Two Newspapers Get New Editors

From The Poynter Report With Tom Jones:

For this item, I turned it over to Poynter media business analyst Rick Edmonds.

Two of the nation’s best-known locally owned newspapers got new editors Thursday. Rene Sanchez, editor of The Star Tribune in Minneapolis for the past nine years, will become editor of the Times-Picayune/The Advocate in New Orleans. Sanchez, in turn, will be succeeded by Suki Dardarian, The Star Tribune’s senior managing editor.

The changes were set in motion by the retirement of Peter Kovacs, editor of The Advocate for the nine years it competed with and ultimately bought the long-established Times-Picayune.

Sanchez is a native of New Orleans and an announcement noted that his parents still live there and that he and his wife have a daughter attending Tulane University.

Dardanian joined The Star Tribune in 2014 from The Seattle Times, another prominent locally owned metro.

Both The Star Tribune and The Advocate have won Pulitzer Prizes for local reporting in recent years — The Star Tribune for its coverage of George Floyd’s murder and its aftermath and The Advocate for an exposé of a discriminatory jury system throughout Louisiana that allows convictions by majority vote.

The two have wealthy hometown owners, Glen Taylor in Minneapolis and John and Dathel Georges in New Orleans. The Star Tribune now has more than 100,000 paid digital subscribers and is also a leader among metro newspapers in daily and Sunday print circulation. Georges sensed an opening when the Times-Picayune dropped several days a week of print and bankrolled a six-year effort to become the city’s dominant outlet.

Kovacs told me that as he is turning 66 this month, he decided it was time to wind down (though he will remain on as an adviser for a year). Having spent nearly all his career in New Orleans, he said, “I may have covered more hurricanes than any other journalist — including two named Diana.”

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