The Boston Globe has said it will no longer be running its Catholic news site Crux as of April 1. Vatican analyst and associate Crux editor John L. Allen Jr. says he hopes to continue the site with other partners.
The announcement comes after less than two years of operation for the Catholic site. The Boston Globe cited financial reasons for the decision. It said that Allen is “exploring the possibility of continuing it in some modified form, absent any contribution from the Globe.”
Allen, a longtime Vatican reporter who is widely respected in his field, told CNA that he and Crux Vatican correspondent Ines San Martin will continue the site.
“What’s happening is that the Boston Globe will no longer be sponsoring Crux, but that doesn't mean Crux is closing,” he said March 11. “I and Ines San Martin are committed to keeping it going, and we are actively pursuing potential partners, sponsors and donors to make that possible. So the story here is not that Crux is ending, but that it’s transitioning.”
In a letter to newsroom staff, Globe editor Brian McGrory and managing editor and vice president for digital David Skok discussed the end of the Globe’s connection with Crux. Professor and former media critic Dan Kennedy posted the full text of the letter on his website.
“We’ve made the deeply difficult decision to shut it down as of April 1 — difficult because we’re beyond proud of the journalism and the journalists who have produced it, day after day, month over month, for the past year and a half,” McGrory and Skok said.
“The problem is the business. We simply haven’t been able to develop the financial model of big-ticket, Catholic-based advertisers that was envisioned when we launched Crux back in September 2014.”
McGrory and Skok said there will be “several layoffs” involved in cutting ties with Crux. They described these layoffs as “our biggest regret.” Crux editor Teresa Hanafin will be redeployed in a position in the Boston Globe newsroom.
“We vowed to make Crux a place where all voices could be heard, and we stuck to that pledge,” Hanafin said on Crux March 11.
The Boston Globe is owned by businessman John Henry, who is also principal owner of the Boston Red Sox baseball team.
Crux was launched in September 2014. It aspired to cover “all things Catholic” with content to appeal to active Catholics, “casual” Catholics who may not be regular Mass attendees, and general readers interested in Pope Francis, religion and spirituality.
At the time of the news site’s launch, Allen told CNA that the Catholic Church’s global presence and rich traditions justify focused news coverage. “(T)he Catholic Church matters and needs to be taken seriously by mainstream news outlets,” he said.