New ‘Newsday’ Editor to Focus on Convergence

By: Joe Strupp

Updated at 4:10 p.m. Eastern Standard Time

Incoming Newsday Editor Howard Schneider plans to increase convergence between the newspaper and its Web site, radio, and television links when he replaces retiring Editor Anthony Marro, who announced his resignation Wednesday.

Schneider, 57, who has been at the paper since 1969 and is responsible for the Web-related coverage, said more staffers will be trained to work in multiple mediums, while new hires will be looked at with more of an emphasis on convergnece training.

“We will find people in the newsroom who have an appetite for this and begin to cross-train them,” said Schneider, who currently serves as managing editor and vice president/content. “Some people will have to come into the newsroom with multiple skills as well.”

Newsday, owned by Chicago’s Tribune Co., currently does some cross-promotion with Tribune-owned WPIX TV in New York, including story teasers on the station’s morning and evening news casts. In addition, a Newsday staffer conducts a twice-daily newscast from the paper’s newsroom for WALK Radio of Long Island, while a nightly business report for News 12 Long Island originates from Newsday as well.

Schneider said those relationships will be expanded. “I see more collaboration [with WPIX] and more content sharing,” he said. “Some special reports and more with the morning show.”

The new editor also predicted the paper’s expansion into New York City would continue, but declined to cite specifics. The paper currently has a Queens bureau that has expanded in recent years, along with several Manhattan locations.

Marro announced his retirement, effective Aug. 15, during a meeting with Newsday staff Tuesday. Publisher Raymond A. Jansen then announced the choice of Schneider, who said he found out he would get the job less than an hour before the public announcement. Staffers say Marro had discussed leaving during the past year, but no specific date had been announced until Tuesday.

Marro has been Newsday‘s editor since 1987. He first joined the paper as a reporter in 1968, and was later a member of its investigations team. He worked as a reporter for Newsweek and The New York Times before returning to Newsday in 1979 as Washington bureau chief. He was named managing editor in 1981.

“I still get a lot of satisfaction from this job,” Marro said to editorial staffers gathered in the Newsday auditorium. “I’ve been coming into one newsroom or another since I was sixteen years old, and I’m sure that I’m going to miss it a great deal and I’m going to miss all of you a great deal. But I’ve always thought it was important for people to know when it was the right time to leave, and it’s time.”

Speculation had arisen at the paper, which Tribune acquired during its 2000 takeover of Times Mirror Inc., that the Chicago-based parent company might bring in an editor from another Tribune property. Staffers expressed relief that an in-house person was given the nod. “He knows the paper and the people,” one Newsday veteran, who requested anonymity, said of Schneider. “We were afraid what it might mean if a Tribune person took control.”

One of those passed over for the promotion was Charlotte Hall, managing editor and vice president, who had served as Marro’s second-in-command. Hall declined to comment on her feelings about not getting the position, choosing instead to praise Schneider as someone “with vision and passion who knows the paper and the community.”

Schneider has been with Newsday for more than 30 years, holding numerous reporting and editing positions.

A graduate of Syracuse University and Columbia University, Schneider joined Newsday as a reporter in the summer of 1969 following two years teaching English in New York City, according to the paper. He has worked as a beat reporter, feature writer, assignment editor, and senior editor. He supervised the news and editing team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 1984 for its coverage of the Baby Jane Doe controversy.

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