New Pilot owner taps Marisa Porto as new executive editor
Less than three weeks after buying The Virginian-Pilot, media giant Tronc replaced the newspaperâs top editor with Marisa Porto, who also leads the Daily Press in Newport News.
Tronc executives made the announcement during a Thursday afternoon meeting in The Pilotâs newsroom. Porto takes over for Steve Gunn, who held the position for three years.
âSteve has decided to exit,â said Nancy Meyer, southeastern general manager for Tronc.
Tronc, formerly known as Tribune Publishing, is a publicly traded company that owns the Daily Press, as well as The Baltimore Sun, The Chicago Tribune and the Orlando Sentinel, among other large media outlets nationwide. It bought The Pilot, its associated businesses and property on May 27 for $34 million.
Porto will remain the editor of the Daily Press and split her time between the two newspapers. When asked how she will ma nage running two major publications simultaneously, Porto said: âThatâs what conference calls are for.â
She added that she was excited for the âopportunity in this role to give a wider voice to some issues in Hampton Roads.â
Porto added âpublisherâ to her job description at the Daily Press Media Group in March 2016. For the previous five years, she had served as âvice president of content,â overseeing the newsrooms of the Daily Press, The Virginia Gazette in Williamsburg and the Tidewater Review in West Point.
In a statement, Gunn said he âloved the opportunity to serve Hampton Roads with great local journalism. The Pilot is a special place and I wish Marisa and the newsroom staff the best for the future.â
He said that under his tenure he was most proud of the journalism that was done and the growth of The Pilotâs digital focus.
Porto will not serve as publisher of The Pilot. The Norfolk-based newspaper has been wi thout a publisher since the departure of Pat Richardson, who left in April to head a media company in Connecticut.
In a meeting May 29 with staff, Tronc said the company would study over the next 45 days how to integrate The Pilot and the Daily Pressâ operations. They rebutted rumors that the two organizations will merge.
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