‘Indy Star’ M.E. Fine Leaving For University of Kansas Post

By: Joe Strupp

Managing Editor Pam Fine of The Indianapolis Star, and former managing editor of the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, is leaving to take a post at the University of Kansas.

In a memo to staff also sent to E&P, Fine said she was “thrilled to be moving into a position in which I can teach this craft I so love, and also work creatively on issues affecting our business. At the same time, I’m leaving a newsroom full of people I admire and respect. It’s been a gift and an honor to be part of your lives.”

Star Editor Dennis Ryerson announced the move to staffers in his own memo, in which he stated: “We’ll miss Pam’s incredibly hard work, her passion, and her quest every day for improving the quality of what we do. She has accomplished wonderful things at The Star.”

Fine’s new job will be the tenured post of Knight Chair for News, Leadership and Community at the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications in Lawrence, KS. Ryerson did not indicate in his memo if a replacement would be named or how soon.

Ryerson said Fine will remain on the job at the Star until April 4. She also wrote in an e-mail that she plans to remain on the American Society of Newspaper Editors board of directors through its mid-April convention in Washington, D.C.

Both memos are posted below:
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To the staff:

Pam Fine, in a message below, has some great news for her but not so great news for us. As Pam explains, she is leaving The Star to assume the Knight Chair at the University of Kansas. It’s a great job for a person who, as we all know, is a teacher at heart who has vast knowledge to share about what we do.

We’ll miss Pam’s incredibly hard work, her passion, and her quest every day for improving the quality of what we do. She has accomplished wonderful things at The Star.

Listing Pam’s accomplishments isn’t easy; there are so many of them. She lead efforts to help us focus our work more effectively so we could better impact the lives of our readers. She established new standards and procedures that improved accountability as well as quality. She was instrumental in our push to provide a livelier, more interesting front page every day. She conceived the well-received IndySunday section. She led great coverage of everything from elections to horrific murders. There’s nothing in the paper, apart from our editorial pages, that she didn’t touch in a positive way. in the digital world, Pam has been critical to our many improvements in what we are offering on-line.

Of course, no description of Pam would be complete without noting her fine sense of humor, which lightened the heavy load and added to the solid teamwork that exists here.

Pam’s last day here will be April 4. I know you will join me in wishing her the very best.

Dennis

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Dear Colleagues:

I am writing to let you know that I have accepted a position as the Knight Chair for News, Leadership and Community, a tenured professorship at the University of Kansas.

As you can imagine, making this announcement brings both joy and sadness for me. I’m thrilled to be moving into a position in which I can teach this craft I so love, and also work creatively on issues affecting our business. At the same time, I’m leaving a newsroom full of people I admire and respect. It’s been a gift and an honor to be part of your lives.

My new village will be the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications in Lawrence (alma mater of our esteemed colleague Jenny Green who is still fondly remembered there.) I’ll be developing and teaching two classes per semester, reaching high to help students gain the critical thinking skills, values, multi-platform storytelling abilities and entrepreneurial skills they’ll need to be successful communicators and citizens. I’ve also been charged with being creative outside the classroom, working on initiatives and programs that help facilitate improved local coverage and the rise of local journalism organizations, in service to communities and citizens.

Working with you these past four years has certainly helped prepare me for my next role. We’ve truly been agents of change, beginning a transformative march that will continue here and in newsrooms across the country as our business strives to serve readers and communities in the years to come.

Thank you for making my time at the Star such a rich and rewarding experience. I’ll be in the newsroom until April 4 and hope to connect with each of you before I leave. As always, feel free to stop by.

Pam

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