Longtime reporter and columnist Brian McGrory has been named editor of The Boston Globe, the paper announced Dec. 20. 

McGrory told WGBH News his route to the top was somewhat unorthodox.

"I'm not a professional editor," he said. "I didn't come up through the ranks of editing. My calling card is mostly my column and my history at the Globe as a reporter." 

McGrory succeeds Marty Baron, who left the Globe to take over the Washington Post, as the broadsheet's top editor.

On Dec. 3, McGrory demurred on the possibility of taking the Globe's top spot during an interview on with Boston Public Radio to promote his book, "Buddy: How a Rooster Made Me a Family Man." 

“Brian has distinguished himself throughout his career at the Globe as a reporter, editor and columnist and as a native of Boston, he is the ideal candidate to lead the Globe’s newsroom,” Globe Publisher Christopher Mayer said in a statement. “Brian will continue to emphasize the accountability reporting that has been the Globe’s trademark, combined with narrative storytelling that gives readers a strong sense of our unique community.”

McGrory, 51, joined the Globe in 1989. A Roslindale native, McGrory wrote for the Globe's South Weekly section, covered the city of Boston as a general assignment reporter, and served as White House and national correspondent. In 1998, he became a metro columnist, and quickly made his mark as a must read. He was named associate editor in 2004. In 2007, McGrory became managing editor for local news, but returned to his column after three years. McGrory holds a degree from Bates College. Before starting at the Globe, he worked at the New Haven Register and The Patriot Ledger.

"God, I love this city," McGrory told WGBH News. "I've been in Washington a few times in my career and it's almost like the day I get down there I just pine to get back to Boston. There's a passion among people here for news, politics, sports, that's unlike any place in America."