Friday, Nov. 20, Craig Klugman will be coming to work as editor of The Journal Gazette for the final time. After 33 years of guiding the newsroom's news and editorial report, he has announced he is retiring.
Sherry Skufca, managing editor of The Journal Gazette since 1989, will succeed Klugman as editor.
Jim Touvell, assistant managing editor in charge of the design and copy desks, will be promoted to managing editor.
Klugman began his Journal Gazette tenure in 1982 and the newspaper has won numerous state and national awards under his leadership, including the Hoosier State Press Association’s Blue Ribbon Newspaper of the Year award. Inducted into the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame in 2009, he previously received HSPA's Distinguished Service Award as well as the Hoosier Intellectual Freedom Award.
"We could not have asked for a better editor, a better advocate for the public’s right to open government or a better mentor for our journalists," said Journal Gazette Publisher Julie Inskeep. "Craig has made contributing to journalistic excellence his career and, thankfully, I don’t expect him to stop working on that."
After graduating from Indiana University's Department of Journalism, Klugman was hired as a copy editor at the Chicago Sun-Times, later serving as its assistant managing editor/features. He then taught at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, where he became director of undergraduate studies, before coming to Fort Wayne.
Klugman has served for many years on the Indiana University Publications Board, has judged the Pulitzer Prizes, and has been active in the American Society of News Editors, chairing its Freedom of Information and International committees and serving as editor of ASNE's Bulletin.
"You know, I broke into newspapers when almost all of them used so-called hot type, the old technology of setting every story line-by-line in lead. Now we're all digital," Klugman said. "It has been a great career. But it is time to let some other people do it.
"It has been my good fortune to spend my life's work at The Journal Gazette and with the reporters, editors, photographers, and designers who make it an excellent paper. To the extent we have been honored, it is their work that has deserved it."
His time in the newsroom may be over, but Inskeep said a role remains for Klugman with the locally owned news company. "We're pleased that Craig has agreed to stay connected, serving as an adviser to The Journal Gazette Company," she said. In that capacity, he will have an office in the historic Journal Gazette building on the corner of Main Street and Clinton.
Skufca has 38 years in the news business, first as a reporter and then in various editing roles in newspapers in Ohio, California and Pennsylvania. A graduate of Bowling Green State University in Ohio, she was managing editor of the Corona-Norco (CA) Independent and then assistant managing editor/features of the York (PA) Daily Record before coming to the JG.
Skufca has served for many years on the Mid-America Press Institute board of directors, and has been active in the Hoosier State Press Association and Associated Press Media Editors, where she was president of the Indiana organization.
Inskeep credits Skufca with being the JG’s lead change agent in embracing digital, mobile and video initiatives.
"Sherry understands the importance of our newspaper’s journalism," Inskeep said. "But she also assures that print is only one of the ways you can find our good work. I am so glad she agreed to assume this new role."
Skufca grew up in northwest Ohio reading The Journal Gazette and said she was excited about the opportunity to come home in 1989.
"There is never a boring day in our industry, which is going through profound changes in how we do what we do," Skufca said. "I have learned a great deal working with Craig and, with the help of Jim Touvell and our talented staff, look forward to providing the news and information our readers want and need on the platform they choose as we go forward."
A graduate of The Ohio State University, Touvell was hired by The Journal Gazette in 1992 as a copy editor.
"Jim’s news judgment, editing and design skills made him an easy choice when other positions – including sports editor in 1998 and then design editor in 2002 – opened in our newsroom," Skufca said. "He has led us through redesigns and new computer production systems and he is passionate about what we do."
Touvell came to the JG from the Independent Mail in Anderson, S.C.