A Newspaper Editor Who Hit the Ground Running

Via America’s heartland, we wanted to join in and pay tribute to the end of a robust journalism career. On Sunday, after a long and illustrious print run that technically isn’t entirely over, Joe Worley logged his final day as executive editor of the Tulsa World.

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From colleague Tim Stanley’s write-up:

Just 19 days. That was all the time Joe Worley was given to get used to his new title, Tulsa World executive editor, before it happened — the news event of his career.

“April 19, 1995: the Oklahoma City bombing. I can’t think of any bigger stories, none that have hit closer to home, than that one; we gave it intense coverage on A1 for about two months,” Worley said last week, reflecting on his soon-to-end tenure as World newsroom chief.

Worley, who started with the newspaper in 1987 and has worked in media since 1969, will continue to contribute to the Tulsa World as a part-time writer and consultant. Taking over for Worley will be managing editor Susan Ellerbach and, to fill her shoes, news editor Mike Strain has moved up to managing editor.

In March of this year, just a few months before Worley announced his retirement plans, he was feted by the Tulsa Press Club as a “Media Icon:”

“He holds himself and those around him to a high standard and he has helped shape generations of journalists in Tulsa, as well as those in communication fields who work with journalists,” event coordinator Mercedes Millberry Fowler said.