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Long Run

Venerable New York Times columnist Anthony Lewis retires after 50 years at the paper. Lewis, 74, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, says he has "always identified with the underdog." He began writing his column in 1969 while heading the Times' London bureau. Among the topics he has "cared about the most," Lewis says, are the Vietnam War (he "steadfastly" opposed it), the Middle East ("probably that produced the most outrage"), ending apartheid in South Africa ("one of the terrible things in the world that actually worked out") and, in recent years, the "cruel treatment of immigrants [for] minor legal infractions." He won his first Pulitzer in 1955 for his reporting on a victim of the "Red Scare" for the Washington Daily News, his second in 1963 for his Supreme Court coverage in the Times. Lewis for years has taught courses on the press and the law at Harvard Law School and Columbia University. Post-retirement, he'll be teaching at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

Full Speed Ahead

Vicki S. Gowler achieves her goal sooner than she expected, becoming editor of the St. Paul Pioneer Press after four years as managing editor. Gowler, 50, landed the top spot two weeks after the announcement that Editor Walker Lundy was off to head the newsroom at the Philadelphia Inquirer (see "Identity Crisis," page 20). Previously, Gowler was executive editor of the Duluth News Tribune for four years. (All three papers belong to Knight Ridder.) Daily journalism captured Gowler's heart in her first job out of college as a reporter for the Iroquois County Daily Times in Watseka, Illinois, her home state. In her first editing job, at Knight Ridder's Miami Herald, she discovered that "I can be involved in so much more." She plans to stay the course she and Lundy charted, competing with Minneapolis' Star Tribune by offering what she describes as a spirited mix of "hell-raising" investigative journalism and "surprising" enterprise reporting on topics sparked by "good ongoing conversations with people in [the] co mmunity."

Early Retirement

Doubtless eliciting the envy of many, San Jose Mercury News General Manager Mindi Keirnan retires just before her 46th birthday, saying she and her husband, former journalist Kevin McGee, plan to travel and live abroad. Keirnan, who worked in high school as a part-time clerk at the Tallahassee Democrat, rose to managing editor for news at the St. Paul Pioneer Press before jumping to the business side when then-Knight Ridder President P. Anthony Ridder recruited her to be his assistant in 1994. Three years later, she became vice president of operations with responsibility for 10 newspapers. She joined the Merc in 1999. "This is something my husband and I have been planning and saving and preparing for since we met each other," says Keirnan. "It was not a question of if. It was always a matter of when." A visit to Ground Zero, she says, solidified their decision to do it now. First stop: Cambodia, to visit a friend teaching Western-style journalism.

Time to Relax

Scott McGehee ends a 35-year career in newspapers, retiring as publisher of Fort Wayne, Indiana's News-Sentinel and CEO of Fort Wayne Newspapers, the Knight Ridder paper's joint operating agency with the Journal Gazette. McGehee, 58, says her "immediate goal is to have no schedule." A former managing editor, associate editor and lifestyle editor during 11 years at the Detroit Free Press, McGehee was vice president and general manager at Lexington, Kentucky's Herald-Leader before going to Fort Wayne in 1992. McGehee's successor, Mary Jacobus, 44, was most recently publisher of the Duluth News Tribune.
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Author:Wenner, Kathryn S.
Publication:American Journalism Review
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2002
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