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2010 APME Board Candidates
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2010 APME Board Candidates

Accomplished journalists from across the nation step forward as candidates to serve on the association's national board of directors. The election concludes during the St. Petersburg, Fla., conference.

APME members will cast eight votes, six from the at-large field and one each from publications under-35,000 circulation and online.

A link to the voting form is HERE and at the end of the candidate bios.


Mark BaldwinMark Baldwin

Title: General Manager/Executive Editor

Newspaper: Stevens Point Journal, Stevens Point, Wis.

Career summary: I've been in Gannett's Central Wisconsin Media group since 2000, most of that time as executive editor of the Wausau Daily Herald. Since a July corporate restructure, I've been GM/editor of the Stevens Point Journal, though I have groupwide responsibilities for staff development, project planning, recruiting and other functions. Before arriving in Wisconsin, I was managing editor of Gannett's Star-Gazette of Elmira, N.Y., and I previously held a variety of editing positions at the Chicago Sun-Times, Wichita Eagle and Clearwater (Fla.) Sun. I'm a former lecturer in journalism at Northwestern University, my alma mater.

Recent accomplishments: Under my leadership, the Wausau Daily Herald in 2008 won the Wisconsin Newspaper Association's award for overall general excellence, the second time we'd won in five years. I've also had a leading role in pushing the digital revolution in our newspapers group, and we dominate the online scene in Central Wisconsin. Through two rounds of layoffs over the past year, I've succeeded in keeping the content-gathering capabilities of our four-newspaper group largely intact.

APME activities: At various points over the past eight years, I've been involved in the readership, innovation and diversity committees and have contributed a couple of pieces to the APME News. I was assistant coordinator of the Mall of Ideas at the Las Vegas conference, and am coordinating the Mall in St. Louis. I've also served as president of the Wisconsin AP Editors and remain on the executive committee of that group.

APME should:

• Given the way training and development budgets have been squeezed, APME must continue to place a priority on providing high-quality, low-cost training opportunities to newsrooms of all sizes, using NewsTrain, the Web and whatever other forums make sense.

• The second priority may seem a bit gauzy, but it's no less important: APME must help editors rediscover the "why" that got us all into the business. (And yes, indeed, I borrowed that idea from Butch Ward's excellent presentation at last year's conference in Las Vegas.) Tight finances across the industry have forced every editor to become more and more operationally focused - no surprise there, as we've all had to come up with new ways simply to get the paper out the door every day with fewer people than we'd like. If you're not careful, it's easy for nuts-and-bolts operational concerns to divert attention from the sources of inspiration that propelled us into the business in the first place and that ought to inspire us still - a passion for open government, a desire to provide coverage to those portions of society that often have no other voice, the sheer enjoyment of the written word. APME must use its resources to help keep those "whys" front and center.

In my spare time: I enjoy spending time with my three daughters (when they're around) and with my wife of 25 years, a group of women who constitute one of the funnier foursomes on the planet. I work out regularly, play some tennis, read (mostly history and biography) and try to keep the magazine pile in the family room from overtaking the house. And I'm always on the lookout for a good microbrew.

Cate BarronCate Barron

Title: Managing Editor

Newspaper: The Patriot-News, Harrisburg, Penn.

Career summary: I’ve spent 30 years in journalism – most of that with The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa., first as an assistant city editor and later as Sunday editor and features editor. I’ve been managing editor for seven years. My first job in print was reporting for The Sentinel, in Lewistown, Pa. I fell into the business right out of college when I took a job as news and sports director at a radio station in Lewistown.

I’m vice president on the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors board of directors and past president of the Pennsylvania Society of Newspaper Editors. I helped found the Pennsylvania chapter of the Freedom of Information Coalition and have been a Pulitzer Prize juror. I’m a frequent API discussion leader on topics including leadership, coping with change and brainstorming.

Recent accomplishments: I helped guide the newsroom through a buyout that cut staff by 25 percent; a major redesign; a reorganized copy desk; a new staffing system for municipal coverage; a series of bureau closings; and several specialty publication launches — And that’s the past six months ... During my tenure as M.E., The Patriot-News has won three statewide Newspaper of the Year awards and was name one of E&P’s "Papers that Do It Right.”

APME activities: As vice president of Pennsylvania APME, I’m helping lead an AP statewide fall audit of Pennsylvania’s new Open Records Law. I’m also involved in PAPME’s Wire Watch program monitoring how members use AP and what coverage areas they want to see improved.

APME should: Work with AP on its rate structure and content packages. AP’s monthly charge is such a huge part of everyone’s budget we must be sure we’re getting exactly what we need at the best price. APME should also be a strong advocate for more alternative story forms from AP — more breakouts, infographics, videos, analyses and behind-the-scenes packages that take stories beyond the standard breaking news format.

In my spare time: I’m micromanaging our teenager’s search for the perfect college. I counsel our dog for his separation anxiety disorder. And I help my husband keep the rabbits out of our vegetable patch.

J.B. BittnerJ.B. Bittner

Title: News Editor, Community Newspaper Holdings Inc., and editor, Stillwater News-Press, Stillwater, Okla.

Career summary: I joined United Press International in Oklahoma City while still a student at Oklahoma State University. (Those of you too young to remember UPI please feel free to skip ahead.) After graduation I became UPI’s youngest bureau manager – staffing the UPI bureau in Tulsa and later in Wichita, Kan. I left UPI to become editor of a startup newspaper that for a time made Woodward, Okla., the nation’s smallest city with competing daily newspapers. I joined CNHI nine years ago as an editor. I later was named CNHI Oklahoma bureau chief and then CNHI News Service deputy national editor. I became news editor in 2008. My work with CNHI has included editing our news service, coaching reporters, and helping launch the Elite Reporter national journalism project to train CNHI’s promising writers to produce meaningful in depth projects that have gained attention throughout CNHI and outside the company. I maintain the CNHI News Service site with CNHI stories and columns of national interest, industry news and coaching blogs. This spring I returned to the newsroom – this time in Stillwater, Okla., while continuing in my news editor corporate position.

Recent accomplishments: Did she just say she is editing a newspaper again? In a small market? Paginating? Assigning stories? By choice? NOW? Yes, and add to that being involved in multimedia training, mentoring, Tweeting and guiding heretofore print-oriented journalists forward in a new electronic world.

After a half-dozen years at the corporate level coaching, mentoring and training journalists at news organizations throughout CNHI I decided this spring it was time to take a step back – to move into one of our newsrooms and see how the video, reverse publishing, reporter as videographer and photographer, Web updates, meaningful writing, news readers can use, government watchdog – all that I was preaching was fitting into a real-world setting.

I took the step with the support of a CEO who was first to stand up and demand those reciting our industry’s eulogy stop and check their sources and a news vice president who sees the day’s challenges as a time of rebirth for our calling – and a publisher quick to step up and say, "We want to serve our readers in all these ways. Please show us how.”
How’s that working out? Three months in, the experience has been an eye-opener for me and for my staff. But happily I have seen nothing to sway my position that new media simply means new tools for us to tell the stories we want – and need – to tell.

APME activities: I have participated in APME conventions in New Orleans, Washington, D.C., and Las Vegas, participated in an Oklahoma City NewsTrain and look forward to participating in NewsTrain in Norman, Okla., this fall.

APME should: Continue to serve smaller news organizations as well as those of larger circulation and to continue to recognize the need for training and coaching to help all of us meet the challenges of today’s industry and economy.

In my spare time: I spend time with my horses and family, read and enjoy being outdoors on our farm.

Kent DavyKent R. Davy

Title: Editor

Newspaper: North County Times, Escondido, Calif.

Career summary: I have a B.A. in English from the University of Nebraska and graduated in 1977 with a J.D. from the University of Nebraska College of Law. After several years of practicing law, including a couple of years as a Deputy Territorial Prosecutor on Guam, I gave up the law and started as reporter with the tiny Fulton (Mo.) Daily Sun-Gazette in 1984. I moved from there to upstate New York (The Citizen, Auburn, N.Y.), to downstate Illinois (Pekin Daily Times), and then to the Indiana suburbs of Chicago (Times of Northwest Indiana). In 1996, I took the post of editor of the North (San Diego) County Times, which was then hanging on for dear life.

Recent accomplishments: I have the good fortune to lead a resilient newsroom that has maintained quality work during a period of rapid change and downsizing. I was honored as the 2008 Suburban Newspapers of America "Editor of the Year” and awarded First Place for column writing from the Society of Professional Journalists, San Diego chapter, 2008. (The "Hand in Hand” columns recount the journey and aftermath as my wife died from lung cancer.

APME activities: I am a new member, so I have no track record with APME, but believe I can contribute especially to the group’s First Amendment-related activities.

APME should: Consider building benchmarking data by circulation categories for participating newsrooms in the form of confidential newsroom responses. It could cover a range of topics that might be useful for newsroom managers attempting to gauge the quality, productivity and best practices. For instance (and only by way of example): Content creator to content processor staffing ratios; locally produced content to wire service ratios; page production ratios per copy desk employee; per employee travel expense allocations; salary survey data. Subsequent data analysis might lead to "best practice" suggestions.

• Above and beyond the Sounding Board feature, create a uniform feedback or "customer satisfaction" tool to advise AP.

• Create a robust Web-based training resource that leverages the AP NewsTrain effort by digitally capturing part of those sessions and preserving that work, including session handouts as PDFs, and create a knowledge base for on-demand presentation. Beyond that, consider moving portions of the APME training effort to shorter, Webinar-styled productions that would allow more remote, resource-stretched newsrooms to participate more often.

In my spare time: I am an amateur bassist and play in both a worship band and a jazz trio with a coffee shop gig ala Woody Allen. My adult son and I build skateboards and surfboards in our garage workshop. (My broken leg last year had nothing to do with any of the above activities – but saying that it did would make for a more fascinating story.)

Joe HightJoe Hight

Title: Director of Information and Development

Newspaper: The Oklahoman, Oklahoma City, Okla.

Career summary: I am The Oklahoman/'s director of information and development and have been in journalism as a reporter, editor or director for more than 29 years. I was a managing editor before being named to my current position, which includes, among other duties, the supervision of new information strategies within the News and Information Center and staff development for both print and online initiatives.

Recent accomplishments: I served for two terms as president of the Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma, an international organization based at Columbia University. I authored and coauthored print and online booklets and columns that are still used by the Dart Center, including "Tragedies & Journalists: A Guide for More Effective Coverage,” and a book on leadership during crisis that will be published soon. I also co-founded the People and the Media Program at the University of Central Oklahoma.

I'm a past chairman of the Mid-America Press Institute and now serve on its board. I also serve on the boards of several other journalism-related organizations.

I have taught and lectured at several universities and media organizations in the United States, Australia, London and Ireland, been a visiting faculty member at the Poynter Institute, a panelist at the Aspen Institute and spoken at several conventions and workshops, including four straight National Writers Workshops.

I also wrote several articles on writing, editing, interviewing, victims coverage and other subjects in the latest edition of "Reporting for the Media,” a textbook that's used at many universities.

At The Oklahoman, I was victims team leader of the Oklahoma City bombing coverage that won two national SPJ awards, a national Dart Award for Excellence in Coverage of Violence and many others. I also lead information efforts that include the "know it” online communities and "Your Right to Know” projects. Both recently won the national SDX "Public Service in Online Journalism” award. The "Your Right to Know” project and The Oklahoman's coverage of FOI issues also was named one of three national SPJ First Amendment award winners in 2009. I also created a concept called "Stories of the Ages” and was involved in staff development of our video operations; The Oklahoman's staff was named as one of three finalists for the APME Innovator of the Year Award for its overall approach to video.

APME activities: I have coordinated, been involved in the leadership of and/or spoke at several APME NewsTrains, including ones in St. Louis, Memphis and Oklahoma City. I also have spoken at two national APME conventions (Milwaukee and Las Vegas) and have consulted with APME staff in seeking grants for NewsTrain.

APME should: Continue to be the organization that stresses innovation, First Amendment rights, diversity and journalism credibility and excellence. Each of these will be vital for the future of our journalism institutions and organizations. I applaud APME for being an active and vibrant organization that is spearheading these efforts. I think that I can be instrumental in continuing those efforts and seeking other ways to invigorate its audience.
In my spare time: I dedicate myself to my family. My wife, Nan, and I have two children – Elena, a junior at Washington University in St. Louis, and Elyse, a sophomore at Bishop McGuinness High School in Oklahoma City. I'm also involved in local community causes, including the leadership of them.

Carole TarrantCarole Tarrant

Title: Editor

Newspaper: The Roanoke Times, Roanoke, Va.

Career summary:I joined The Roanoke Times in 2005 and was named editor in 2007. Prior to that, I was managing editor at The Forum in Fargo, N.D., an editor and reporter at The Tampa (Fla.) Tribune and a copy editor at The Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser

Recent accomplishments: During my time in Roanoke we’ve been repeatedly recognized on the national level for our online journalism. The latest came from Pictures of the Year International (documentary project of the year) and the Casey Medals for Meritorious Journalism (best multimedia project). In 2007, we were cited by Editor & Publisher as one of "10 That Do It Right” after our coverage of the Virginia Tech shootings. Our paper/Web site is a three-time winner of APME’s Online Convergence Award and won Virginia’s top public service journalism award the past two years.

APME activities: Served on the APME board since 2007; assisted in Las Vegas convention planning; served on membership, online, diversity, credibility and APME Update committees; spoke as a panelist at the 2003, 2004 and 2007 conventions.

APME should: Continue to bring inexpensive but worthwhile training to our regions with NewsTrain; look for more ways to do Webinar training, recognizing our travel budgets have been nuked; serve as a strong conduit to AP regarding the real-world budget and readership issues in our newsrooms.

In my spare time: I dream about having spare time.

Alan EnglishAlan English

The executive editor of The Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle, was recently appointed to fill an unexpired term on the board of directors of the Associated Press Managing Editors.

He goes before the membership as a board candidate in this election. A full profile of English was not available at press time for APME News. English’s service to the association has included planning and logistics for recent annual conferences. English joined the Chronicle in April after five years as executive editor of the Times of Shreveport, La., where he also spent four years as managing editor. He started as a photographer with the Knoxville (Tenn.) Journal in 1987. He worked as a photo editor for several newspapers, was photo director for Gannett Suburban Newspapers in White Plains, N.Y., and assistant managing editor for photography at the Democrat and Chronicle in Rochester, N.Y.

UNDER 35,000 CANDIDATES (pick one)

Dennis AndersonDennis Anderson

Title: Managing Editor

Newspaper: Lawrence Journal-World, Lawrence, Kan.

Career summary: I am celebrating my 25th year as a journalist. After graduating from Columbia College in Chicago, I worked as a reporter and editor for Life Newspapers, Pioneer Press Newspapers and the Daily Herald in the Chicago area. Then I moved east for a decade to Binghamton, N.Y., as metro editor, and managing editor for the Norwich Bulletin, in Connecticut. I joined the Lawrence Journal-World in 2005 as managing editor. I am responsible for The World Company’s Kansas news operations, including the Journal-World and its Web sites, LJWorld. com, and

Recent accomplishments: The Journal-World staff was thrilled to win the APME OnlineConvergence Award for the third consecutive year. Each award was for a different style of journalism presented in multimedia. For example, the first award was for an investigative report about forgotten mining communities that are literally sinking into the ground from undermining; next we were recognized for a fun project bringing to life Kansas University’s 2008 national basketball championship; and this year we won for an educational project examining natural resources beneath Kansas’ surface. These were all staff projects involving cooperation among many departments inside and outside the newsroom. I have also been involved in several projects to improve readership, including Go! a Monday lifestyles tabloid magazine that wraps the Journal-World.

APME activities: I spoke at last year’s APME convention on the topic "Industry Cutbacks and Online Growth: The Impact on Journalism,” and have attended other APME conventions. I have also spoken to media groups about multimedia reporting and editing.

APME should:

• APME and The Associated Press must work together to ensure each is serving its members’ needs, from connecting with the audience to staff development. That can happen only by asking members about their concerns, listening to them and then reacting.

• Help members — and their staff and ownership — better understand and promote opportunities to reach a larger audience using the Web and social media tools. This is especially important for smaller newspapers.

• Educate our audience about the importance of maintaining and supporting a strong local media in their community.

In my spare time: I’m a dad, a husband and a Big Brother to a 12-year-old boy in Lawrence. My wife Julie and I have two sons, Eric, 17, and Thomas, 13. Julie and I enjoy watching our boys play baseball and hockey. I also coach Thomas’ traveling baseball team. I start and end each day taking our two dachshunds, Lorenzo and Francesca, on walks.

J. Todd FosterJ. Todd Foster

Title: Managing Editor

Newspaper: Bristol Herald Courier, Bristol, Va.

Career summary: I have more than a quarter century’s experience as a hard-hitting journalist, mostly as an investigative reporter for such newspapers as The Oregonian, The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Wash.), and the Pensacola News Journal. I crossed over to editing’s dark side six and a half years ago because I figured the best way to control my fellow inmates would be from a position as warden. I’ve worked for newspapers large and small and learned that circulation, salary and advertising revenues in no way equate to quality journalism, which can be practiced anywhere. I was part of a Pulitzer-finalist team in Spokane for coverage of Ruby Ridge, Idaho, and white separatist Randy Weaver.

Recent accomplishments: In the same month, I landed an interview with President Barack Obama, completed a social-networking fellowship through the Knight Digital Media Center at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication, and launched a 15-day series on financial disclosure forms – specifically how these forms are required of all public officials in Tennessee and Virginia but often are not completed, contain omissions or include outright errors.

APME activities: Joined APME’s 2008 earmarks project, hosted APME’s elfin editor Mel in 2007 and gave him a tour of the Bristol Motor Speedway, and led a project that was an APME national finalist in 2007 for best multimedia series.

APME should: Do more outreach for community newspapers.

In my spare time: I sleep.

Laura KesselLaura Kessel

Title: Managing Editor

Newspaper: The News-Herald, Willoughby, Ohio

Career summary: I have been managing editor at The News-Herald (Journal Register Co.) for four years, and have a weekly column that appears on the Comment section. I moved up from service as news editor for five years. Prior to that, I served as a copy editor and page designer here at The News-Herald; from 1994-1997 at the Valley News-Dispatch/ North Hills News Record (Gannett) in Tarentum, Pa; and from 1992-1994 at The Morning Journal (Journal Register Co.) in Lorain, Ohio. I served an internship at the Battle Creek Enquirer in Battle Creek, Mich., in summer 1990.

Recent accomplishments: In May, I was elected to an at-large seat on the Associated Press Society of Ohio’s Board of Trustees. In 2006, I was named best columnist by Suburban Newspapers of America; and in 2005, I was named best editorial writer in Ohio by the APSO. This year, I joined with APME Board Member Alan Miller at a multimedia conference in Columbus, sharing 30 ideas for multimedia stories during a lunch-time address.

APME activities: This marks my third consecutive APME convention.

APME should: Continue its push to educate journalists on the future of journalism. Our business sometimes changes by the hour, and it’s important that we understand the new ways we can get our stories, photos and message out to readers and users of our Web sites. By sharing techniques and methods, we will stay at least on the same speed as the technology that is available. Now’s not a time to be afraid. It’s a time to embrace our future and take control of our own destiny. As we do so, and learn what’s available, we can share it with those around us and save ourselves.

In my spare time: I’m a movie fan who also loves to cook and shops far more than I should. I enjoy traveling, and have become a fitness fanatic, working out five days a week.


Jack LailJack Lail

Title: Director of News Innovation

Newspaper: Knoxville News Sentinel, Knoxville, Tenn.

Career summary: Newspaper journalist who made the leap to online in the mid-1990s and has spent the last 15 years pioneering what we once called online journalism, what we now call "digital,” and what we'll soon just call "journalism.”

Recent accomplishments: Launched a redesign of our knoxnews/govolsxtra Web sites, help organize an Online Credibility Roundtable on Comments that has had continuing discussion, helped implement a large-scale training effort in the newsroom on digital skills on topics ranging from simple HTML to what is Twitter, was a presenter at an API workshop in Murfressboro, Tenn., organized a one-day workshop sponsored by ONA at the Freedom Forum in Nashville, and will appear on a panel in late August at the SPJ National Convention.

APME activities: Currently serving a one-year term on the board, helped organize an Online Credibility Roundtable on Comments in May, participating in a panel session at the convention, and have written a couple pieces for the APME magazine.

APME should: Take the lead in helping newsrooms evolve as the media landscape changes, seeking out innovative approaches and initiatives, gathering information and data on common issues, and highlighting success stories.

In my spare time: I blog at, hang out on Twitter and spend a lot of time in baseball parks.

Laura SellersLaura Sellers-Earl

Title: Director of Audience Development

Newspaper: East Oregonian Publishing Co., Salem, Ore.

Career summary: After 17 years with EOPC, I’ve shape-shifted from managing editor to online director to director of audience development, with many other title switches in between. We’re still searching for the right title that describes a role that includes all digital activities, brand development, partner opportunities, alternative products and whatever else that comes down the pike for our nine small newspapers and 14 Web sites. Oh, and we publish books, too. Prior to that I worked for Student Media at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, and several other newspapers in Texas.

In addition to APME, I am a member of the Online News Association (including being a past judge twice for the Online Journalism Awards), the Newspaper Association of America, where I was a past new media diversity fellow. I’m also a former fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism multimedia program.

Recent accomplishments: We are currently remaking our 11 community Web sites on a new platform. This followed an extensive five-month vetting process, which I led, with almost 200 different attributes we were seeking. As a result of a circulation summit, I helped design and administer a database of front pages with the goal of improving rack sales. I also lead monthly idea-sharing sessions online with all our editors to improve not only our products, but increase communications. We’ve increased our digital media staff from just one (me) in 2000 to five today, including a multimedia specialist who helped us earn regional and state awards for video. We have a comprehensive digital media strategy and are expanding to other fields.

APME activities: APME board of directors, 2000-2006; Awards tab design 2003-2005; Awards Committee chair 2005; Membership Committee chair 2004; Great Ideas session speaker 2004-06; revamping APME awards process 2003; Online Committee chair, 2001-02; helped create and judge APMEOnline Convergence Award, 2002; Great Journalism Online session leader, 2001-2002; Diversity committee, 2001-02; Program committee, 2000; student mentor, 1999-2006; student session speaker, 2001-2002; small newspapers committee, 1998-2001; organized or presented various other sessions.

APME should: We should not only learn more from our readers and customers, but also talk more directly to those we serve. APME should help facilitate those conversations and give editors the tools they need to reach beyond the medium of yesterday and today to embrace the path of tomorrow.

I believe APME offers practical tools for newsroom leaders and the times mandate that those tools grow and change with our audiences.

In my spare time: I live in Astoria, Ore., with husband Carl, systems guy for the same company, and two Welsh terriers. I count my time with APME among the highlights of my career and the hard-working newsroom leaders I met through this organization among the best I have ever known. I hope to continue to serve the organization and journalism well. I also promise to finish off any ouzo left on the table.


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