they should be an extension of the Metro/Region section and/or that they should appeal to all readers (i.e. more business news out of City Hall or the Statehouse, or yet more banal stories about how to manage your 401(k) plan). Wrong, wrong, wrong. You wouldn’t dare take the same approach towards the sports section. So why take that approach towards the business section? (Can you imagine major pieces in the Globe sports section on how to improve your fielding and batting skills for the local softball league?) The Globe’s business readers are tough, sophisticated and intense -- and they don’t want to read about the best mortgage deal at the local community bank or how to save for retirement. They want the detailed, in-depth dirt on their competitors and industries. Just a tip from an old competitor, Caleb.