Ellen Foley Named Editor of ‘Wis. State Journal’

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By: E&P Staff

Ellen Foley, managing editor of The Philadelphia Daily News and a Wisconsin native, will soon become the first female editor of the Wisconsin State Journal in Madison.

The announcement was made today. Foley, 51, will succeed Frank Denton, who left earlier this year to become editor of The Tampa (Fla.) Tribune. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and got her start as an intern at The Daily News in West Bend, Wis.

“I interviewed many strong internal and outside candidates for the editor position,” said Jim Hopson, publisher of the Wisconsin State Journal (Click for QuikCap) and vice president of Davenport, Iowa-based Lee Enterprises, which publishes the newspaper, in a statement. “Lots of talented journalists wanted this job. I think Ellen Foley brings exactly the right mix of experience, talent and energy to lead this newspaper forward.”

In a statement, Foley said, “I am thrilled to join such a successful group of colleagues. Together we will build on the legacy of great journalism at the Wisconsin State Journal. … Who says you can’t go home again?”

She said she expects no major changes to the staff. “I’m aiming for smart, warm and funny, three adjectives my friends use to describe me on my good days,” she said.

Foley has worked at five major metropolitan newspapers and spent six years as the managing editor of the Philadelphia Daily News, a Knight Ridder paper. She also has worked as an editor at the Minneapolis Star Tribune and The Kansas City (Mo.) Star.

In Philadelphia, Deputy Managing Editor Michael Days will become the new managing editor. In a memo to staff, Daily News Editor Zachary Stalberg added that Executive Sports Editor Pat McLoone and Rethinking Philadelphia Editor Wendy Warren are being promoted to assistant managing editor.

“Ellen came to the Daily News six years ago,” Stalberg said. “Because of economic and competitive pressures, those years have been among the most grueling in the history of the publishing business in America. This did not make her job any easier. Yet, she made the Daily News — and me — far better. She forced us to care more about female readers and young people. When our strategy shifted from magazine style-journalism to making Philadelphia better, she proved herself as adept at one as the other.”

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