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Former Top Newspaper Editor to Join Cronkite Faculty

December 8, 2005

Tim J. McGuire, the former editor of the Minneapolis Star Tribune and a leading voice in newspapers for more than 20 years, will join the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication as the Frank Russell Chair, Arizona State University announced Thursday.

McGuire, 56, was editor and senior vice president of the nation’s 17th largest daily newspaper from 1992 until 2002, when he retired to become a syndicated columnist and consultant.

He previously served as the newspaper’s managing editor, helping to lead it to the Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting in 1990. McGuire was president of the American Society of Newspaper Editors in 2001-2002. He also has served as Pulitzer Prize juror six times.

He will join the faculty in August 2006.

The Frank Russell Chair was created in 2000 through a $1 million gift from Central Newspapers Inc., which owned the Arizona Republic and the Indianapolis Star before selling the newspapers to Gannett Corp. Then-Arizona Republic Publisher John Oppedahl led the effort to create the Russell Chair in honor of the former Republic publisher. Oppedahl hoped the Russell Chair would help give Cronkite School journalism students an understanding of the business side of the news industry.

Cronkite Dean Christopher Callahan said McGuire is an ideal choice for the Russell Chair.

“Tim McGuire represents the best values of the Cronkite School. He is a great and innovative newsroom leader with a passion for news and an adherence to the highest ethical standards and values,” Callahan said. “And Tim has long been a leader in the call for finding the right balance between editorial responsibility to readers and financial responsibility to shareholders. He truly embodies the spirit of the Russell Chair that both Frank Russell and John Oppedahl envisioned. We’re thrilled to have him join us.”

A graduate of Aquinas College and the William Mitchell School of Law, McGuire started his journalism career when he quit his newspaper route on a Saturday at the age of 17 and began writing sports for his local paper in Mount Pleasant, Mich. the following Monday. Later he was a reporter at the Dowagiac (Mich.) Daily News, and at the Birmingham (Mich.) Eccentric. He held top editing positions at the Ypsilanti (Mich.) Press, Corpus Christi (Texas) Caller and Lakeland (Fla.) Ledger before joining the Minneapolis Star as managing editor in 1979.

Since retiring as editor of the Star Tribune, McGuire has written a weekly column for United Media called “More Than Work” that is published in 33 newspapers nationwide. The column focuses on ethics, spirituality and values in the workplace.

He also was the inaugural Donald W. Reynolds Distinguished Visiting Professor at Washington and Lee University earlier this year and was the James Batten Visiting Professor in Journalism and Public Policy at Davidson College in 2003.

“I remember discussing the Frank Russell Chair with John, and I was intrigued by his vision,” McGuire said. “I never imagined I would someday occupy the chair, and it’s truly an honor.“

McGuire replaces Tom Goldstein, the former journalism dean at Columbia University and the University of California at Berkeley who was the inaugural Russell Chair.

McGuire lives in Scottsdale, Ariz., and Plymouth, Minn., with his wife Jean. They have three adult children, including Jeff, who will graduate from the Cronkite School in December.

The Cronkite School is a nationally accredited school that focuses on professional journalism education on the undergraduate and master’s levels. The School, which was named in honor of long-time CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite in 1984, has finished in the Top 10 of the highly competitive Hearst intercollegiate journalism awards for the past four years.