By: Lucia Moses
Krenek Out, Kosner In
In the latest management change to roil the New York Daily News, Sunday
Editor Edward Kosner was named top editor yesterday, becoming the fifth
person to hold the post in seven years. He replaces Debby Krenek, who
was the first woman to run the newsroom at the nation’s sixth-largest
Kosner, 62, is a former editor of Newsweek and New York magazines. He
joined the Daily News in November 1998 and was tapped to revamp the
tabloid’s flagging Sunday edition last year. Under the new setup,
Editorial Page Editor Michael Goodwin, 50, becomes Kosner’s second-in-
command, with the title of senior executive editor. No replacements
were named for the Sunday editor or editorial page editor jobs.
In a press release, Co-Publisher Mortimer Zuckerman praised Kosner for
his ‘energy, creativity, focus, and integrity’ and said Goodwin has
brought the editorial and Op-Ed pages to a level of national
prominence, winning two Pulitzer Prizes.
Zuckerman said in the release that Krenek recently informed him that
she ‘would like to pursue other opportunities.’ He praised her
contributions, noting that she oversaw a number of strong investigative
series and that the Daily News won a Pulitzer for columnist Mike
McAlary’s exposure of police brutality under her tenure.
Word around the newsroom, however, is that she was forced out.
Speculation began when the Daily News’ rival New York Post reported in
a gossip column March 20 that Kosner was about to be named editor. A
12-year veteran of the paper, Krenek was named to the top spot in late
1997 following the eight-month tenure of famed journalist Pete Hamill.
Well-liked by the staff, she received sustained applause during an
emotional farewell yesterday.
Joe Calderone, who heads the paper’s investigations unit, says Krenek
was supportive of investigative projects and had an overall calming
influence on the paper. ‘She made it a better place to work,’ he says.
‘I know she had a deep feeling for the paper.’
It remains to be seen what further changes, if any, will come under
Kosner. As Sunday editor and relative newcomer to the paper, Kosner is
unknown to many staffers. The revamped Sunday edition was run separate
from the daily edition, and the two had a sometimes antagonistic
relationship as staffers and editors occasionally competed for the same
One news staffer didn’t expect significant staff changes. ‘If you look
at Kosner’s history, you won’t find a lot of dead bodies in his wake,’
the staffer says. ‘Ultimately, I think Kosner is a smart guy, capable
of seeing the big picture, and seeing different shades and angles that
can make a story interesting.’
Management changes at the Daily News haven’t been limited to the
editor’s seat. In January, Zuckerman’s partner, Fred Drasner, turned
over daily operations to Les Goodstein, who was elevated to president
and chief operating officer from associate publisher.
In one of a shrinking number of competitive newspaper markets, the
Daily News is ahead of the Post, but, like many papers, is losing
circulation. Daily sales were down 3% to 701,831 in the six months
ended Sept. 30 while the Post gained 0.15% to 438,158.
Lucia Moses (firstname.lastname@example.org) is
associate editor for Editor & Publisher magazine.
(c) Copyright 2000, Editor & Publisher