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Black Woman Named Editor in Oakland

<i> From Reuters</i>

The new owners of the Oakland Tribune newspaper said Tuesday they have appointed the first African-American woman editor of a metropolitan daily in a major U.S. city.

The Alameda Newspaper Group said Pearl Stewart, a veteran San Francisco area journalist well known for her dogged reporting, will be the new editor of the Oakland Tribune beginning Dec. 1.

“Stewart, 41, thus becomes the first African-American woman to edit a metropolitan daily newspaper in a major U.S. city,” the newspaper group said in a statement.

The statement did not say what Stewart’s current position was and Stewart could not immediately be reached for comment.

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Publisher Robert Maynard announced last month that the Oakland Tribune, which had long been struggling financially, would be sold to the Alameda Newspaper Group, which would start publishing from Dec. 1.

Maynard, a former Washington Post editor, bought the newspaper in 1983, making it the only black-owned major metropolitan newspaper in the United States.

David Burgin, editor-in-chief of the Alameda Newspaper Group, said Stewart was “a reporter’s reporter.”

“She’s a terrific writer and she’s going to be a great editor,” he said.

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Stewart, a resident of Oakland for the past 15 years, was a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle for 11 years from 1980. Before that, she was features editor of the Oakland Tribune for two years.

Several hundred employees will lose their jobs in the sale of the Oakland Tribune. The newspaper has a staff of 600 but the Alameda Newspaper Group will only hire 250 people. The Oakland Tribune, a 118-year-old newspaper with a daily circulation of more than 100,000, won a Pulitzer Prize for its 1989 earthquake coverage. But in recent years it has gone through a series of financial crises and came to the brink of closing in 1991.

Alameda Newspaper Group is a subsidiary of the Houston-based Media News Group, a privately held company.


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