Moroney Named ‘E&P’ Publisher of the Year

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By: Mark Fitzgerald

For pulling off an unprecedented newspaper hat trick in 2003, Dallas Morning News Publisher and CEO James M. Moroney III has been named Editor & Publisher magazine’s Publisher of the Year.

A great-grandson of the Morning News’ legendary founding publisher G.B. Dealey, Jim Moroney had never had a management job at a newspaper when he was named publisher in 2001. For bringing to the newspaper ideas from his long career on the broadcast, corporate and Internet operations of Belo Corp. — and for championing the creation of new print products as publisher — E&P says Moroney “represents an emerging generation of newspaper industry leaders.”

As 2003 began, Moroney was directing two separate projects so big that each alone would be enough to occupy a newspaper for a year. To build permanent circulation gains in an affluent suburban county, he redeployed parts of the news, advertising and production staffs to add content and advertising while barely increasing costs. At the same time, the Morning News (Click for QuikCap) was creating a Spanish-language daily newspaper, Al Dia, that would quickly dominate its home market.

But no sooner had Al Dia launched, then a competitor announced that in two weeks a free, quick-read daily newspaper would be coming to Dallas. Moroney unleashed the new products division he had created at the paper, and literally within days a new and edgy youth-oriented free daily was born. The aptly named Quick beat its competition to the streets by two days.

“After less than three years under Moroney’s leadership, the newspaper now operates with a high-energy dexterity that astonishes even people inside the Morning News — let alone observers who had come to think of it as a solid but not especially interesting industry player,” the E&P April cover story says of Moroney.

A colleague describes the publisher as “a laser beam on steroids.” A sign on Moroney’s desk declares: “People who don’t get carried away, should be.”

A complete profile of Moroney will be available in the April print issue of E&P and in the “In Print” section of E&P Online for subscribers only later today.

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