Anthony Barbieri named managing editor of The Sun

Far-ranging reporter, metropolitan editor started as copy boy


May 23, 2000|By Kristine Henry | Kristine Henry,SUN STAFF

Anthony F. Barbieri, who joined The Sun 32 years ago as a copy boy and rose to oversee a staff of more than 100 metropolitan reporters and editors, was promoted yesterday to managing editor, the second-highest position in the newsroom.

Barbieri, 52, replaces William K. Marimow, who was named editor of The Sun last month."His experience both as an editor and a reporter really covers the gamut of what the Baltimore Sun stands for," Marimow said of Barbieri. "He has really served with distinction."

Barbieri joined the paper in 1968 in the Washington bureau to help put himself through college at George Washington University. After graduating with a bachelor's degree in political science in 1970, he joined The Sun's city desk, doing general-assignment reporting, covering night police and writing obituaries.

His first assignment was covering a city planning commission meeting, where plans for developing the area west of the Inner Harbor were approved.

Barbieri moved on to cover a variety of beats, including Baltimore County, the State House and Congress before being named The Sun's bureau chief in Moscow in 1979. He eventually wrote stories from 18 countries in Eastern Europe and Asia.

Serge Schmemann, a correspondent for the New York Times in Eastern Europe during Barbieri's posting there, called him "a man of very classical and traditional integrity" whose sense of humor made even 30-hour train rides enjoyable."He's been an editor for many years now but fundamentally his honesty and modesty and humor haven't changed," said Schmemann, now deputy foreign editor of the Times. "I really think the Baltimore Sun could not have made a better choice."

Barbieri returned to Baltimore in 1988, becoming city editor, night editor, assistant managing editor for news and, until yesterday, assistant managing editor for metropolitan news.

Barbieri said the paper is on a strong upward course and he doesn't plan any major changes right away."We're going to stay on that course - strong and aggressive beat reporting and the strong enterprise and investigative and narrative journalism that we've become known for in the past several years," he said. "What I'd like to see happen three or four or five years from now is the day-to-day quality be higher in writing, editing and copy editing."

Barbieri's appointment comes amid many changes at The Sun after the announcement March 13 that Chicago-based Tribune Co. is purchasing the paper's parent company, Times Mirror Co., in an $8 billion deal expected to close next month.

After the acquisition announcement, John S. Carroll resigned as The Sun's editor after nine years in the position to become editor of the Los Angeles Times, also a Times Mirror paper. Marimow was named The Sun's editor shortly thereafter."I have always believed in evolution rather than revolution," Marimow said. "I expect readers to see more and better stories they will not find elsewhere."

Barbieri, who was born and raised in Schenectady, N.Y., and now lives in North Baltimore, said he wants to see better writing in the paper and more suburban coverage, noting that two of every three Sun readers live outside the city."The Sun is Maryland's newspaper, not only Baltimore's newspaper, and we have to be the voice of every part of our circulation area," he said. "On our best days, everybody agrees we're as good as any newspaper in the country. We just have to make every day our best day."

Three other promotions were also announced yesterday.

Assistant Managing Editor Paul Moore was named deputy managing editor for news, with responsibilities for the news desk and copy desk.

Steve Proctor, assistant managing editor, will become deputy managing editor in charge of features and sports, and will act as the newsroom's liaison with SunSpot, The Sun's Web site.

Copy desk chief John McIntyre was promoted to assistant managing editor for the copy desk.

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