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Star-Ledger Editor Jim Willse retiring

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Songbird, Sep 28, 2009.

  1. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    Longtime editor of NJ's Star-Ledger to retire
    VICTOR EPSTEIN,Associated Press Writer

    NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — The longtime newsroom leader of The Star-Ledger of Newark is retiring after a 15-year run in which he led New Jersey's largest newspaper to two Pulitzer prizes before the industry's financial woes forced him to cut staff.

    Jim Willse announced plans Monday to step down as the newspaper's editor next month. Managing editor Kevin Whitmer, 42, will succeed him.

    Willse led the Star-Ledger through a turbulent period in the newspaper industry as the migration of readers and ad dollars to the Internet triggered bankruptcies, sales and job cuts. The newspaper's newsroom staff declined by 45 percent after it gave buyouts to 151 of its 334 news staffers last year.

    "The last few years have been challenging," Willse said. "I've been through some good years too. Mostly good."

    Willse said he plans to travel and will teach a seminar at Princeton University on the business of news.

    Willse, 65, began his career at The Associated Press in New York and San Francisco. He came to the Star-Ledger in 1995 after serving as managing editor of The San Francisco Examiner and editor of The New York Daily News and working on Internet projects for Advance Newspapers, the Star-Ledger's privately held parent company.

    The newspaper won its first Pulitzer in 2001 for photography for a series on two Seton Hall University students who were critically injured in a dorm fire. It earned a second Pulitzer in 2005 for breaking news reporting for its coverage of former New Jersey Gov. James E. McGreevey's resignation. The 2001 series also was named best in the News Beat category and Best of Show in the print division of the 2001 National Headliner Awards.

    Whitmer takes over a newspaper that ranked 21st among all U.S. dailies with average paid circulation of 287,082 a day as of March 31, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. However, that total represents a 17 percent decline from the same period a year earlier when the newspaper had paid daily circulation of 345,130.
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