Daily News Editor’s Memo: ‘Not Going To Pretend That Jere’s Departure Will Make Us Stronger’

daily_news_choke.jpgA memo from the desk of Daily News editor Martin Dunn regarding Jere Hester‘s departure:

Daily News Memo

As you all know by now, Jere Hester has left The News. We wish him well. His departure — and the impending move of John Oswald back to the national desk — has led to the following changes on the City Desk:

1. Two people will share Jere’s duties: Morning City Editor Kirsten Danis and Night City Editor Greg Gittrich. They bring a wealth of talent to their positions, and we look forward to their expanded roles at the paper.
2. Kirsten will no longer awaken at the break of dawn — or if she does, it will be her children’s doing, not The News’. The new morning assignment editor will be Sal Arena, who is no stranger to the job and its many demands. Under his direction, The News has scored many front-page exclusives. He will continue to supervise the courthouse reporters, and will be the first and perhaps most crucial link in the City Desk’s chain of command.
3. With John Oswald‘s impending departure, we are pleased to promote Joanne Wasserman to Deputy Metro Editor. Joanne has shown an innate ability to come up with interesting, water-cooler-type stories that permeate the Brooklyn section, making that the model that all other sections aspire to. Stories from her section often fill the front of the book, and our expectation is that she will continue to do so from W. 33rd St. She also will take over the education and transit beats, both critical cogs in our coverage.
4. Another important piece of the puzzle lies slightly below the City Desk in the person of Corky Siemaszko, who will become The News’ Rewrite Chief. Corky will take an active role in tracking a half-dozen or so stories earlier in the day, offering guidance and advice to reporters — serving as a de facto writing coach. He also will act in a capacity befitting his title — rewriting a major City Desk story a day.
5. Joanne’s departure from Brooklyn obviously creates an opening that we are proud to fill with Paul Shin, a trusted reporter who has covered education, health and numerous aspects of our post-9/11 coverage. We expect Paul, who lives in Brooklyn, to continue the first-rate coverage that our Brooklyn readers have become accustomed to.

I am not going to pretend that Jere’s departure will make us stronger. Yet sometimes change can be the catalyst for progress. Let’s work to make that the case.