News Leadership 2005

ASNE announces Leadership Award winner

Posted 3/25/2005 4:15:00 PM

The American Society of Newspaper Editors has selected Zack Stalberg, recently retired editor of the Philadelphia Daily News, as the recipient of its annual ASNE Leadership Award. The award will be presented at the Society’s annual convention in Washington, April 12-15.

Stalberg, who retired in February, was selected for the award because of his bold leadership at the Daily News, which included guiding the paper to two Pulitzer Prizes. On his retirement, his staff paid for a full-page ad that read “Thanks, Boss.”

"Zack led a feisty, irreverent, quality newspaper for 20 years," said ASNE President Karla Garrett Harshaw, editor of the Springfield (Ohio) News-Sun and senior editor for Cox Community Newspapers. "His staff believed in him for good reason. He was as innovative and energetic in his 20th year as he was in the first."

When told of the award, Stalberg said, “With the possible exception of people who treat lepers, I can't think of a group of people I respect more than newspaper editors. Getting this particular honor from this set of editors is the best possible parting gift I could ever hope to get.”

Robert Rivard, chair of the ASNE Leadership Committee and editor of the San Antonio Express-News, said, “When the newsroom staff digs into their own pockets to buy a full-page ad bidding the editor a fond farewell, you know he’s a special leader who is going to be missed.”

“From former colleagues to bosses to rank-and-file journalists, all agree that Zack Stalberg enjoyed a long, distinguished run at the Daily News and became the human face of that newspaper throughout Philadelphia,” Rivard added. “And, as he leaves, he has already inspired the next generation of leadership that will take the Daily News forward.”

The Leadership Award was first given in 2002 to recognize the leaders who guide America’s newspapers. Past recipients of the award are Paul Steiger, managing editor of The Wall Street Journal; H. Brandt Ayers, editor and publisher of The Anniston (Ala.) Star; and John Carroll, editor of the Los Angeles Times.

Stalberg will be presented with the award at a luncheon on Wednesday, April 13.

ASNE, with about 750 members, is the largest organization of directing editors of daily newspapers in the Americas. It is a leader in improving diversity in newsrooms, strengthening newspaper credibility and improving high school journalism.