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Mary J. Corey to lead The Sun's news operations

Veteran Baltimore journalist is first woman in top editorial role in paper's 173-year history

May 20, 2010|By Robert Little, The Baltimore Sun

Corey's promotion comes almost exactly two years after she was told she had breast cancer — a diagnosis that quickly led to aggressive treatments with surgery and chemotherapy. Her final treatments came in her first days as head of print, an often-consuming job akin to the old role of managing editor. Today she is cancer-free, and feels her bout with the disease has left her emboldened to challenges, including whatever awaits her as the next leader of The Sun's newsroom.

"I faced a year — a little over a year — where I had five surgeries and five months of chemo," Corey said. "It gives you a perspective on things, on what is important and what you can achieve. And I feel like resilience is something that we need right now."

The Sun's newsroom undertook a sharp and sweeping reorganization just over a year ago, laying off nearly a third of the staff and trimming and reorganizing news sections. In response to the changing habits of readers and advertisers, the newsroom also integrated print and digital operations and placed a greater emphasis on producing news content for multiple media and delivery platforms, not just the newspaper.

In the time since, Corey points to coverage of Mayor Sheila Dixon's criminal trial, the Baltimore Ravens' playoff run and other in-depth stories as examples of what The Sun aspires to. In particular she noted coverage of the recent blizzards, during which reporters and editors often walked to work or worked from home, updating The Sun's website throughout the day with news, snowfall totals, photographs and video, some of it submitted by readers.

"We're in the middle of this transformation, in terms of how people want information, where they want it and when," Corey said. "And we need to be wherever readers are, giving them the kind of content they find irresistible."

robert.little@baltsun.com

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