, Gloucester, MA


September 28, 2013

Why Did My Newspaper Do That? Page 1 comings and goings

We’ve seen more than our usual share of changes within our communities over the past three months or so.

I don’t mean changes in our landscape, or significant changes in terms of community development — at least not yet. I mean what seems to be a higher-than-usual turnover among some of our community leaders and institutions — and that’s not even including any elected or appointed officials.

Within the last several weeks, we’ve presented Page 1 stories and photos about Robert Heidt’s pending departure as CEO of the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce, the retirement of the Rev. Wendy Fitting as head of Gloucester’s Unitarian Universalist Church, and the pending departures of Andrew Burgreen as managing director of Gloucester Stage Company and longtime Rockport National Bank President and CEO Peter Anderson, who was featured at the top of our front page Friday morning.

We’ve also featured some new arrivals, spotlighting the Rev. Jenny Rankin, who has stepped in to serve as two-year interim UU pastor after Rev. Fitting’s retirement, and the Rev. Cindy Antonuk, who took the reins of Gloucester’s First Baptist Church, and is showcased on Page 1 today, noting her plans for advancing that church, which was without a pastor for two years.

Deciding which of these type of stories to do — or not to do, in the true Shakespearean tradition — is not always an easy choice. After all, chief executives and leaders of all sorts of businesses and community institutions come and go on a fairly regular basis, with such changes with private companies usually noted in our Tuesday “Business Briefcase” package, and even some municipal or other local government appointments sometimes mentioned in brief news stories or almost in passing, as community issues arise.

Are these stories worthy of Page 1? What makes them different from other business of institutional changes? Shouldn’t all such comings and goings be treated equally?

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