MCT News Service Founder Schoelkopf Dies at 77

By: E&P Staff Dean Schoelkopf, founding editor of what is now known as the McClatchy/Tribune news service, died Aug. 4 of complications from liver disease. He was 77.

Schoelkopf founded KNT News Service in 1972. The service was a joint venture of Knight Newspapers and the Tribune Co. It was later renamed Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service, and in 2006 became McClatchy/Tribune after McClatchy's purchase of Knight Ridder included half of the news service.

"Dean was one of the pioneers of the Knight News Service," Bill Baker, a retired Knight/Ridder vice president/news, said in a statement. "When it started, he ran it as a one-person staff. He was a careful editor and very intense in his quiet way, which helped in getting the wire service started in the right way."

"Before the Internet, and before strategic shifts in the journalism landscape made it popular, Dean was into sharing news before sharing was cool," said Scott Bosley, the president of the American Society of News Editors and Schoelkopf's successor at The news service. "His dedication to quality editing and understanding of emerging electronic delivery systems nurtured a nascent idea into business model."

A Minnesota native, Schoelkopf graduated cum laude from the University of Minnesota in 1954 and served as a captain in the U.S. Air Force Reserve. In addition to his time with KNT News Service, he was editor-in-chief of yearbooks for Encyclopaedia Britannica, White House correspondent for the U.S. Information Agency, national/foreign editor for the Chicago Daily News and city editor of the Minneapolis Tribune.

He retired from the news service in 1987.


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