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Joe McQuaid's Publisher's Notebook: From comics to people, lot of changes afoot


April 06. 2014 5:18PM

Life is full of changes, big and small, and sometimes out of the blue. Some we have control over. Some we make for ourselves. Others take us unawares and challenge us to meet them.

Changes big and small are happening at the Union Leader. We have even changed one of our comics and are considering doing so with another. Actually, changes to comics often raise more interest and consternation than most things. So far, though, the one we made a week ago today has sort of been under the radar. I'm not sure what that means. Either people like it or don't like it or didn't read the one that was replaced. Time will tell.

Bigger changes are occurring with personnel here. Some political junkies have noticed that veteran reporter John DiStaso has moved on to help jumpstart a politics website that is definitely in need of one.

John, apart from being a Yankee fan, is an all-around good guy and a man who has always kept his healthy skepticism without turning cynical. That's not easy to do when you cover politicians.

John has also been even-handed in his treatment of politicians left, right, and center. Again, not always easy to do, especially when you work for a newspaper with an outspoken editorial viewpoint.

Coincidentally, John leaves at the same time that two of our copy desk veterans get set to depart. As well-known as some reporters are, copy editors are the reverse, being among those unsung staffers whose work is just as important to the product, in its way, as a reporter's.

Veteran desk editor Jim Ferriter is about to slow down at the same time as Stacey Cole, whose Nature Talks column Jim has been editing for years. Stacey, age 93, will now share Nature observations with Cheryl Kimball, whose first column for us appeared over the weekend.

Desk editor Dana Wormald, like John DiStaso, is taking on what is arguably a tough political challenge. He is going to head up the Concord Monitor's editorial and forum pages.

If anything needs a jumpstart, it's that cockeyed liberal Concord Gang. (Sorry, Dana, couldn't resist.) Actually, the Monitor and the Union Leader have been butting editorial heads for more than 100 years. Here's hoping Dana gives as good as he's going to get.

Meanwhile, our own editorial page director, Drew Cline, debuted a new Union Leader politics and government column last week. Drew's observations are already known to national online and magazine readers and to his thousands of Twitter followers @DrewHampshire. Now, he will be posterizing political foes weekly. (He insists "posterize" is a real, hip term. I have to take him at his word,)

We have some other significant changes in the works, but they will make a story for another day. This is enough change for one week, don't you think?

Write to Joe McQuaid at or on Twitter at @Deucecrew

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