18-Year Chicago Tribune Veteran Moves to Washington This Month.
Veteran Chicago journalist Howard Witt was named the new Editor-in-Chief of the Washington City Paper, it was announced on Friday. Witt replaces former Washington City Paper editor David Carr, who left his post in April to take a reporting position with Inside.com.
Witt’s extensive career includes 18 years at the Chicago Tribune as a reporter, foreign correspondent, Los Angeles Bureau Chief and Chief of Correspondents. From 1997 to 1999, he was Associate Managing Editor/Interactive News, responsible for editorial content on the Tribune’s websites. Since 1999, he has worked at both Brillscontent.com and MinorityInterest.com. Witt, who received his B.A. in English Language and Literature from the University of Michigan in 1982, was hired by the Washington City Paper after answering an ad on JournalismJobs.com.
“Howard’s clips were stories that you wanted to read,” Washington City Paper Executive Vice-President Jane Levine told AAN News. “He instinctively gets the kind of stories we do, the way we tell stories. [Former Washington City Paper editors] Jack Shafer and David Carr were big personalities. We didn’t need somebody just like that, but Howard does have a strong personality.”
Witt told AAN News that he is excited about making the leap from mainstream to alternative journalism. “Fundamentally, it’s the chance to do some stories that make a difference and have a voice. There’s a freedom that you have in an alternative weekly that you don’t have in daily newspapers. There’s a voice and an advocacy that you can pursue in an alternative paper that is intriguing to me.”
Although Witt’s only experience as a Washington-area resident was a brief stint in the Maryland suburbs, he is anxious to move to D.C. later this month to become a new native, he says. “I have a habit of learning places pretty quickly.”
AAN members will get a chance to meet Witt at the AAN convention in Phoenix, June 1-3.
Missoula Independent’s Blake de Pastino was named last month to replace Carr as AAN Editorial Committee Chair. de Pastino’s appointment is effective through June 3, at which time he must submit his nomination to stand for election at the annual meeting in Phoenix to complete the final year of Carr’s two-year term.