Well-known newspaper industry publisher David Macauley Cole died Jan. 17, 2017 at the age of 62. He described himself as a “life-long journalist with the craft’s standard abilities: good writing and editing delivered in deadline-oriented environments.” He was a mentor to many and an industry guide for many more.
Cole was best known as proprietor of his industry newsletters which offered a pithy look at publishing, technology and journalism, The Cole Papers (1989-2005), and News Inc., which he published beginning in 1997, and for his international consulting group, The Cole Group, for which he was the principal consultant.
Before becoming an industry consultant, Cole was an assistant managing editor and chief newsroom technologist at the San Francisco Examiner from 1986-89. In that role, he was the principal architect of the newspaper’s computer-assisted newsroom library. He was the newspaper’s systems editor from 1981-86, identifying, purchasing and implementing new technologies, including a 200-terminal editorial system. From 1977-81, he worked there as a copy editor, makeup editor, and assistant news editor.
He was a lecturer in journalism at San Francisco State University from 1980-83, and was executive editor, general manager and co-founder of feed/back, a non-profit quarterly journalism review magazine published by the journalism department from 1974-80 and from 1980-83.
Cole also was an assistant music editor for Rolling Stone from 1976-77, where he was, in his own words, “a crafter of cunning captions.”
He was active in the Junior Statesmen of America from 1969, serving on that organization’s Board of Directors and in various other capacities. He studied journalism at San Francisco State University from 1972-77, and in 2011, became owner of Steam in the Garden LLC, which focused on small-scale live steam engines, with articles about buying, building and maintaining live-steam locomotives.