Staff Shifts at 'Sun,' 'Newsday'

As much of the city sleeps today, there's all sorts of exciting news at the two local dailies you're least likely to read.

First arrived an anonymous report of staff intrigue at The New York Sun: A hardworking reporter passed over for a promotion storms out of the office, apparently never to be heard from again. Then comes a forwarded memo from Newsday, where, it seems, just about every person left on that rapidly diminishing staff has been transferred to a new position.

After the jump, the anonymous — and, granted, perhaps entirely mistaken — report from the Sun, followed by the cast-of-thousands announcement from Newsday editor John Mancini.

Anonymously authored Sun saga:

This from a very reliable newsroom source:

NY Sun's JEREMY SMERD, who was basically the paper's transit reporter — which meant he obviously worked hellish hours over the last few weeks — was freelancing for the Sun for more than a year, waiting to be hired, abruptly quit and walked out of the newsroom Wednesday after being passed over for a staff position.

It all started when JULIA LEVY, a mayoral reporter who some in the business describe as "hot," got a call from JOEL KLEIN himself asking her to be his "special assistant," whatever that means. So she happily packed up, pledged her dedication to the cause of journalism and her desire to someday return, and left the city's greatest 50-cent broadsheet.

Also, JACOB GERSHMAN, former higher education/NYU-heavy reporter (many, many Sun interns were NYU kids, showing you where most of his story ideas came from), moved up to Albany.

To fill out an even more than usually anemic staff, editors turned to up-and-comer RUSSELL BERMAN, a 22-year-old May NYU graduate who had interned at the Sun for two summers and also at Newsday, but who had returned to freelancing for the Sun only at the end of this September.

Upon hearing of Berman's hiring, Smerd walked up to him, very classily (word?) congratulated him, walked around the newsroom and said his goodbyes. He told the editors he was leaving and hasn't been heard from since.

Some say it's because he's not Jewish. That's mostly (89%) a joke.

And the forwarded Newsday announcement:

TO: The Staff
FROM: John Mancini

What's Going On

Debbie Henley, Debby Krenek and I are pleased to announce the following promotions and new assignments.

We anticipate another note or two on reorganization in coming weeks, centered on new reporting assignments. In the next few days, we plan to discuss the availability of new and established beats on the Long Island desk.

I thank you again for your patience over the past few months as we have worked to reorganize the newsroom.

Please join me today in wishing our colleagues well as they take on new assignments.

Business

Noel Rubinton is joining the staff as Act Two Editor. Noel, who began his career at Newsday on the Long Island desk, worked in photo and as editor of the Sunday magazine before joining Viewpoints. In addition to overseeing the weekly section, Noel will head up our coverage, including enterprise work, of the issues facing the Act Two generation.

Valerie Kellogg joins the staff to take on the newly created job of Shelter Editor, in charge of the Home and Real Estate sections. She will lead our effort to continue to strengthen these sections and look for ways to provide even more useful and entertaining coverage in an area we know is of great interest to our readers.

Gary Dymski and Carol Polsky, Home section reporters, will be joining Valerie in the move to Business.

Judy Cartwright, who has been producing strong Sunday and Monday sections for the Business desk, formally joins the desk as Sunday Editor.

Bob Kessler, a veteran of the Long Island desk, moves over to Business from his federal court beat to cover legal and regulatory affairs, including white-collar crime, bankruptcies, civil litigation and securities monitors and enforcement agencies.

Ellen Yan, who has worked as an LI reporter, a Washington correspondent and in the city as education reporter, will join Business as a reporter.

Keiko Morris, who has covered law enforcement and Oyster Bay town, moves from the LI desk to become a reporter in Business.

Health and Science

Marci Kemen has been promoted to Health and Science Editor. Marci demonstrates daily her keen sense for the stories that will connect with readers.

Curtis Taylor, who has been part of the Investigative team and the city desk staff in New York, where he mostly recently covered health, joins the Health and Science staff as a reporter.

Long Island

Rosemary McManus joins the desk as Sunday Editor, responsible for the Sunday and Monday story budget. She will work with Enterprise Editor Steve Wick in directing projects and enterprise stories emanating from reporters on LI and in the city.

Mira Lowe, while continuing with her training and recruiting work, joins the desk as an editor with duties including oversight of Long Island Life.

Joe Haberstroh, who has produced week after week of strong LI Life sections, takes on expanded duties as he continues to direct the education staff and adds oversight of other Long Island specialist reporters.

Jack Sirica, fresh from his fine editing work in Investigations on the Fire Alarm series and other projects, will help us through this transition period by serving as night editor for the next six months.

Michael Dobie joins the Long Island desk as an assigning editor working with town reporters. Michael has spent almost two decades in Sports as an award-winning reporter and most recently as enterprise editor.

Beth Holland, whose Newsday career has included top-notch work as a reporter, editor and editorial writer on the city staff, joins the Long Island desk as an editor.

Newsdesk

The newsdesk/copydesk takes on a new structure with the introduction of a layout team that will focus on designed layouts for the upfront section of the paper and the Long Island and World/Nation sections. The team will include news editors, designers and photo editors who will work together to make the paper flow and the pages more organized and dramatic. More details to come on this shortly.

Doug Dutton has been promoted to have overall responsibility for the newsdesk/copydesk in his new role as Director of News and Presentation. Doug also will be responsible for working with assigning desks to produce visual news packages, the increased integration of the Web into the paper and will have oversight of all evening production activities.

Doug Wolfson has been promoted to Executive News Editor. Doug will have day-to-day responsibility for the newsdesk/copydesk and working with the front page. He will help oversee the new layout team and its integration into the nightly production process.

Tim Healy takes on the new role of Editor for Graphics and The Fold. Tim has been doing an excellent job of filling these roles over the past year. He will continue to direct The Fold and will expand his responsibilities to working closely with the graphics department and the newsdesk to produce bold packages for the daily and Sunday reports as well as for advance projects.

Jack Millrod becomes Projects Director. We have many new initiatives we are looking at this year and Jack will take a hand at bringing them to fruition. He will be our liaison to Tribune as we implement a new production system in the coming years. He will also be looking at ways to improve our production process and will take the lead in rethinking some of current products such as the Fun Book and work on integrating them with the Web. Jack continues to be responsible for overall direction of the features copydesk.

Karen Bailis has been promoted to Senior News Editor for the daily paper. Karen will take a lead in the rundowns and in working with the news editors and copydesk.

Tim Drachlis takes on the role of Senior News Editor for the Sunday paper. Tim has been instrumental in improving the packaging of the Sunday paper and of projects and will continue to work with news and copydesks in that vital role.

Rich Loretoni becomes News Art Director. Rich will take the lead on the new design/layout group, responsible for the overall look of the main section of the paper including News and Sports.

Liane Guenther has been promoted to Senior News Editor/Features, with day-to-day responsibility for the features copydesk, which will report to her.

Mark Tyrell has been promoted to News Editor. In his new role, Mark becomes chief of the copydesk.

Martha Guevara has been promoted to News Editor. In her new role, Martha will be responsible for more of the rundowns in both the New York and Long Island editions.

Newsroom Administration

Kim Fiorio has been promoted to editorial support staff manager. Kim quietly has been one of the mainstays on the Long Island desk since joining editorial in 1995. She has worked closely with editors and reporters on elections, graduation issues and Impulse.

Rob Fiore will be taking over as editorial business manager for the newsroom. Rob joined Newsday's Finance Department in 2002. Before that, he worked at Ziff Davis Media and Sony Music Entertainment Inc.

Rob was finance liaison for the newsroom before moving to Marketing as business administrator.

Part 2

Walter Middlebrook, who has been working with towns reporters on the LI desk, joins Part 2 as an editor. His resume includes serving as Part 2 editor for New York Newsday and work in the features departments of the Detroit News, USA Today and The New York Times.

Tania Padgett, formerly an editor in the Queens operation and a business reporter, joins Part 2 as a general assignment reporter.

Photo

John Keating has been promoted to Senior Photo Editor. John will work closely with all desks throughout the day on developing strong packages and with the news/copydesk on layout packages.

Dave Lyons has been promoted to Photo Editor. Dave will be responsible for assigning on the Long Island desk for both Island and city coverage.

Sports

Hank Winnicki and Otto Strong have been promoted to Senior Deputy Sports Editors, working with Sports Editor Bill Eichenberger to direct the department.

Hank will be responsible for the daily sections and will be in charge Monday through Friday in the sports editor's absence. He will handle the daily budget, serve as a liaison between sports and the graphics and photo departments. He will continue to oversee the night design and copy desks, and will assist in helping to generate and edit enterprise.

Otto will be responsible for the weekend sections and will be in charge on Saturday and Sunday in the sports editor's absence. He will plan and lead coverage of big events, including the Olympics. He also will coordinate enterprise reporting efforts.

Jeff Weinberg, as Deputy Sports Editor, will be the chief assigning editor at night. He will help to shape the daily section, work with reporters on deadline and serve as a liaison between the day and night sides. He also will continue to assign and direct our baseball coverage, an area he has helped make a real strength of the newspaper.

Dave Whitehorn, as Deputy News Sports Editor, will continue to plan, produce and coordinate all major special sections, a role that garnered him a Publisher's Award last year. He also will oversee scheduling of the reporting staff and share responsibility for generating and editing enterprise stories. Dave will continue to edit daily graphics and assist with the daily budget.

Wayne Kermode has been promoted to Assistant Sports News Editor, supervising the night desk operation. He will handle desk scheduling, serve as lead news editor and supervise the other members of the sports copy desk.

Gregg Sarra, who has special expertise in local sports, becomes Assistant Sports Editor, directing high school and college coverage for Long Island and Queens. He will be responsible for supervising our full- and part-time local sports reporting staffs.