Connelly named Buffalo News editor

Sep 19, 2012

The Buffalo News has moved quickly to fill the top news post vacated when former Editor Margaret Sullivan took a job with The New York Times.

Mike Connelly has been around the news business for 31 years with stints at The Wall Street Journal, Congressional Quarterly, The Baltimore Sun and the St. Paul Pioneer Press before becoming executive editor of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Now, he's joining The News as editor starting in late October.

He is arriving when the newspaper business is in turmoil, with bankruptcies, cutbacks in the number of days some papers are published and struggles to deal with publishing on paper in a digital age.

Connelly admits those are serious problems, but he likes what he sees in The News,  digitally.
            
"One of the nice things about the digital age is I've been able to read the paper every day." "I've started following the Bills. I'm following the Sabres. The sports coverage is terrific. It looks like a great sports town."

Connelly is coming to The News when it's one of the increasingly rare papers making a profit and when it's soon to retreat behind a pay-wall, charging for access to parts of the web site.

The last time an outside editor was hired at The News was in the 1960's.

That will be a big change at the paper, says Elmer Ploetz,assistant communications professor at Fredonia State College.

"It's such a place with so much tradition. Bringing in somebody new who isn't aware of that tradition, the new person is going to have to deal with it. They are going to have to either learn the traditions and in some places they may have to defy the traditions, " said Ploetz, who reported for the News for many years.

"They are also bringing in somebody in to a very strong union shop." .