Timothy Dwyer named publisher of The Day
New London — Timothy Dwyer, executive editor of The Day since 2007, has been named president and publisher, it was announced Thursday.
Dwyer replaces Patricia Richardson, who is resigning to pursue other opportunities, The Day’s board of directors said in a statement. Richardson, president and publisher since last May, succeeded Gary Farrugia, who retired.
“I’m honored to take on the role of publisher of one of the country’s most prestigious independent newspapers,” said the 63-year-old Dwyer, who lives in East Lyme. “Since moving to the area more than 12 years ago, I have come to love living and working in a community that has been especially welcoming to me and my family.”
Following the announcement, Dwyer and Richardson met with about 60 employees to discuss the transition, which took newsroom staff by surprise.
“Our mission is to remain a strong, locally owned media company,” Dwyer told the employees. “Everything we do, we ask: ‘Does it support the mission?’”
Richardson said she was proud of the work she’s done to stabilize The Day’s finances and credited Dwyer for his “steady hand on the journalism.”
Richardson, who came to The Day from The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va., where she was publisher, will leave The Day on March 8. She and the board of directors have been working on an orderly transition since December.
“In her short time here, she has helped us move forward, and she leaves us in a better place than where we started,” said board member Maureen Croteau, who heads the University of Connecticut’s journalism department.
Farrugia, who remains a board member, said Dwyer “has a deep, passionate commitment to the company and the community.”
“He was a very serious candidate for the publisher job when the board hired Pat Richardson last year,” Farrugia said. “The company and the region are fortunate to have his solid and vast market knowledge as he takes command of The Day.”
Before joining The Day, Dwyer was a staff writer at The Boston Globe, The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Washington Post. He graduated from Northeastern University in 1978. While at the Inquirer, he received the George Polk Award for national reporting for an investigation of the U.S. maritime industry. The stories he’s covered range from Hurricane Katrina to three winter Olympics to the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui, the only terrorist convicted in connection with the 9/11 attacks.
“When I started in the business, my goal was to be a foreign correspondent and I got to do a little bit of that,” Dwyer said in an interview. “I started at big newspapers and worked my way up to The Day. ... There’s just something about a community newspaper."
“I hear all the time from people who tell me how important the paper is to them," he said. "Without it, there’d be no high school sports coverage, no local watchdog.”
Dwyer said he will move into the publisher’s office while continuing in the role of executive editor. Responsibility for day-to-day management of the newsroom, which produces The Day’s print and online versions, will fall to Timothy Cotter, the managing editor, and Izaskun Larraneta, the deputy managing editor.
Dwyer said The Day will hire consultants to help it develop a long-term financial plan and a strategy for dealing with “legacy” debt he attributed to costs associated with pensions and retirees’ health benefits. The company will seek to fill the position of chief revenue officer, which has been vacant, and will name a new chief financial officer to replace Debra Davidowsky, who is leaving the company at the end of the month, he said.
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