LNP promotes pair to editor positions
LNP promotes pair to editor positions
In its latest move to revamp and refocus its news department, Lancaster Newspapers has promoted two top editors.
Peter C. Mekeel has been named editor, overseeing all local news reporting and editing operations.
Barbara Hough Roda has been named print editor, responsible for the design and organization of the newspaper.
Executive Editor Ernest J. Schreiber announced the promotions.
"Lancaster Newspapers is undergoing one of the most rapid transformations in its history," Schreiber said. "We're building a new organization with new commitments to the quality and quantity of local news. Pete and Barb are the leaders who will deliver on those commitments."
Mekeel had been news and content editor since September, when the firm merged its separate daily and Sunday news staffs.
Roda succeeds Marvin I. Adams, who retired Sunday after a 44-year career. She had been one of three news editors. This promotion makes her the highest-ranking woman ever in the company's print operation.
In a related announcement, Lancaster Newspapers also named James A. Loose as associate editor, an administrative position. He previously was an assistant news editor.
These three appointments are the latest round of sweeping changes at the top of the print and digital operations over the past six months, Schreiber said.
The new roles for Mekeel and Roda also include directing Lancaster Newspapers' team of investigative reporters.
As part of their duties, Mekeel and Roda will, together with Thomas A. Murse, digital editor, direct expanded local coverage for the paper and a growing variety of digital news formats -- the LancasterOnline website, tablet and smartphone apps, Facebook, Twitter and Google+.
Whatever the format, Mekeel said, the newsroom intends to give readers the facts that will allow them to make decisions and form opinions.
Roda said the newsroom recognizes its role in providing county residents with a foundation of information about issues and events.
As part of that role, Roda said, she wants to meet and speak with community groups and leaders about issues of concern that the newsroom may help illuminate.
In addition to upgrading local news coverage, Mekeel and Roda will help redesign the appearance and organization of the print product in the months ahead.
"We want to create a paper that is elegant, reader-friendly and filled with local news local readers cannot get anywhere else," Roda said.
The goals, Mekeel said, include "anchoring" content. That means placing columnists, comics, features and sections in the same position in the paper every day.
That redesign will occur alongside companion redesigns of the LancasterOnline news website and the paper's digital replica, or eEdition.
"It's an exciting time to be working for this media company," Mekeel said. "Every department is energized."
He credited Robert M. Krasne, board vice chairman, company president and publisher, for setting the tone companywide, and Schreiber for doing so in the news and digital operations.
"We're looking forward to what we can do next, and nothing is off the table," Mekeel said.
Mekeel, of Manheim Township, began his career at Lancaster Newspapers in 1974 as a general assignment reporter. The University of Maryland graduate rose to features-section editor, then eventually to managing editor.
Roda, of Manor Township, began her career at Lancaster Newspapers in 1982 as a part-time general assignment reporter. The Elmhurst College graduate then served as political reporter and columnist, features editor and managing editor.
Loose, of Lancaster Township, oversees the operations and administration of the newsroom, which includes scheduling and staffing, and will continue to have input into the daily news operation. The Penn State University graduate was hired by Lancaster Newspapers in 1983 as a copy editor.
nMekeel, Roda will lead revitalized news operation.