Boston.com, Globe Consolidate Editorial Divisions

As part of a strategic restructuring of New York Times Company properties, The Boston Globe intends to merge its online and print editorial staff, Al Larkin, senior vice president of general administration and external affairs for the Globe, said last week.

The editorial content of the online edition, published via the Boston.com Web site owned by the Times Co., will now ultimately fall under the direction of Martin Baron, the editor of the Globe.

Larkin said the move stemmed from competitive pressures, as well as the desire for a single Globe "brand." He said the deal marked "a recognition that these multiple platforms, much more than in the past, can operate more closely together and still build for the future."

The move to combine Boston.com's print and online editorial staff is largely the work of Michael Zimbalist, who joined the Times Co. in January 2005 as vice president of research and development operations. The integration also marks Zimbalist's first major initiative since moving to the Times.

The plan also calls for the relocation of Boston.com sales staffers to the Globe's main headquarters. Larkin added that the company would offer advertisers the opportunity to combine "one or more entities," pointing to "BostonWorks, the Worcester Telegram and Gazette, and our partnerships with the New England Sports Network and Metro Boston."

The Times Co.'s New England operations, including the Globe, are the worst-performing of the Times Co.'s regional divisions. In a May revenue report from the Times Co., its New England operation posted an 8 percent drop in ad revenue compared to the same month in 2005.