Editors Leaving at Four AAN Papers

Newsrooms in Seattle, L.A., Pittsburgh and Broward-Palm Beach to lose editorial helmsmen.

During the past month, alternative newspapers in four cities have announced that their editors are leaving to pursue other interests. In reverse chronological order, here is a short report on each announcement:

Seattle Weekly

Knute “Skip” Berger, editor-in-chief of Seattle Weekly, will be leaving in late September after two-and-a-half years as the newsroom’s leader. Berger joined the organization in 1990 as founding editor of Eastsideweek, Seattle Weekly’s sister publication that was distributed in the Microsoft suburbs until it was shut down shortly after the company was acquired by the Village Voice. Berger replaced Seattle Weekly founding editor David Brewster after Eastsideweek was shuttered.

Berger engineered many changes at the Weekly, including beefing up the paper’s coverage of music, pop culture and local politics.

“The decision to leave was very difficult,” Berger said. “I’ve got the best job in alternative journalism and it’s hard to walk away. But I have the opportunity to do a book and I need some time off. After a decade in the trenches, all that moved to the front burner.”

Publisher Alisa Cromer, who joined the paper just last month, said she has not yet found Berger’s replacement.

In Pittsburgh Weekly

Editor Jill MacDowell has resigned after 18 months with the paper. Although she has left the alternative weekly, she does not plan to leave Pittsburgh, according to a report by the Pittsburgh Business Journal.

In Pittsburgh’s publisher, Catherine Nelson, told the Journal that she will likely promote from within and does not expect to hire MacDowell’s replacement immediately.

Before joining Review Publishing’s Pittsburgh weekly, McDowell served in the editorial department of the Philadelphia Weekly, the company’s flagship paper.

LA Weekly

Editor Sue Horton recently announced she will leave for the East Coast in November after accepting a fellowship in Maryland.

Horton, who has been with LA Weekly for more than six years, will leave the paper after the presidential elections, said Publisher Michael Sigman. He said the paper will conduct a wide search to find Horton’s replacement.

Horton, a former journalism professor at University of Southern California, has been widely credited with fostering vast improvements in the paper’s editorial product. “She’s brought news and investigative coverage to the paper in a way we’ve never had it before,” Sigman said.

New Times Broward-Palm Beach

Editor Tom Walsh will be leaving his position in late August to take over as editor at the Sacramento News & Review. Walsh will replace Ralph Brave, who left the paper earlier this year after serving a short stint as the replacement for the News & Review’s longtime editor, Melinda Welsh.

Formerly editor of the Salt Lake City Weekly (which was then called Private Eye Weekly), Walsh joined New Times Broward-Palm Beach four years ago as its founding editor. He will be replaced by the paper’s managing editor, Chuck Strauss.

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