Three months after an editor was hired to oversee the operations of the Baltimore Sun's morning and afternoon papers, the managing editor of The Sun has resigned.
James I. Houck, 49, yesterday told the staff of the morning paper that he was leaving after nine years in the post. The Sun has a circulation of 243,609.
Houck's resignation comes at a time when management plans to consolidate some of the news operations at The Sun and The Evening Sun.
John S. Carroll, editor of both papers, said yesterday that readers most familiar with the papers will notice changes by late summer or early fall.
A noticeable overhaul in local coverage will be apparent possibly by early 1992, he said.
Houck said it was his own idea to step down.
"For two or three years I've been thinking about what I should be doing with the last third of my working life," he wrote in a memo to the staff.
"At the same time, it's occurred to me that maybe the paper could use some new ideas and fresh energy, and that someone else -- I hope, frankly, one of my very able colleagues -- deserves a shot at the helm of this venerable institution."
Houck said that once he decided to leave the newspaper his presence became a "distraction."
"I just felt that it would become easier for [management] to plan for the future if I weren't here," he said.
Houck said he has been looking at several possible opportunities.
"I've been trying to decide what to do with the rest of my working life and whether it has to do with working for a newspaper," Houck said yesterday, his last day as managing editor.
However, after 30 years in the newspaper business, he said it would be hard to imagine doing anything else.
He and his wife, Trish, will continue to live in the area.
Carroll said he hopes to choose a successor within a month. Martin Kaiser, an assistant managing editor of The Sun, will run the paper in the interim.