By: E&P Staff
Chris Waddle retired July 31 after 28 years with The Anniston (Ala.) Star, having spent most of his career in its newsroom, as managing editor, editorial page editor, executive editor and vice president for news.
Waddle started his career not far away, at E.W. Scripps’ Birmingham Post-Herald, which closed in 2005. He joined the Star with newsroom management experience at larger papers in Louisville and Kansas City,
For the past eight years Waddle, 65, has worked to train young journalists. Since 2008 he’s held the Ayers Chair of Communication at nearby Jacksonville State University, where he will continue teaching.
To focus on that work, Waddle is relinquishing his positions as president of the Ayers Family Institute for Community Journalism and Anniston coordinator for the Knight Fellows in Community Journalism program through the University of Alabama.
Waddle helped set up the institute, with which the University of Alabama offers a one-year master’s program in community journalism – an arrangement compared to a teaching hospital, with the Star serving as a teaching newspaper for the program’s students.
The Star reported that in his years at the paper, Waddle “has frequently been a polarizing figure,” and that some still resent his positions, such as “advocating for incineration of the local chemical weapons stockpile.”
Himself a graduate of the University of Alabama, Star Editor Bob Davis takes over Waddle’s role as president of the Ayers Family Institute for Community Journalism, where he is assisted by Star Assistant Metro Editor Tim Lockette.