August 18, 2023 – The Plymouth Independent has reached its first major milestone, hiring Mark Pothier, one of the Boston Globe’s most accomplished editors, to be its CEO and Editor, putting the Independent on track to start publication this Fall.
For Pothier, the new position marks his return to a community news leadership role in Plymouth. Before being hired by the Globe in 2001, he was the executive editor for 14 years of MPG Newspapers, which included the Old Colony Memorial when that newspaper provided substantive coverage of the town. It no longer does.
Pothier, who has lived in Plymouth since 1985, joined the Globe after spending a year as a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University.
At the Globe, he initially was the editor of Globe South, which covered Plymouth and 47 other communities. He was then deputy business editor, business editor and assistant managing editor of the Opinion Pages.
Since 2016, he has been a senior editor for the Business section, managing and editing coverage of major issues, including life sciences and the economy.
“The deterioration of local journalism, in Plymouth and across the country, has reached a crisis stage,” Pothier said. “In the absence of serious, nonpartisan journalism, we are left with a void that has been filled by rumor, innuendo and misinformation.’’
When the Independent begins publishing, he said, “Plymouth will have a free, online, nonprofit and independent news outlet that will hold public officials and institutions accountable and provide a community gathering spot where residents can find out what is happening in town.’’
Shirley Leung, the Globe’s marquee business columnist who has worked closely with Pothier for most of his time at the Globe, said his departure from the newspaper will be deeply felt.
“Anyone who has worked with Mark knows he has always been a rock star,’’ Leung said. “His news judgment is impeccable, and he is a wordsmith extraordinaire. The Plymouth Independent is lucky to have him at the helm.’’
Darice Wareham, who is president of the Independent’s board of directors, said the Board members are thrilled that Pothier will bring his editorial leadership and reporting skills to drive the return of serious journalism to Plymouth.
“As a long-time resident of Plymouth, Mark understands what our residents want to know and need to know about their town,” she said. “He is a great choice to assemble and lead our editorial team.’’
When Pothier was MPG’s executive editor from 1986 to 2000, the Old Colony Memorial had a news staff of about 20 and won many awards, both regionally and nationally. But the newspaper is now one of more than 400 newspapers owned by the Gannett Corporation, the country’s largest newspaper chain. Gannett has made drastic cuts at most of those papers, including the OCM.
News coverage had been so sharply reduced in Plymouth that a group of local citizens came together earlier this year to explore solutions. They set out to create the nonprofit Plymouth Independent, which will be available free to readers. Reaction has been so positive that the PI has already received more than $200,000 in donations from local residents.
In addition to his editing experience, Pothier is a first-rate reporter and writer, as well as the author of scores of high impact articles for the Globe and its Sunday Magazine. He is also an accomplished musician and played professionally as the keyboardist for the band Ministry in the 1980s, opening for the rock groups The Police and Culture Club. He continues to write and play music for the band Adventure Set.
Pothier joined the PI board in April, and just last week agreed to assume the job of both Editor and Chief Executive Officer. He said he relishes the opportunity to provide Plymouth residents with the information they need about a host of local issues.
“We intend to build a sustainable news organization for the long term,” Pothier said. “Plymouth deserves no less.’’