John M. "Jack" Lemmon, managing editor of The Evening Su for the past 12 years, announced his retirement yesterday.
Though Mr. Lemmon, 63, gave his official retirement date as Dec. 31, he said yesterday that "as a practical matter, today is my last day."
During his tenure as the newspaper's top news executive, The Evening Sun received numerous awards, including a Pulitzer Prize.
"I think we had some good times. This was a happy place to work. Most of us enjoyed doing what we did," he said. "One of the most exciting things was a good story, having something in the paper that you're proud of."
Mr. Lemmon's career, which has spanned four decades, included stints at the now-defunct Washington Star, where he became chief of the copy desk, and a period at the Washington Post, where he was night managing editor. He came to The Evening Sun, which has a circulation of 159,522, in 1979.
His retirement is the latest of several high-level changes this year as the staffs of The Sun and The Evening Sun merge to provide a greater focus on local news and sports.
"One of the least happy consequences of our decision to merge the morning and evening news staffs is the diminished role of the evening managing editor," John S. Carroll, editor of the two papers said yesterday.
"Such a change might be less difficult for all concerned if that managing editor were someone other than Jack."
Mr. Carroll said that Ernest F. Imhoff, an assistant managing editor at The Evening Sun, will replace Mr. Lemmon on an interim basis.
Yesterday, Mr. Lemmon said he had no immediate plans for the future.
"There are a number of things I'm thinking about. I might even get a real job," he said, adding that he might do some consulting work.