Jaklewicz named news director for Abilene Reporter-News
Greg Jaklewicz is the new news director of the Abilene Reporter-News.
The change was announced June 15 by Tim Archuleta, the regional editor for the USA TODAY Network’s five Texas papers.
“The news director job is the top editor in in our newsrooms,” Archuleta said. Jaklewicz succeds Doug Williamson, who retired last month.
Jaklewicz has been the community engagement editor since 2013. Prior to that he worked as sports editor, arriving in Abilene in 2009 from a stint at the Amarillo Globe-News in the Texas Panhandle. For several years, he and his wife, Hollye, had been trying to return to Abilene, where Jaklewicz was raised and attended school. Their children are attending schools here, now.
He graduated from Wylie High School in 1976 and attended Hardin-Simmons University, where he majored in mass communications. He worked as a sports clerk for the Reporter-News while in college.
After graduating from HSU in 1980, he took a job with the Stamford American, then moved on to Big Spring, San Angelo, back to Abilene and then to sister E.W. Scripps newspaper in Bremerton, Washington, now the Kitsap Sun.
“I loved living in the Northwest but it was so far away,” he said, noting that as their parents aged, they felt they should be closer to them.
“I’m plugged in to Abilene, I’m not an outsider coming in,” Jaklewicz noted.
Founded in June 1881, the Abilene Reporter-News is the oldest business in the city.
Jaklewicz said the city would be much less without the newspaper.
“I know there’s some people that don’t think about us – and there are some people annoyed with us, but there are some people who really support us,” he said.
“I want people to rely on the Reporter-News, but also be surprised when they pick it up each day. We’re still here and we continue to do the best job in Abilene.”
Herald-Zeitung welcomes Domke as managing editor
Keith E. Domke is the new managing editor of the Herald-Zeitung.
Herald-Zeitung President and Publisher David Compton noted that Domke brings with him about three decades of experience with newspapers and in leading newsrooms. “My expectation is that Keith will add some stability to our editorial staff and be the editorial face of our newspaper for a long time,” he said.
Domke, 56, joined the New Braunfels newspaper after serving as editor of the weekly Blanco County News for the past year. He was managing editor of three daily papers and the publisher of a weekly prior to moving to Texas.
Texas is the seventh state in which Domke has worked. The others are Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Kansas, Wyoming and Missouri. During his career of almost three decades, he has earned dozens of newspaper awards through various state press associations and has been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.
While in Missouri, he earned six first-place awards and multiple others through the Missouri Press Association for writing, headline writing, newspaper design and photography. He also has received first-place awards in other states for writing, headline writing, design and photography. He was named the Wyoming Press Association’s Photographer of the Year in 2008 while he was the managing editor for a daily newspaper there. His Pulitzer nomination came while he was working in Wyoming.
He was born and raised in northwest Indiana and graduated from Valparaiso University with a degree in journalism.
Domke said that despite the difficulties some papers have had in recent years, true community journalism remains alive and well. “The newspaper remains an essential staple in a town,” he said. Individuals not only look forward to receiving it, but they enjoy contributing to it. That will continue. We’re going to reach out to readers of all ages and backgrounds.”
He and his wife currently live in the North Canyon Lake area, but will relocate to New Braunfels in the coming months.
New leadership announced for Herald-Press newsroom
PALESTINE – National award-winning journalist Jeffery Gerritt has been named editor of the Palestine Herald-Press, Publisher Jake Mienk announced.
In a related move, Mienk announced the promotion of Herald-Press reporter PennyLynn Webb to the position of city editor.
As editor, Gerritt will direct all newsroom operations, including strategic plans to improve the Herald-Press. Webb, an East Texas native and sixth-generation Texan, will help supervise reporters and run daily news operations.
Prior to joining the Herald-Press, Gerritt worked for the Detroit Free Press for 17 years as a columnist, editorial writer, editor, diversity trainer and reporter. He was deputy editor of The Blade in Toledo, Ohio, for nearly four years. Gerritt has also worked as a reporter for USA Today and the Green Bay Press-Gazette in Wisconsin.
Over a 30-year career, Gerritt has won more than 60 national and state awards, including the National Headliners Award, the James Batten Medal, Gannett’s top Public Service Award, the National Editorial Writing Award from the Society of Professional Journalists, and the National Excellence in Urban Journalism Award. Last year, the Associated Press named Gerritt the best columnist in Ohio. He was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize four times.
In Detroit, Gerritt gained a national reputation for his commentary on prisons, the criminal justice system and urban issues. A series he wrote on prison healthcare in Michigan sparked national outrage and was featured on “60 Minutes.” Another series he wrote on the nation’s heroin and opioid epidemic was honored in 2015 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. For that series, Gerritt interviewed dozens of addicts, prisoners, drug dealers, police officers, treatment providers and experts.
“We are delighted to welcome Jeff to the Herald-Press management staff,” Mienk said. “His veteran skills and professionalism will help lead our editorial team to new heights in serving our communities.”
In Palestine, Gerritt will focus on four newsroom priorities: improving writing and reporting, launching new digital initiatives, reflecting the community’s diversity and establishing a daily editorial page.
The newspaper’s focus on local news will continue, he said. “Content, including great writing and reporting, matter more than ever. It’s what sets newspapers apart and makes them a unique brand.”
The Herald-Press will start daily editorials and regular online reporter blogs this summer, Gerritt said.
“The editorial page, whether print or digital, is a newspaper’s heart and soul,’’ he said.
“With tough, independent, and informed editorials, as well as engaging and entertaining blogs, the Herald-Press will become a stronger and more compelling voice in and for the community.”
Gerritt earned a master’s degree in journalism from Marquette University in Milwaukee and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and music from the University of Wisconsin.
In 2007, Gerritt won a Pulliam Fellowship, which funded a year-long series outlining solutions to the systemic problems facing urban America. In 2001, he toured Israel and the West Bank with a group of U.S. editorial writers and interviewed many leaders, including Yasser Arafat.
Webb, the mother of two boys, has worked at the Herald-Press as a reporter, photographer and editor for two years. She has also published a magazine and worked at The Messenger in Grapeland and County Life Magazine in Crockett.
Lufkin Daily News veteran Pownalltapped as interim managing editor
LUFKIN – Jeff Pownall is serving as interim managing editor of The Lufkin News, succeeding former editor Andy Adams.
Pownall, who served as news editor for 30 years, will serve in the interim position for a 90-day period, said Publisher Jenniffer Ricks.
“Jeff will lead the newsroom as interim managing editor until the appointment of a new managing editor,” Ricks said, adding a search for a new managing editor is underway.
Pownall earned bachelor’s degrees in communications and English from Stephen F. Austin State University, where he worked on The Pine Log for three years. His career with The Lufkin News began in the sports department. Pownall left the paper for two years and then returned as the news editor, “and I’ve been here ever since,” he said.
He was on staff for the newspaper’s coverage of the space shuttle Columbia disaster, 9/11, the 1998 murder of James Byrd by white supremacists in Jasper, the Branch Davidians cult compound led by David Koresh, and the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.
As news editor, Pownall spent most of his time laying out pages, and he’s also written some editorials for The Lufkin News’ Opinion page.
His multiple awards for page design, headline writing, graphics and photography from the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors, Cox Enterprises Inc., the Texas Press Association, the North & East Texas Press Association and the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association include first-place titles in page design and headline writing, in addition to a Star Designer of the Year award.
Pownall said he hopes to do the best job possible in his new role.
“I’m going to try to keep the newsroom running smoothly and make sure we get everything covered,” he said. “Our responsibility is to our readers to make sure they know what’s going on in the community.”
Pimentel takes over SA Express-News editorial page
O. Ricardo Pimentel, a member of the San Antonio Express-News Editorial Board, has been promoted to Editorial Page editor.
Pimentel has led the department since then-editor Bruce Davidson retired in December.
“His experience and dedication will be a significant asset to the organization,” Express-News Publisher Susan Lynch Pape said in announcing his promotion.
Pimentel, 64, said he is excited about meeting the challenges of his new job, which will include developing a plan to reach more readers and listen to more voices in a social media age of tweets and snapchats.
The editorial board is a separate entity from the newsroom. It holds frequent meetings with members of the community to publish editorials that offer opinions on a wide range of issues, and recommends candidates in political races ranging from the U.S. presidency to local school boards. It is responsible for the oped pages and the Sunday Opinion section.
Pimentel said the board’s core mission of listening, asking hard questions and taking a stand won’t change. But the way it reaches readers might.
“I’ve been tasked with coming up with a plan to do all this in a way that conforms and keeps pace with the new ways people consume news media all without forsaking our obligation to be public watchdogs, and an active voice and participant in the community discussion,” Pimentel said. He added that he plans to ask readers for their ideas and insights.
Born in San Bernardino, California, Pimentel’s first brush with journalism came while serving in the Navy in the mid1970s, when he worked at public affairs offices in Hawaii, Guam and Antarctica. Since then he’s worked at nearly a dozen news organizations as a reporter, columnist and editorial page editor.
With more than 25 years of experience as an editor, Pimentel was a columnist and the Editorial Page editor at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel before joining the Express-News in 2011 as a metro columnist. He moved to the editorial page in 2013 and became associate editor in 2015.