Joe McQuaid - Publisher's Notebook: Veteran newsman Toole returning to fold
John Toole is coming back.
If the name sounds familiar, it is probably because John was associated with the Union Leader, Sunday News, and UnionLeader.com in several news editing and reporting capacities spanning more than 20 years. He has been a general assignment reporter and our Manchester City Hall reporter. He took over as our State House Bureau chief when the late Donn Tibbetts retired in 1998.
John was back in the newsroom in 2000 as our City Editor and served as Sunday Editor later in the decade. He has overseen crime, education, and election coverage for us. He is a veteran news guy who also is on top of the new media that more and more people are using to get their news and information.
I am glad he has had all those roles and experience. He will be coming back as our Managing Editor, the top newsroom job.
He knows the state well and will be of especial help to our coverage of Manchester. After all, he once received the key to the city from then-Mayor Ray Wieczorek.
A University of Maine graduate, John has worked in Maine and New York and most recently for the Eagle-Tribune of Lawrence, Mass. He has received awards for his reporting on the environment and mental health issues.
I am particularly pleased that John is coming back now. He replaces Amy Vellucci, who has done a fine job for us in several daily and weekly positions and will now try her luck and considerable skills in Knoxville, Tenn. She may need work on a southern accent.
John will be back at the end of this month. If you have any complaints about the new comic we have been trying out in the daily, John's your man. If you like the new comic, I'm your guy.
One reader wondered whether we changed the comic in order to save money. Don't tell my financial department, but that hadn't occurred to me. (Note to self: Look up that cost.)
We are also looking at possibly changing another comic or two. Nominees for replacement include Apartment 3G (detested by some, loved by others) and For Better or Worse. The latter is strictly repeats and at times shows its age. But it, too, has its fans. If you like or dislike either of these two, please let me know.
One strip we haven't carried for years is Archie. In light of the announcement that "grownup'' Archie is about to die, I think it was prescient of us to drop him.
Seriously, Archie lost its zip for us when its talented creator, Bob Montana, died. Bob was a New Hampshire man who lived in Meredith and drew on his years, experiences, and acquaintances as a student at Manchester High School Central. He never would have let them bump off Jughead, let alone Archie.
Write to Joe McQuaid at Publisher@UnionLeader.com or on Twitter @Deucecrew.