Exclusive: Globe and Mail makes significant investment in finance and business products

The publication is undergoing a multi-million dollar investment, beefing up its reporting team, adding new AI tools and enhancing its coverage.


Globe and Mail

When the 178-year-old Globe and Mail recently decided to significantly boost its business, finance and investing content and coverage, Gary Salewicz, editor of the newspaper’s monthly Report On Business magazine, said it followed the lead of its readers.

“We noticed that a lot of people are subscribing to the Globe and Mail for investment and personal finance content,” Salewicz said during an exclusive interview with Media in Canada. “We saw an opportunity and we saw a need, so we decided we would invest there and provide a more robust suite of content for them.”

Supplied by what Andrew Saunders, the company’s Chief Revenue Officer, calls “a sizeable multi-million dollar investment” over the next three years, the Globe and Mail is making noticeable changes that include online enhancements and expanded journalistic manpower, which officially begins with this Saturday’s edition.

Report On Business is hiring eight new journalists, including Erica Alini (personal finance reporter), Temur Durrani, (technology reporter), Vanmala Subramanian (future of work reporter), Irene Galea and Jaren Kerr (general assignment reporters). And they’re not stopping there: Salewicz says the Globe has dedicated between 35 to 40 reporters to specific teams covering pertinent topics, ranging from green energy and tech to financial services and the economy.

“When the pandemic started, we realized that the economy was going to be front-and-centre for readers,” he notes. “So, we created an economy team: we took a couple of reporters that we had already focused on that subject and we added six more people to that group to navigate and explain to Canadians what’s happening to the economy. If something else comes our way, we will be nimble enough to do that and make changes.”

Salewicz says the Globe is also hiring a “crypto columnist” and an NFT specialist – and creating new beats like The Future Of Work, “which is trying to understand how people are working and working differently, but then also looking to the future with A.I., robotics. COVID has changed things, but technology is going to change things as well, so what does that look like?”

Changes are also coming to The Globe‘s website, including customized home page features, a newly constructed personalized finance platform and article pages that will allow site visitors to create an individualized view of stories, content, data and tools.

“We understand that a lot of readers come to us through search, so we are using our article pages and developing them as landing or home pages,” Salewicz explains, adding that the process, which incorporates artificial intelligence is currently in the Beta phase of testing. “When you come into an article page through search, we’re going to have a suite of access points and more ways for people to personalize their content, and also direct them to other content that we have onsite.”

Salewicz says that if a reader is interested “in a certain stock, we will then surface more content around that stock for you to visit.”

“Once you’re here and you’re a subscriber, we will have the A.I. support drive more content to you. But there will also be serendipity built into that,” he adds. “We’re not going to just close people off and say, ‘You’re interested in these three things’. We’re also going to surface content that we think might interest them as well.”

He says the first changes will occur in the online pages devoted to stocks. “It’s going to be a richer, deeper experience for people. They’re going to have a suite of tools that are directed at personal finance readership. So there’ll be tools on CPP and how to deploy your pension, and tools around mortgages.”

Salewicz figures that the online modifications should be completed by August.

Currently, The Globe and Mail newspaper reaches 6.3 million readers every week in print and digital formats, with Report on Business magazine reaching 2.2 million readers in both formats, and Salewicz says the changes are designed to attract “a younger and more diverse reader” through content “that is more accessible and more appropriate for their life stage.”

Saunders tells MiC that the new changes offer plenty of opportunities for marketers and advertisers “who are now constantly competing for attention in the market.”

“With our content, we are creating additional increment with unique sponsorship packages,” he says. “There are new print opportunities. There are what we’re classifying as flagship sponsorship opportunities in digital and in and around our new enhanced tool sets.”

Saunders says the Globe has “a number of sponsorships that really leverage our full ecosystem, providing a distinctive platform that a marketer can exclusively own and be associated with” and that they’re creating a personal finance masterclass designed to address topics of interest such as taxation, investment strategies and retirement.

“We’re also broadening up our event and experiential opportunity through the ecosystem approach. Yes, we’ve got print, but we’ve got desktop, mobile, podcast, social media, and we’re broadening our learning and our live event focus as well by creating these personal finance masterclass series.”

He adds that the Globe is going to relaunch its small business section to include more entrepreneurial content and that advertisers can buy “a very holistic package” in alignment with editorial, custom content, events, and newsletters “in order to connect with the entrepreneurial market in Canada.”

“There’s another program called the Emerging Leaders program, where we’re going to be providing a lot more insight into helping and providing guidance to the emerging leaders of tomorrow,” Saunders says. “That includes unique sponsorships, which are a combination of displays and this month’s content and promotion, and there are events that link back to having unique subscription offers. Globe and Mail digital subscription offers are part of that package and there’s also additional emerging resource groups that will be part of it.”

Saunders says his organization has given a lot of thought into building a product that caters to its subscribers.

“It took 10 years for us to increase our voice in the market and provide a stronger platform that when Canadians are looking for either in business content or personal finance content or modern data, they turned to the Globe,” he adds. “We will continue to evolve and adjust and invest in that area to deliver the strongest service and journalistic offering.”