This is not a surprise. When current editor Bob Mong announced his retirement (effective sometime in 2015) and Rodrigue was not immediately named his replacement, the newsroom suspected its longtime ME would move on. He joins WFAA in one week. Below are the two emails sent this morning to DMN staffers from Mong.
Our longtime managing editor will be leaving the paper in a few days to become assistant news director at WFAA, Ch. 8. He will begin there on Sept. 25.
I hired George in 1983 as a city hall reporter teamed with Terry Maxon, and I have worked closely with him during most of my career. His departure, as you may deduce, leaves a very profound, personal void. I am certain many of you feel similarly.
George carved out one of the most distinguished careers in the long history of The News, both as a reporter and as an editor.
He and Craig Flournoy won the paper’s first Pulitzer Prize in 1986. George was part of a team that won the Pulitzer for International Reporting in 1994.
Along the way, George served as day city editor, European Bureau Chief (where he risked his life covering the Balkan wars, the Persian Gulf War and the fall of the Soviet Union). He also served in our Washington bureau, went on to become executive editor of the Press-Enterprise in Riverside, California and then vice president of the Belo Corp., Washington bureau where he presided over a hybrid print and television news operation. George was named The News’ 18th managing editor in 2004.
I like to call George a polymath, because he is so skilled at so many things. George also worked tirelessly to move the newsroom from a print-oriented to a more digital focused organization. All of us are indebted to George for his many contributions to journalism, to this community and for the way he developed so many promising journalists.
We wish him well, and we will miss him.
With the imminent departure of George Rodrigue, I am naming Keith Campbell as interim managing editor. Keith will run the day-to-day operations of the newsroom effective immediately.
I have every confidence in Keith’s abilities to lead. His distinguished career includes stints as assistant managing editor over our news and copy desks as well as news art. This experience gives him a strong grasp over the production of the print paper. Keith also demonstrated strong originating desk skills in his six years as a deputy sports editor. SportsDay is the most honored sports section in the history of American journalism, and Keith excelled in its high quality, high pressure culture. More recently, he has run Neighborsgo, our community news product. In this role, Keith transformed Neighborsgo into a digital-first site, while at the same time improving the print editions.
Keith is a strong collaborative leader who works well and effectively across news and non news departments.
I know each of you will give Keith your full support.
Keith and I will be holding several small staff meetings around the building today, and we look forward to seeing you at one of those.