Maclean’s feature probes Globe shakeup

John Stackhouse
John Stackhouse

Unless you’re a subscriber to Maclean’s, you may have missed senior writer Anne Kingston’s substantial business piece in the July 6 edition, titled “As the Globe turns.” It’s a timely and detailed look at the recent changes at the newspaper’s helm, in which former editor-in-chief Ed Greenspon was ushered out the door whilst former Report on Business editor John Stackhouse was anointed his successor. You can read Globe and Mail publisher Phillip Crawley’s memo to staff here. As of today, Maclean’s has not yet posted the Kingston piece; when they do so, I’ll post a link here.

Kingston is right about Stackhouse’s “gruelling work ethic.” Among G&M editorial staff, at least, he had long been expected to be the newspaper’s next EIC. On the news desk, during the time I was a page editor there as well a frequent fill-in as production editor, Stackhouse developed a reputation for calling the front-page story lineup only after deliberate and considerable thought, then second-guessing himself constantly through the evening as new developments and other stories arose. It had production staff tearing their hair out at times, but usually resulted in a superb front page.

Stackhouse is able to focus, with singleminded and laser-like attention, on the task at hand and then execute with a calm and unmistakable authority. Greenspon’s style, by contrast, is more abstract, probing and sensing. The talk among newsroom staffers was that Greenspon, a veteran of the Ottawa political scene, was interested in diplomacy or senior civil service as a future chapter in his career. We’ll see.

A final, personal note about Stackhouse: I had the pleasure of being his copy editor when I joined the business desk at The London Free Press in early 1988. He was at that time the department’s go-to business reporter, working alongside Brent Jang, currently the Globe’s transportation reporter. Stackhouse left London for Toronto shortly thereafter.

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