Life After Osborne  | American Journalism Review
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From AJR,   July/August 2001

Life After Osborne   

Longtime Morning News exec to retire.

By AJR Staff

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS enters a new era, as Burl Osborne leaves his post as publisher after 10 years in the job and James M. Moroney III , 44, great-grandson of the paper's first publisher, succeeds him. Robert W. Mong Jr. , 52, rises from general manager to editor, retaining the title of president. Osborne, 64, becomes publisher emeritus and will retire as a Belo executive officer at the end of the year. The Texas House of Representatives passed a resolution recognizing Osborne as "a newspaper man through and through." In his 21 years at the News, where he started as executive editor after two decades with the Associated Press , the paper won six Pulitzer Prizes and its battle with the Times Herald , which went out of business in 1991. "I have always said that if someone didn't pay me to do the work that I've done, and if I could afford it, I would pay them to let me do it," Osborne says. Moroney, who joined Belo 22 years ago and whose father was publisher of the News from 1980 to 1985, most recently had been president of Belo Interactive, which he founded two years ago. He and Mong say they see themselves as a team whose immediate mission is convergence of Belo's Dallas/Fort Worth properties, including the News, ABC affiliate WFAA Channel 8, a 24-hour news cable channel and Web sites. Says Moroney, "We tend to think of ourselves as a newspaper when we should be thinking of ourselves as a great creator of content."