Boston Herald editorial page editor riddle answered

Herald Radio producer Tom Shattuck named to post

THE MYSTERY OF the Boston Herald editorial page editor is over.

Tom Shattuck, a former talk radio producer who has run the paper’s online radio station and written op-ed columns, will replace Rachelle Cohen, the paper’s longtime editorial page editor who left last month when Digital First Media took ownership of the Herald.

Editor Joe Sciacca posted word of Shattuck’s appointment on Wednesday in the Herald newsroom along with announcing several other promotions.

Just who was overseeing the Herald editorial page after Cohen’s March 16 departure had been something of a mystery. Cohen’s name, and that of former deputy editorial page editor Julie Mehegan, who also left, disappeared from the paper’s masthead. But no names went up in their place.

Sciacca and the Herald’s new publisher, Kevin Corrado, did not return calls last week asking who was helming the page. Shattuck’s name was being whispered as the guy writing the editorials, with one Herald columnist even tweeting two weeks ago that he was the new editorial page editor, but the paper would not confirm that and the masthead has continued to list only Sciacca and Corrado.

The paper’s editorial page has long leaned right, but it now seems poised to do more than lean that way.

Shattuck has been an unwavering cheerleader for President Trump, a sharp departure from the editorial page under Cohen. Under her lead, the page could best be described as Charlie Baker Republican – right down to its decision, like that of the governor, not to back either major party candidate in the 2016 election. Cohen followed up that decision with lots of editorials sharply critical of Trump once he took office.

Just how a Trump-backing editorial page will deal with Baker is a little hard to say. Wednesday’s editorial felt like a contorted take on the issue of Baker dodging his way around the question of why he wouldn’t be on the tarmac to greet Vice President Mike Pence when he landed in Boston this week for a GOP fundraiser.

The editorial said it’s understandable that Baker would avoid the event, given how toxic the Trump administration is in Massachusetts. It chalked up the problems Baker would face in being seen with Pence to the state’s “hyperpartisan environment,” an odd claim to make about a Republican governor who is favored to roll to reelection in a heavily Democratic-leaning state and about whom Democratic pols from Marty Walsh to Bob DeLeo have little to say but nice things.

Though the editorial sympathized with Baker, and said “this version of Charlie Baker is the one who can win,” it then sized him up in less-than-charitable terms as “either a moderate Democrat or an invertebrate Republican.”

Meet the Author

Michael Jonas

Executive Editor, CommonWealth

About Michael Jonas

Michael Jonas has worked in journalism in Massachusetts since the early 1980s. Before joining the CommonWealth staff in early 2001, he was a contributing writer for the magazine for two years. His cover story in CommonWealth's Fall 1999 issue on Boston youth outreach workers was selected for a PASS (Prevention for a Safer Society) Award from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency.

Michael got his start in journalism at the Dorchester Community News, a community newspaper serving Boston's largest neighborhood, where he covered a range of urban issues. Since the late 1980s, he has been a regular contributor to the Boston Globe. For 15 years he wrote a weekly column on local politics for the Boston Sunday Globe's City Weekly section.

Michael has also worked in broadcast journalism. In 1989, he was a co-producer for "The AIDS Quarterly," a national PBS series produced by WGBH-TV in Boston, and in the early 1990s, he worked as a producer for "Our Times," a weekly magazine program on WHDH-TV (Ch. 7) in Boston.

Michael lives in Dorchester with his wife and their two daughters.

About Michael Jonas

Michael Jonas has worked in journalism in Massachusetts since the early 1980s. Before joining the CommonWealth staff in early 2001, he was a contributing writer for the magazine for two years. His cover story in CommonWealth's Fall 1999 issue on Boston youth outreach workers was selected for a PASS (Prevention for a Safer Society) Award from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency.

Michael got his start in journalism at the Dorchester Community News, a community newspaper serving Boston's largest neighborhood, where he covered a range of urban issues. Since the late 1980s, he has been a regular contributor to the Boston Globe. For 15 years he wrote a weekly column on local politics for the Boston Sunday Globe's City Weekly section.

Michael has also worked in broadcast journalism. In 1989, he was a co-producer for "The AIDS Quarterly," a national PBS series produced by WGBH-TV in Boston, and in the early 1990s, he worked as a producer for "Our Times," a weekly magazine program on WHDH-TV (Ch. 7) in Boston.

Michael lives in Dorchester with his wife and their two daughters.

The other appointments posted in the newsroom by Sciacca:

Jules Crittenden, managing editor for news
Diane Broderick, managing editor for production
Bruce Castlebury, deputy managing editor for news
Bryan Lantz, deputy managing editor for production
Todd Prussman, executive city editor