Monday, October 12, 2015


All things considered....

"WGBH to acquire GlobalPost, merge part of news team with PRI" by Jon Chesto and Jack Newsham Globe Staff | Globe Correspondent  September 24, 2015

When Philip S. Balboni launched GlobalPost in 2009, he made a bold bet that the international digital news service could eventually thrive as a for-profit company.

That bet, in the end, didn’t pay off as he hoped. Despite the long list of awards GlobalPost’s news team racked up, the Boston company never made it into the black.

One wonders (or not) how they managed to stay around so long?

On Thursday, the nonprofit public broadcaster WGBH unveiled plans to acquire GlobalPost, but it did not disclose the financial terms. WGBH plans to move most of the GlobalPost news team from Boston’s waterfront to its Brighton headquarters on Guest Street; it will merge the remaining GlobalPost team with its Public Radio International group, a provider of radio programming.

Last year, GlobalPost made headlines when one of its contributors, James Foley, was killed by Islamic State militants in Syria.

Enough with the lopping lies, will ya?

Excluding Balboni, GlobalPost has eight full-timers and seven contract staffers.

Alisa Miller, PRI’s chief executive, said she expects nine people to make the move to WGBH. Balboni will not be among them: He will serve only as a strategic adviser to PRI, and said he is planning a new venture that he is not yet ready to unveil.

In the 1990s, Balboni built Newton-based New England Cable News, now owned by Comcast, into a successful for-profit enterprise, and he hoped to replicate that success with GlobalPost.


At its inception, the venture was viewed by media experts as an ambitious experiment, an effort to make money with in-depth foreign reporting in a digital age when free online news and short attention spans ruled the day. The goal was, in part, to fill the gap in international news caused by the closures of traditional media outlets’ foreign bureaus. But the going was rough from the start, with digital advertising rates plunging by 90 percent since GlobalPost’s launch, Balboni said.

GlobalPost did not rely just on selling ads for its website. The company offered a premium subscription service to readers willing to pay for extra content, and it syndicated its material for other news outlets to purchase. Balboni also hunted down grant money from foundations to underwrite some of GlobalPost’s bigger reporting projects. He said the company’s operating deficit was cut in half in the last two years.

Balboni said his two other major investors — philanthropist Amos Hostetter and Jim Stone, chief executive of the Plymouth Rock insurance company — continued to support the mission even in the face of losses. But in the end....


I never watch PBS now. Used to love MacNeil-Lehrer sport back in the early 1990s. Now it's just another channel on the wheel of Jewish propaganda.