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From AJR,   June 1999  issue

The Lake Effect   

The Miami Herald's executive editor trades bougainvillea for buckeyes, becoming editor of Cleveland's Plain Dealer.


By Lori Robertson
Lori Robertson (robertson.lori@gmail.com), a former AJR managing editor, is a senior contributing writer for the magazine.      


After eight years as the Miami Herald 's executive editor, Douglas C. Clifton trades bougainvillea for buckeyes, becoming editor of Cleveland's Plain Dealer . The Newhouse-owned paper "is a good, solid metropolitan newspaper that has deep roots in the community and is a substantial enterprise," says Clifton, 55. "And I think it's good but could be better.... That's the part that I found exciting...to step into a well-funded organization that has a zest to get better." Clifton replaces David Hall , who left May 1. The Plain Dealer's daily circulation, at 394,740, is a bit higher than the Herald's, at 340,787. Clifton, who started his Herald career as a general assignment reporter in 1970, held various editing positions at the paper before leaving for stints at parent Knight Ridder's Washington bureau and the company's Charlotte Observer . He returned to assume the top spot in Miami in 1991. Was it tough to leave the paper and the company after all these years? "I love the Herald dearly," Clifton says. "You do it always with a tug at your heart."