On the move: New sports editors in Orlando, Fort Lauderdale; big changes at USA Today Sept. 17, 2012
By Josh Barnett, USA Today
The start of August and the prospect of the impending high school, college and NFL seasons brought on a lot of jobs being filled and a lot of people “On the Move.”
Here is the latest summary of people in new places, and we likely missed plenty. Please send updates to APSE Regions chair Josh Barnett at email@example.com.
Shifts in Florida
The Orlando Sentinel and South Florida Sun Sentinel each appointed sports editors, following the departure of APSE first vice president Tim Stephens, who had been the Florida Sports Topics Manager overseeing both departments.
Greg Lee, a senior assistant sports editor at the Boston Globe, was named the executive sports editor in Fort Lauderdale.
Lee is the president of NABJ – the first sports journalist to become the association’s president – and becomes the fourth African-American currently leading the sports department at a major daily newspaper. He joins Larry Graham at U-T San Diego, Lisa Wilson at the Buffalo News and Jason Murray at the Syracuse (N.Y.) Post-Standard.
Lee spent eight years at the Globe. He previously spent five years at the Washington Post in a variety of roles and worked at the Times-Picayune in New Orleans as copy editor and slot editor.
In Orlando, Roger Simmons was named sports editor of the Sentinel. He returns to the Sentinel after serving for the last two years as director of content for the Tribune Co.’s websites on the East Coast.
A Florida native, Simmons began at the Sentinel in 1993 as a copy editor and moved up to deputy sports editor. He left sports in 2006 to move to the paper’s online operation and had a number of roles, including breaking news editor, associate managing editor/online and digital news manager, prior to moving into the corporate role.
In other moves:
• Iliana Limon Romero was named college sports editor. She replaces Todd Adams, now the sports editor at U-T San Diego. Limon had been covering Central Florida and has been at the Orlando Sentinel as a sports reporter since 2007. She previously spent five years as a reporter at the Albuquerque Tribune.
• Edgar Thompson was hired to cover the University of Florida. Thompson had been at the Palm Beach Post, covering a number of sports in his time there, and previously covered Florida. He replaces Rachel George, who left for a position at USA Today.
Moves from Illinois to Texas
The chain reaction started in Crystal Lake, Ill., moved to DeKalb, Ill., and then all the way to Beaumont, Texas.
Eric Olson, sports editor of the Northwest Herald in Crystal Lake, has been named editor of the Daily Chronicle in DeKalb. He had served as interim editor since June.
He also will oversee Shaw Media publications the MidWeek and Valley Free Press.
Olson has worked for Shaw since September 2000, when he was hired as a reporter at the Northwest Herald. He also had local news editor and business editor at the Herald.
“I’m thrilled to be joining the Daily Chronicle,” Olson said. “It has a great connection with readers and the community, and I’m eager to continue the tradition of excellence that’s already established here.”
Olson’s replacement as sports editor at the Northwest Herald is Beaumont Enterprise sports editor Jon Styf. He had previously been the sports editor of the Daily Chronicle, but left in 2010 for a reporting job at the Green Bay Press-Gazette. He then went to Texas, where he became the sports editor in Beaumont.
Ross Jacobson, who spent the last two years as a preps reporter for the Northwest Herald, is the new sports editor of the Daily Chronicle. Former Chronicle sports editor John Sahly has become a digital producer at the paper.
Jacobson’s replacement as a preps reporter at the Northwest Herald is Jeff Arnold, who previously worked at the Ann Arbor News and AnnArbor.com.
And in Beaumont, Chris Dabe has been named sports editor to replace Styf. Dabe had been an assistant sports editor there for six years and previously spent six years as a reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Sports reporter David Henry, who won an APSE award in feature writing in the under 30,000 circulation category, has left the Enterprise to work for a trade publication in Houston that covers the oil industry. Avi Zaleon, a recent graduate of Indiana University, was hired as a sports writer.
Warnick promoted in LA
Gene Warnick, sports editor of the Los Angeles Daily News, will expand his role to become sports editor for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group, overseeing nine newspapers. The intention is to unify coverage under a single management structure, including an assistant responsible for coordinating high school coverage across the group.
Warnick joined the Daily News in 2005, became sports editor in 2006 and was named Metro sports editor last year. He previously was sports editor in Watertown, N.Y., and Yakima, Wash.
Warnick’s promotion follows a similar move in other areas to centralize management. The group also announced that it will be hiring four sports writers – Lakers beat writer, UCLA writer, sports enterprise writer and digital sports director.
Changes in Las Vegas
The Las Vegas Review-Journal has changed its management structure, with Mark Whittington promoted to deputy editor for sports and features.
Sports editor Joe Hawk, whose position was among seven eliminated, will remain sports editor through mid-September. He is expected to stay with the paper as a reporter, editor Michael Hengel said.
Whittington has been with the Review-Journal as an assistant city editor for nearly three years. He previously was assistant managing editor for sports and features at the Las Vegas Sun. During his career, he has been an editor in virtually every department and has worked at newspapers in Califorinia and New York and for publishing companies in London.
Growing in San Diego
The expansion at U-T San Diego continues with the addition of seven staffers:
• Stefanie Loh as San Diego State football beat writer and enterprise writer. Loh, the president of AWSM, spent nearly three years at the Harrisburg (Pa.) Patriot News, where she handled sports enterprise and was part of the Penn State football coverage team. She placed fourth place last year in the APSE contest for explanatory reporting in the 75,000 to 175,000 category. She also worked for 2 ½ years at the Dominion Post in Morgantown, W.Va.
• Matt Calkins as enterprise reporter/columnist. Calkins joins the UT after collecting three first-place APSE awards (columns, feature, beat writing) last year in the 30,000 to 75,000 category, while working for The Columbian in Vancouver, Wash. He began as a preps writer at the Press-Enterprise in Riverside, Calif., and was a columnist when he left there in 2010.
• Michelle Gingras as multimedia sports reporter. A Loyola University New Orleans graduate, she will shoot, write and edit video segments as part of enhancements to the online product.
• Dennis Lin as preps reporter. He has interned at the Santa Monica Daily Press and was a team writer for the Los Angeles Clippers. Most recently, he spent the last year covering high schools, the SEC and NASCAR at the Birmingham News.
• Craig Malveaux as preps reporter. A Loyola University New Orleans graduate and Louisiana native, he was a sports intern at the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the Houston Chronicle, and interned on the crime desk at the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
• Tom Krasovic as Chargers blogger and multimedia reporter. Most recently, he worked at AOL FanHouse and was a Chargers correspondent for CBSSports.com. He had previously spent 10 years at the UT covering a wide variety of beats.
• Lisa Lane as multimedia sports reporter. A University of Arizona graduate, she will focus on on preps and will play a pivotal role in the launch of a preps TV show on Sept. 15.
USA Today continues moves
The company has announced six editorial hires as it continues its restructuring.
• Josh Barnett, from the Philadelphia Daily News, as assistant managing editor for Sports Weekly and publications. In Philadelphia, he spent the last four years as executive sports editor, four as sports editor and four on the copy desk. His previously was an assistant sports editor at the Syracuse Post-Standard, assistant sports editor and interim sports editor at the Utica (N.Y.) Observer-Dispatch and sports writer and page designer/copy editor at the Post-Star in Glens Falls, N.Y.
• Mike Garafolo, from the Star-Ledger in Newark, N.J., as NFL writer. Garafolo has covered the New York Giants since 2004. He previously spent 3 ½ as a producer for WIP sports radio in Philadelphia.
• Kevin Manahan, from the Star-Ledger, as NFL senior editor. He spent 26 years at the Ledger in a variety of roles – six seasons as an NFL beat writer, 10 years as a golf reporter, five years as deputy sports editor, three years as news and sports enterprise reporter and a stint as lead editorial writer and op-ed columnist.
• Jamie Mottram, from Yahoo! Sports, as director of content development, overseeing new and existing content initiatives for USA Today and the sports digital properties. He most recently was the head of blogs, social media and SEO for Yahoo!, working in sports, news and entertainment. Before coming to Yahoo, he created and managed FanHouse for AOL Sports, which earned him the nickname "The Blogfather."
• George Schroeder, from the Register-Guard in Eugene, Ore., as national college football writer. He was a columnist at the Register-Guard and a contributor to Sports Illustrated. His previous stops were at the Oklahoman and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He is an eight-time APSE honoree and former president of the Football Writers Association of America.
• Dan Wolken, from the Daily, as national college football writer. He spent the previous two years as the lead sports columnist for the national iPad newspaper and has previously covered college sports for the Colorado Springs Gazette and Memphis Commercial Appeal. Wolken is a multiple APSE winner.
In other moves around the country:
Boston Globe: Mark Blaudschun, who spent after 25 years at the Globe, has started his own website, http://ajerseyguy.com. In explaining his goals for the site, Blaudschun writes, “I have lived and worked in Dallas. I have lived and worked in Boston. But I was born and grew up in New Jersey. And when you cut through the years–30 years as a sportswriter for the Dallas Morning News and Boston Globe, covering everything from Super Bowls and World Series to Final Fours and BCS title games as well as the Olympics, I’m still a Jersey Guy at heart and soul–someone who can be both cynical and enthusiastic and attempts to get to the heart of the matter as quickly as possible.
“That’s what this website will try to do–on all things it sees, ranging from college sports to what happens in the NFL, NBA or Major League Baseball. Or any other subject which seems interesting.”
Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine: After 8 ½ years as sports editor, Steve Sherlock has been named regional news editor/web content editor. Justin Pelletier is news sports editor. Pelletier has been at the Sun Journal for nearly 15 years, beginning as an intern, then a part-timer in the sports department. He became a staff writer in 2003 and assistant sports editor in 2007.
New Britain (Conn.) Herald: Hired Kevin D. Roberts as a sports writer. He had been an assistant sports editor and previously a sports writer at the Register Citizen in Torrington, Conn.
Baltimore Sun: Chris Korman has moved from the sports department to the business section to cover the business of sports beat. In his role as content editor, Korman had overseen sports enterprise reporting and the Sunday section. He will continue to cover the Triple Crown horse races for the Tribune Co. Korman previously worked for the Harrisburg (Pa.) Patriot News and the Herald-Times in Bloomington, Ind.
• Childs Walker has returned to the sports desk after spending the last three years on the metro desk covering higher education. Walker has been at the Sun since 2001. He spent four years covering the Orioles and general assignment in the sports department.
• Aaron Wilson has been hired as part of the Ravens coverage team. He had been the Ravens beat writer at the Carroll County Times in Maryland for 11 years. His works also appears on Fox Sports/Scout.com and he previously was with the National Football Post and Pro Football Talk.
Washington Post: Hired Kansas City Star columnist Kent Baab as sports enterprise reporter. He starts Sept. 21. Babb was named a sports columnist at the Star in June following nearly five years covering the Chiefs and writing sports enterprise. He has five Top-10 finishes in the APSE contest, including first place for features last year in the over 175,000 category. He joined the Star in 2007 after three years at The State in Columbia, S.C., covering the South Carolina Gamecocks, minor league hockey, high schools and enterprise.
Philadelphia Daily News: Named assistant sports editor Chuck Bausman as interim sports editor. He had been an assistant sports editor since 2008 and previously was the sports editor of the Courier-Post in Cherry Hill, N.J., and the Ann Arbor News. Also, hired Ryan Lawrence as Phillies beat writer. He had covered the team for nearly five years for the Delaware County Times in suburban Philadelphia and previously spent nearly six years at the Courier-Post, working his way up from part-time agate clerk to the 76ers beat.
Star-Ledger, Newark, N.J.: Jenny Vrentas has moved from the New York Jets beat to the New York Giants beat. Vrentas has been on the Jets beat for more than five years. Conor T. Orr has been named the new lead Jets writer. He had covered the Jets and other sports for the Star-Ledger for two years.
New Jersey Herald: Carl Barbati is returning as sports editor. He was the sports editor in 2002 and ’03. He had left to become sports editor of the Trentonian and was later editor in chief.
Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia and Mid-Atlantic: Geoff Mosher was hired in Philadelphia to cover the Eagles for CSNPhilly.com after covering the team for the Wilmington (Del.) News-Journal. J. Michael Falgoust, formerly of USA Today, has been hired by CSN Mid-Atlantic to lead its coverage of the Ravens for CSNbaltimore.com.
The Sporting News: Named David Squires as assistant managing editor who will work on the publication’s digital efforts. He previously was a columnist at the Daily Press in Newport News, Va., and had also served as a sports columnist and then an urban affairs reporter. Squires was laid off in 2008, but was brought back as a news columnist, working part time. He has also worked at the Plain Dealer in Cleveland; the Star-Telegram in Fort Worth, Texas; Newsday; the Detroit Free Press; the Telegraph in Macon, Ga.; and the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times.
Progress-Index, Petersburg, Va.: Neil Fuller returned to the paper and was named sports editor after spending five months as the sports editor of the Hopewell (Va.) News and News-Patriot. He was a sports reporter at the Progress-Index for more than two years from 2008 to 2010, mainly covering Virginia State University athletics, along with golf and preps. He also has previous experience as sports editor at the Leavenworth (Kan.) Times, the Journal in Belton, Mo., and the Goldsboro (N.C.) News Argus; a content producer for McClatchy Newspapers; and assistant sports editor for the Daily Record in Dunn, N.C.
Virginian-Pilot, Norfolk, Va.: Colleen McDaniel has left her job as sports editor and moved to New Jersey to become managing editor of Cruise Critic (cruisecritic.com).
• Named Harry Minium Jr. to cover Old Dominion football and the Colonial Athletic Association. He previously covered Norfolk city government in a distinguished career at the paper that dates to 1979. He had been a sports reporter – and spent two years as assistant sports editor – for his first 24 years at the paper. He had been covering city hall since 2003.
Alabama Media Group: Hired Izzy Gould as managing producer for college sports. Gould returns to Alabama after leaving last February to accept a position as senior sports reporter covering the Dolphins for the Sun Sentinel in South Florida. He had spent two years on the Alabama beat for the Birmingham News and the Press Register after stops as a sports writer at the St. Petersburg Times and Tampa Tribune.
• The group also has hired Joel A. Erickson to cover Auburn. He had been the Auburn writer for the previous year for the Columbus (Ga.) Ledger-Enquirer after four years at the Odessa (Texas) American and a year and a half at the Columbia (Mo.) Tribune.
• Nick Birdsong has joined from the Anniston (Ala.) Star to cover athletics at the state’s historically black colleges and universities. He covered high schools in Anniston for five years.
Associated Press, Tennessee: Steve Megargee, a national college football and basketball writer for Rivals.com/Yahoo Sports, has been named the sports writer based in Knoxville, Tenn. He will cover University of Tennessee sports and contribute to other sports coverage in the state. Before Rivals.com/Yahoo Sports, Megargee was the Miami Dolphins beat writer and covered the University of Miami for the Naples Daily News.
Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville, Fla.: Hired Ryan O’Halloran as a Jaguars beat writer. He previously covered the Redskins for eight years – one for the Newport News (Va.) Times, five for the Washington Times and two for Comcast SportsNet.
Sun Herald, Blioxi and Gulfport, Miss.: Hired Patrick Magee, Southern Miss beat writer for the Hattiesburg American, to cover the East Jackson County sports beat, focusing on Pascagoula and Moss Point. He will cover a variety of sports with an emphasis on high schools. He worked at the American in both the sports and news departments for more than 12 years. For the last five-plus years, he served as the Southern Miss sports beat writer for the American, while also contributing to the Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Miss.
Anniston (Ala.) Star: Lacie Pinyan has left as sports editor after nine months and is working for Oxmore House publishing in Birmingham, Ala. Pinyan was hired as a news copy editor in August 2009, moved to sports in May 2010 and was named sports editor last December. “I’m going to miss all my friends so much. It’s been a great three years,” she wrote on Facebook on her last day. Assistant managing editor Bran Strickland, the former sports editor, is running the day-to-day operations while a search is ongoing.
Courier-Journal, Louisville, Ky.: Steve Jones, a former copy editor and page designer at the paper, has returned as the recruiting writer. Jones spent the previous 2 ½ years as the recruiting reporter for CatsIllustrated.com, the Rivals.com recruiting site dedicated to Kentucky coverage. He also is expected to help cover Kentucky and Louisville basketball, among other duties, in his return.
Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, Miss.: Hired John Talty, sports reporter for the International Business Times, to cover college recruiting. His work also has appeared on Foxsports.com, Slate magazine, Rivals.com and Men’s Journal.
Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News: Hired Andrew Bone as chief recruiting analyst for TideSports.com. He previously had been a recruiting analyst for Scout.com since 2003.
New Orleans Times Picayune: Hired Larry Holder to join the Saints coverage team and Randy Rosetta as LSU beat writer. For the last three years, Holder covered the Hornets for NBA.com and the Saints for CBSSports.com. Rosetta previously was a sports writer for the Baton Rouge Advocate, and a sports writer and sports editor of the Lubbock Avalanche Journal.
The Vindicator, Youngstown, Ohio: Ed Puskas has been named sports editor. He had spent the previous nearly 18 years at the Tribune Chronicle in Warren, Ohio. He began as a sports writer in 1995, then moved to the copy desk, became assistant sports editor in 2000 and sports editor in 2005.
Detroit Free Press: Hired Joe Rexrode to cover Michigan State. Rexrode had previously been based at the Lansing Journal, also a Gannett newspaper. His stories also will continue to appear in the Lansing Journal, where he had worked since 2000.
Star Press, Muncie, Ind: Doug Zaleski has been named sports editor. Zaleski previously covered Ball State football. Former sports editor Greg Fallon has moved to digital editor. Fallon had served as sports editor since May 2007, when he was promoted from assistant sports editor. To handle Ball State football coverage, the paper hired Ben Breiner from the Greenwood (S.C.) Index-Journal, where he had been since late 2010.
McDonough County Voice, Macomb, Ill.: Hired Scott Holland as sports editor. Holland had been the sports editor at the Journal-Standard in Freeport, Ill. Holland had been at the paper for four years. A replacement has not been named.
The Monitor-Valley Freedom Newspapers, McAllen, Texas: Peter Rasmussen is the sports editor, following seven years as a sports writer at the paper. He covered preps and also Texas-Pan American sports. He replaced Todd Mavreles, who had been the sports editor for more than 11 years.
Albuquerque (N.M.) Journal: Mark Smith, who covered University of New Mexico men’s basketball for the last 15 seasons, has been named assistant sports editor. Smith will continue writing about numerous topics, along with his management responsibilities. Geoff Grammer has been hired to cover the Lobos, among other beats. A native of New Mexico, Grammer has worked at the Las Cruces Sun-News, Tucson Citizen and most recently at the Santa Fe New Mexican, where he was digital news editor.
American Statesman, Austin, Texas: Kevin Robbins, after a 22-year newspaper career, has been named a senior lecturer in sports journalism at the school of journalism at the University of Texas. He came to Austin in 2002 as a sports reporter and has twice won first place in the APSE contest. He worked for community newspapers in Kansas and Iowa before writing for the Scripps-Howard News Service in Washington D.C., the (Memphis) Commercial Appeal and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Daily Camera (Boulder, Colo.) and Times Call (Longmont, Colo.): Hired Kevin Huhn as features editor. Huhn has been in sports for most of his career at a number of outlets. He most recently spent two years as the copy chief and content editor for FoxSports.com. He had previously spent nearly 20 years at the Rocky Mountain News and was deputy sports editor. He also was deputy sports editor of the Cincinnati Post, spent nearly three years as the executive sports editor of the Knoxville (Tenn.) News-Sentinel and was a copy editor at the San Jose Mercury News and Wichita Eagle.
Also, the Daily Camera has hired Sarah Kuta as outdoors recreation writer. Kuta, an alum of the Sports Journalism Institute, is a Northwestern graduate.
Great Falls (Mont.) Tribune: Daniel Mediate, a recent graduate of the University of Montana, has been hired as a sports writer. He was an intern with the Oregonian this summer before he was hired in Great Falls.
Salt Lake Tribune: Named Kevin Winters Morris as assistant sports editor, primarily responsible for high school coverage in print and digitally. He had been the sports editor of the Southeast Missourian in Cape Girardeau, Mo. Winters Morris led the paper to an APSE Triple Crown last year in the under 15,000 circulation category and honorable mention in the under 30,000 circulation category for Sunday and special sections. He replaces Danyelle White, who has left the business. Jeff Breer has been named interim sports editor at the Southeast Missourian while a search is ongoing for a sports editor. Breer has earned Top 10 finishes in APSE writing awards in each of the last three years.
The National, Abu Dhabi: Robert Mashburn has left the National after nearly three years that included an APSE Triple Crown. Mashburn has returned to the Atlanta area and is a senior project manager for a digital marketing company. Mashburn was previously the sports editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Paul Oberjuerge has been named sports editor. He has been at the National since 2009 as senior sports editor. He also spent time as an editor in the Hong Kong bureau and Paris bureau for the International Herald Tribune. Most of his career – nearly 32 years – was spent with at the San Bernadino (Calif.) Sun. From 2003 to 2009, he was a sports columnist after serving as the sports editor for many years.