Editor & Publisher today named Orage Quarles III, president and publisher of The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., as its Publisher of the Year. A profile of Quarles by Mark Fitzgerald will appear in next week’s issue of E&P.
Three weeks ago, E&P named Howell Raines, executive editor of The New York Times, as its Editor of the Year.
In choosing Quarles, 51, for this honor, E&P cited his success in the past year — a very difficult one for the newspaper industry — in steering both his paper and his fellow publishers “through trying times.” Besides his duties at the News & Observer, Quarles served as chairman of the Newspaper Association of America (NAA), a term which ends next week at the group’s annual convention in New Orleans. This led to a “punishing schedule of speeches and meetings” which “put him in front of Wall Street and Main Street audiences” who needed to be convinced “that the long-prophesied end of newspapers was not approaching.”
Quarles was the first African American to serve as chairman of the NAA.
A thirty-year veteran of the newspaper business, Quarles has already served as publisher of five newspapers, first with the Gannett chain and now with the McClatchy Co. of Sacramento, Calif. Before moving to Raleigh in 2000, he was publisher of McClatchy’s Modesto (Calif.) Bee. In the past year, despite the recession and the Sept. 11 aftershocks, the News & Observer has grown circulation, increased editorial space, and redesigned its pages, while avoiding the layoffs and buyouts so common at other papers.
“Everywhere he has gone,” Gary Pruitt, McClatchy’s chairman, CEO, and president, told E&P, “circulation has grown, diversity has increased, and the economic (performance) has increased.”
In 2001, MediaNews CEO Dean Singleton was named the top publisher by E&P, which cited him for his work as publisher of The Denver Post. The honor went to The New York Times‘ Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr. in 2000.