Despite a recent moment in the limelight for "Spotlight," the best picture Oscar-winner detailing the Boston Globe's landmark coverage on the Catholic church molestation scandal, the paper has announced it will sever its tied with its Catholic vertical, Crux.
The 18-month-old venture focusing on "all things Catholic" and other religious issues will be handed to veteran reporter and Crux writer John L. Allen Jr. on April 1, The Atlantic reported. The reasons, Globe editor Brian McGory said in a staff email, was a flagging business model.
"We made the words work, but not the numbers. They simply didn't add up," McGory's email read.
The cut comes on the heels of what should have been a victorious year for Crux, with the upswing of "Spotlight" and the outlet's successful web traffic boost from Pope Francis' nine-day visit to the U.S. this fall (all of Crux's reporters were granted access to follow the Pontiff).
"If a Catholic news website could work anywhere, at any time, it should have been Boston this year," The Washington Post reported.
The end of Crux, as The Atlantic pointed out, is a big loss for those interested in Catholic goings-on, mostly because of its separation from the church that lends its coverage more transparency than that of other Catholic outlets.
"Many outlets are expressly affiliated with the church and even independent publications such as The National Catholic Reporter have fairly close ties with Catholic institutions," The Atlantic reported.
That separation may become more blurry, by Allen's own admission.
Allen says he's not sure how Crux will make itself profitable without the Globe's backing, but he, like much of the news industry, has doubts about an advertising-based revenue stream for such a niche audience.
"It’s like having a website for stock-car racing or quilting or something like that," Allen said in the Washington Post. "You have to think of yourself, to some extent, as a nonprofit.”
Despite a recent bask in the limelight for "Spotlight," a movie detailing the Boston Globe's landmark coverage on the Catholic church molestation scandal, the paper has announced it will shutter its Catholic vertical, Crux.