The new publisher at the Santa Barbara News-Press named four people to top editing positions, a step toward restocking management ranks decimated by a mass resignation last week to protest moves by the paper’s ownership.
Among the new hires is fomer KTVU-Ch. 2 business editor Brian Banmiller. Acting publisher Travis Armstrong said that Banmiller has been tapped to be contributing business editor.
Armstrong also announced the appointment of Charles Bucher as the new assistant managing editor, Scott Steepleton as city editor and Tony Peck as interim sports editor.
“I am pleased to promote these excellent journalists,” Armstrong said. “They bring to their positions an intense focus on the reader, a creative approach to the presentation of news and a dedication to local reporting.”
More appointments are expected to fill remaining vacancies created by the resignations, newspaper spokesman Sam Singer said today.
Bucher previously served as the paper’s nation and world editor. Steepleton was a senior writer and Peck was an associate editorial page editor. Banmiller worked at KTVU Channel 2 News in San Francisco for 16 years.
The News-Press, founded in 1855, is locally owned and published by Wendy McCaw’s Ampersand Publishing LLC, which purchased the paper in 2000 from the New York Times Co.
Last week, editor Jerry Roberts, managing editor George Foulsham and the others quit, citing dissatisfaction with McCaw and her associates. Among other things, the editors claimed McCaw and her team meddled in news coverage.
The News-Press has a 57-person editorial staff. It publishes seven days a week and a has a daily circulation of about 41,000.