Published September 29, 2010
You may not know his name, but you have seen his work for years — maybe five or 10 times a day, if you’re a real news hound.
David Beard, the editor of Boston.com and a friend of WBUR, is leaving the Boston Globe to become the online editor at the National Journal in Washington, D.C.
“The city is diminished by his leaving, because he had a clear-eyed vision of what the ‘soul of the city’ is,” says my boss, John Davidow, the executive editor of wbur.org. Many of my colleagues have described Beard’s departure as another loss for the Globe — and for Boston.
Beard came to the Globe in 1998 and took the helm of Boston.com in 2004. Since then, Web traffic has grown to almost absurd numbers: 200 million page views a month, 13 million of them on mobile, according to the Globe. (His partnership with WBUR also helped our online audience grow.)
So why is Beard leaving? “I didn’t want to live my life managing decline,” he says of the ailing Globe, in an interview with the Nieman Journalism Lab. Beard wants a career change, and the move to the National Journal is a chance to help bolster deep, watchdog journalism in the nation’s capital.
The National Journal is rebranding itself as a “digital-first” news operation, perhaps in response to the royal butt-kicking from Politico, the startup that came from nowhere. Beard is, as we say, a good get.
He is also a great guy. Good luck, Dave.