Critic Wesley Morris Departs Boston Globe

Veteran journalist joins the new highbrow sports and pop culture website Grantland.

Wesley Morris in 2012 (YouTube)
Wesley Morris in 2012 (YouTube)

Pulitzer Winner to Devote More Time to Grantland Website

Wesley Morris, the African-American film critic for the Boston Globe who won a Pulitzer Prize last year, is leaving for Grantland, the ESPN-affiliated sports/pop culture website that specializes in longform journalism, his Globe editor told staffers Thursday night.

“I just didn’t have a reason to say no any longer,” Morris told Journal-isms by telephone on Friday. Morris had already been writing for Grantland, and this presented an opportunity to write about film for the site full-time, he said. Moreover, “I can do my job from anywhere. That’s very appealing.”

Globe Editor Martin Baron started this week as executive editor at the Washington Post and was replaced by Brian McGrory. “Things are changing,” Morris said of the Globe. “This seemed like a pretty good interval to try to think of things I wanted to do.”

A memo from Douglas S. Most, the Globe’s deputy managing editor/features, began, “There are so many reasons why it’s difficult to write the words: Wesley Morris is leaving us. 

“. . . For a moment, forget about the writing. The superb, brilliant writing. Wesley’s presence in our world has been about so much more than just his wonderful film criticism and insightful takes on pop culture,” continued the memo, published on the Jim Romenesko website.

“Wesley is a true friend to so many of us. We love him for his infectious sense of humor, his generous heart, and of course his marvelously snappy sense of fashion, as he bounds in from the Red Line wearing one of his many stylish caps. . . .

“Wesley is leaving us after 10 years to write for Grantland, where he has had a column on style in the sports world and will write on film and other cultural subjects.”

Morris’ move was announced on Facebook and Twitter last Friday afternoon by Bill Simmons, founder of Grantland, Stephen Silver reported that Friday for the Technology Tell website. The Grantland name honors legendary sportswriter Grantland Rice.