Monday, May 12, 2014

Roanoke Times Names New Editor; Stinnett Retiring

Lawrence McConnell
The Roanoke Times head honchos today named Lawrence McConnell, a copy editor at the paper 40 years ago, executive editor, replacing Joe Stinnett, who came over from Lynchburg to help with the buyout transition for Berkshire Hathaway.

Like publisher Terry Jamerson, who made the transition with her team a year ago, McConnell is already in the Berkshire Hathaway Media Group system, publishing the Charlottesville Daily Progress, where he has been since 1995. This is not considered a step down, I'm told, even though he goes from publisher of a smallish paper to editor of one a bit bigger.

McConnell was managing editor of the Tampa Tribune before the C'ville gig. He had a couple of other stops between Roanoke and Tampa. He was recently named to the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame (I was inducted in 2010).

I must have worked with McConnell, but the truth is I don't recall him. I would not necessarily have known all the people on the copy desk when I was with the paper all those years ago--and there were a lot more of them then than there are now. I understand that in today's announcement meeting with employees, he mentioned people I did know like George Kegley, Frosty Landon, Woody Middleton and Fred Loeffler--among others.

Stinnett, who was preparing to retire in Lynchburg when he was called to Roanoke (signing a one-year lease that is up July 31 at the Patrick Henry Hotel), simply delayed his retirement in order to help with the transition to the new publisher.

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