Susanne Althoff resigns as Boston Globe Magazine editor to teach at Emerson

Susanne Althoff, who has edited Boston Globe Magazine since 2009, is leaving to teach in Emerson College’s Writing, Literature, and Publishing Department. The Globe editor’s memo:

From: McGrory, Brian
Date: Wed, May 6, 2015 at 2:58 PM
Subject: Susanne Althoff
To: [Boston Globe editorial staff]

It was probably two weeks ago when I was standing in Chris Chinlund’s office and said, “We could use five more Susanne Althoffs.” Susanne had just overseen another spectacular thick magazine,001RXMXXX0503F filled with meaningful stories and entertaining features, an issue that was also a boon to our bottom line. That not being enough, she then launched a two-part story on a young burn victim from Africa. That was being followed, this past Sunday, with a 70-page Globe Magazine featuring a fascinating profile of the previously little known billionaire Gerald Chan and a takeout on Boston’s memorably miserable winter. Game Changers comes next week.

Just another month in the professional life of Susanne and the magazine she has led for the past six years. Her team consistently produces some of the highest quality journalism to come out of the Globe, beautifully portrayed in print. And the magazine’s creativity and savvy in story selection, execution, and packaging have routinely led to massive readership online. Look no further than the feature on being poor at an Ivy League school, guaranteed to be one of the most read Globe stories of 2015./CONTINUES

With all of it, with everything she does, Susanne puts a premium on creativity and collaboration. None of it carries even the hint of drama. Put another way, Susanne is as good with people – editors, staff writers, designers, photographers, freelancers – as she is with their copy. And she works seamlessly with the nice people on the other side of the building to attract revenue while never sacrificing our values in the process.

All of which explains why it hurts as much as it does to share the news that Susanne has decided to leave the Globe. She accepted an assistant professorship in the Writing, Literature, and Publishing Department at Emerson College, teaching a range of publishing courses, developing a new track on the business of publishing, and almost certainly lecturing on the subject of women’s media – something she already does at Tufts.

It brings an end to her profoundly impactful dozen-years run in the magazine, one that began as an assistant editor and led to her ascension as editor in 2009. The accomplishments are easily ticked off: A pair of remakes under the withering pressure of declining ad support, the still-discussed two-part Neil Swidey series on the tragedy under Boston Harbor, the thick magazines we began rolling out this year. There’s so much in between. Susanne is also – and this is important – an immensely wonderful colleague, as empathetic as she is talented.

Susanne’s last day will be Friday, June 5, after she sees the next thick magazine to fruition. Amazingly, she’s been emailing me as recently as yesterday with ideas for a special issue next February, such is her commitment. We’ll begin the search for a new editor immediately.

Please take a moment to congratulate Susanne on her move to the academy. More to the point, make sure you thank her for all she’s done for the Globe.