The editor of the Abilene Reporter-News since 1999 announced that she is leaving the newspaper March 1.
Terri Burke told the newsroom staff Tuesday that her departure is an “intermission, not retirement.”
She said she intends to stay in Abilene and take the time to enjoy her first grandchild, due in May.
“Being the editor of this newspaper is a 24-hour-a-day job, 365 days a year,” Burke said. “My passion for this business and this newspaper hasn’t changed, but I need a break.”
George Cogswell, the newspaper’s publisher and president, told the staff that Burke has set a high standard for the paper to continue.
“Terri’s 30 years of experience in the newsroom, her passion for her work, and her strong leadership skills will be dearly missed at the Abilene Reporter-News,” Cogswell said.
Burke will remain a board member of nonprofit agencies, Cogswell said. She is a founding board member of Connecting Caring Communities and is a board member of the Day Nursery of Abilene.
Burke started her daily newspaper career 30 years ago as a reporter for The Beaumont Enterprise. She joined the E.W. Scripps Co., which owns the Abilene paper, in 1996 as managing editor of The Albuquerque Tribune.
She has filled senior newsroom management positions at The Hartford Courant in Connecticut, The Dallas Morning News and The Austin American Statesman.
“You’ll never meet a more ethical and responsible journalist than Terri Burke,” Cogswell said. “Editors are charged with making tough news decisions every day, and Terri didn’t shy away from making those tough calls.”
Barton Cromeens, who has been managing editor for 2 1/2 years, will be interim editor, Cogswell said.