published Thursday, July 1st, 2010

J. Todd Foster announced as new Times Free Press executive editor

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    J. Todd Foster was the Executive Editor of the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press today named former reporter J. Todd Foster as its executive editor.

Foster, 49, is currently the editor of the Bristol (Va.) Herald Courier, which recently won journalism’s highest honor, the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.

“Todd is a seasoned veteran of the newspaper industry with strong, award-winning editorial expertise and a solid record of performance,” said Walter Hussman, Jr. chairman and chief executive officer of WEHCO Media Inc., the Little Rock, Ark.-based parent company of the Times Free Press. “He brings extensive experience in managing a newsroom and producing quality journalism.”

Added Jason Taylor, president of the Times Free Press: “We are excited to have a journalist of Todd’s caliber leading our newsroom. Todd is passionate about the role good journalism plays in a community and combines a depth of experience with a love for Chattanooga.”

Foster was a reporter at the Chattanooga Free Press from 1985-89 and then worked as an investigative reporter at the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal; The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Wash.; The Oregonian in Portland; and People magazine.

Foster was the first reporter at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, when white separatist Randy Weaver holed up against federal agents in an 11-day siege that left three dead. The Spokane paper was a Pulitzer finalist for its Ruby Ridge coverage.

Foster transitioned into editing in early 2003, when he took the top job at The News Virginian in Waynesboro, Va.

“I was covering the sniper shootings for People in Washington, D.C., when my first child was born,” Foster said. “I had to perform the toughest of journalistic duties – interviewing the survivors of murder victims – while worrying about my family getting shot on the way from the hospital to the car with a newborn. That experience led me away from the big city and to a new career as an editor. And that eventually led me back to Chattanooga, where I got my first job at a daily newspaper. I love this city, and have wanted to return ever since.”

Foster said among the job’s attractions was WEHCO’s commitment to its employees and readers.

“It is an honor to join a company that puts readers, and not shareholders, as its top priority,” he said. “Ours is a public trust. My goal is to live up to the paper’s motto: ‘To give the news impartially, without fear or favor.’ ”

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Abe said...

What a great choice. A good journalist. A real reporter. Just what any town needs as an editor.

July 1, 2010 at 1 p.m.
moonpie said...

What!? They passed up Robert T. Nash?

July 1, 2010 at 1:31 p.m.
harrystatel said...

Unless the TFP produces serious change with Mr. Foster, it's just a change in suits.

The TFP has too many tweeters and bloggers (at best) that seem to be the current face of what passes for local news-print journalism.You're overloaded with too many people with degrees in Journalism and Communications, but not enough reporters and investigators.

I hope you make the newspaper better Mr. Foster, but the patient has been slowly dying for years. It remains to be seen if you have healing hands. Best of luck, Mr. Foster.

July 1, 2010 at 2:23 p.m.

People Magazine? I guess Town Talk will get a few additional pages.

July 1, 2010 at 3:34 p.m.
FM_33 said...

We'll see how well he like the free press in a few months and will there be a big change in how the writing is done on the storys that are reported.

He's from Boston so i will also see does he write like some of the sites back home.

As far as how to the Left of center he writes.

July 1, 2010 at 4:26 p.m.

I'm hoping for the real, local and important content that we so sorely need for our city. We are all invested here, and we need a paper that covers what is important to us. Without editorial bias. Please do not feed us more cut and paste from "around the country and around the world". My property, my job and my family are in Chattanooga. Please write about the real challenges, issues and successes of OUR community.

Welcome.

July 1, 2010 at 5:43 p.m.
VeryHappy said...

We here in Bristol are sooooo glad that Mr. J. Toad Foster decided to move on. Since he became editor of the BHC, circulation has dropped, employees have been forced to take furloughs, he fired a great sports editor and replaced him with a crony who turned out to be a wanted sex offender from out west, and he has spent the vast majority of his time defending his stupid editorial decisions on the opinion page. He is a small time newspaper guy thinking he is Randolph Hearst, and again, go read the comments attached to the article about him leaving Bristol. 3 to 1 glad he is gone.

While he will state otherwise in public, his point of view is so far left he makes Teddy Kennedy look like a conservative.

Okay, the paper won a Pullitizer. So did one of out local college students. The story that the BHC won with could have been written by any local newspaper with the resources to conduct the investigation. It wasn't the style (believe me) that won the prize, it was the content.

Glad you got him. Please keep him down there. If he tries to leave, let us know so we can lock the gates...

July 5, 2010 at 11:31 a.m.
ScottH said...

This is nothing but good news for Chattanooga. I don't know anything about your paper right now, but I do know you just got an a**whuppin' journalist.

July 6, 2010 at 10:51 p.m.
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