The Las Vegas Review-Journal has reorganized its newsroom by adding two new deputy editors and eliminating other senior management positions.
The management changes are part of the newspaper's continuing efforts to respond to changing market conditions while focusing on content for its online and print publications, Editor Michael Hengel said.
Two new deputy editors have been appointed. James G. Wright, who is currently business editor and who supervised the paper's award-winning series on officer-involved shootings, has been promoted to deputy editor/metro and business. Mark Whittington, currently an assistant city editor, has been promoted to deputy editor/sports and features.
"With the changing nature of newsgathering and with the economy being what it is, the traditional newsroom management structure has to change," Hengel said. "I believe these changes will allow us to stay strong and timely with our content, both on the Web and in print. We must stay focused on generating content that readers find relevant."
As part of the restructuring, the positions of Managing Editor Charles Zobell, City Editor Mary Hynes, Sports Editor Joe Hawk, Art Director Ched Whitney, Features Editor Frank Fertado, Editorial Page Editor John Kerr and the business editor position held by Wright will be eliminated, Hengel said. All but Hawk's position will be eliminated Sept. 1. Hawk will continue as sports editor until mid-September and after that will remain with the paper in a reporting capacity.
"I am sorry to have to take these painful steps," Hengel said. "All of these individuals have helped to make the Review-Journal the dominant source of news and information in Southern Nevada. I believe, however, that a structure which removes a layer of management will best serve our readers going forward."
In announcing the reorganization, Hengel noted that the Review-Journal is in the process of filling four reporting vacancies. With about 120 journalists, the Review-Journal remains the region's largest newsgathering organization.
Whittington has been a Review-Journal assistant city editor for almost three years. Before joining the Review-Journal, he was assistant managing editor for sports and features at the Las Vegas Sun.
He is a second-generation newspaperman and has been a reporter, city editor, news editor, sports editor, features editor and entertainment editor. He also has worked at newspapers in California and New York and for publishing companies in London.
Whittington, 60, has a bachelor's degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master's in journalism from the University of Nevada, Reno. His wife, Sharon Randall, is a nationally syndicated columnist. They have five adult children.
Wright, 54, is an Oregon native and longtime reporter and editor specializing in watchdog reporting, in-depth investigations and coverage of government and politics.
He joined the Review-Journal as an assistant city editor in July 2010 and became business editor the following April. His wife, Shari Wright, is a human resource management professional. They have two adult children.
Before joining the Review-Journal, Wright was the editor of the Twin Falls, Idaho, Times-News, an international media management consultant in North Africa, an assistant managing editor at the Albany (N.Y.) Times Union, and assistant metro editor at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. He also is a founder and past president of Military Reporters & Editors Inc., a professional association for journalists.
Wright received his bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Idaho and a master's in public administration/policy analysis from the University of Colorado at Denver.