Stalberg to Head Political Watchdog Group

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By: Joe Strupp

Recently retired Philadelphia Daily News Editor Zack Stalberg is joining a local political watchdog group, the paper announced Wednesday.

As the head of the Committee of Seventy, Stalberg will have the title of president and chief executive officer, earning more than $100,000 per year, the Daily News revealed. He also will retain a consultant’s post at the paper, which was announced when he stepped down earlier this month after 34 years at the paper and more than 20 years as editor.

The Committee of Seventy, a nonprofit group funded mostly by foundations and the business community, is best known for monitoring elections, the paper said. But Stalberg said Tuesday that that was likely to change.

“Basically I’m going to try to re-invent the organization,” Stalberg told the Daily News. “For many, many years, it was a tremendous instrument of reform in Philadelphia, and over time its mission got smaller and smaller. … [T]here’s been a decision to try to bring back the Committee of Seventy to make it a tool for cleaning up the political environment.”

Stalberg, who left his editing post somewhat abruptly and with only two weeks’ notice, said he had tried to lead the quiet life at home, but got an itch to get back into daily work routines. “It was hard for me to stay home and paint the TV room when there was a big opportunity to take on these big dragons,” he said.

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