June 22, 2009

New editor named for Grand Rapids Press, Muskegon Chronicle

It's official. Paul M. Keep is heading to his fifth Booth Newspaper by becoming editor of the largest Newhouse newspaper in Michigan.

Keep, 51, will replace Mike Lloyd in the Grand Rapids Press newsroom on July 1. It's his fourth time as editor at a Michigan Advance Publications newspaper - The Bay City Times, 1993-99; The Flint Journal, 1999-2006; and The Musekgon Chronicle, 2006-2009.

The father of three became publisher of the Muskegon newspaper in April 2007 (and continued writing a column regularly on newspaper operations, including With this new year comes a new Chronicle and Carpal tunnel aside, online chat was a great way to connect and We listened to you and we're making some changes.)

He also was a reporter, business editor, and assistant metro editor at the Kalamazoo Gazette. A Muskegon Chronicle article on his rise to publisher says he was news editor in Muskegon 1989-1993.

Combined operations

The Muskegon Chronicle and Grand Rapids Press are printed in the same facility, a move announced in August 2008. The Press had taken over the Chronicles accounting and human resources operations earlier.

(One comment on an announcement on mlive.com suggested the next move is for the Chronicle to become the lakeside edition of the Grand Rapids Press. Are rumors of our demise still wrong?)

Keep is being replaced by two people - a general manager and an editor- at the Muskegon Chronicle. Cindy Fairfield, the local news editor, will become editor, responsible for all editorial operations. Steve Westphal, now general manager at the Grand Rapids Press, will add the same duties for the Muskegon Chronicle. The 54-year-old is in charge of all operations.

Westphal's past

The Muskegon Chronicle said:
"He formerly was The Press' director of advertising and marketing and prior to moving to West Michigan in 1996, he held management positions at newspapers in Spokane, Wash., Dubuque, Iowa, and Gary, Ind. He and his wife, Rebecca, live in Fruitport Township."
Westphal's LinkedIn profile says he was advertising manager at the Spokesman Review and Dubuque Telegraph Herald. (He's also on Facebook.)

Sports to projects to ...

Cindy Fairfield became local news editor on Feb.. 2, 2009, responsible for all newsroom operations. The 48-year-old had been the daily newspaper's project editor since March 2007 and the sports editor for 17 years. She worked at the Kileen Daily Herald in Texas, but has been at the Chronicle since 1985.

Like Paul Keep, she graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

The Chronicle won top awards in newswriting and photography in the most recent Michigan Assoicated Press Editorial Association contest. Among the winning entries was a yearlong
Working Poor series.

Another column writer

Like Paul Keep, Cindy Fairfield has several columns posted on mlive.com, the online home of the Muskegon Chronicle, including:
She's been married nearly 25 years to football coach Dusty Fairfield, getting hitched just eight days after the decision to wed. They have three adult daughters - one who is getting married in the family back yard - a self-described hobby farm in Ravenna - in July. She graduated from Lebanon (Ohio) High School in 1979 and also has a vacation place in southeastern Kentucky.

For awhile at The Flint Journal, I reported directly to Paul Keep We spent lots of mornings talking about the future of newspapers, the Internet and our online affiliate, mlive.com.

The Journal also was the Newspaper of the Year in the AP Editorial Contest while he was in Flint.

Only two editors the same

The latest moves leave only the editors at the Jackson Citizen Patriot and Kalamazoo Gazette the same this year in the Michigan Advance Publications newspapers.

Remember, it started with Tony Dearing slipping out the door for a special project with Advance Internet, which we now know is AnnArbor.com. The the editor of the Ann Arbor News announced his retirement just before we learned the newspaper was closing July 23. The Bay City Times, Saginaw News and Flint Journal combined operations under one executive editor (John Hiner, who had been editor in Bay City). The Saginaw News and Flint Journal editors are leaving to pursue other opportunities. A community editor is now the top editor in the three newspapers, all reporting to Hiner.

Or should we start speculating about Paul moving to Cleveland, where he was born, to take over the Cleveland Press? (Articles about Paul always note he was raised in Kalamazoo.)

I've written about Paul Keep before:
I've written about Mike Lloyd, who started as editor at the Press in 1978, before:

I've written about the Grand Rapids Press before:
and that's enough for now. What do you know?


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