Downing leaves Empire for Georgia position

Posted: Tuesday, January 18, 2000

Suzanne Downing, managing editor of the Juneau Empire, has been named editorial page editor of the Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle, it was announced Monday.

The Chronicle is a sister newspaper of the Empire. Both are owned by Morris Communications Corp., which is headquartered in Augusta.

``Suzanne has been with Morris for nearly nine years,'' said William S. Morris III, publisher of the Chronicle and chairman and chief executive officer of Morris Communications. ``Needless to say, we are delighted to have her coming to Augusta to take over editorial page duties at the Chronicle. She brings experience, judgment, a good heart and a tough skin to a job that requires these qualities in abundance.''

The Augusta Chronicle has a daily circulation of 80,000 and a Sunday circulation of 100,000.

Downing's last day at the Empire will be Feb. 25. She will begin working at the Chronicle on March 6. John Winters, publisher of the Empire, said a search will begin immediately for a new editor for Alaska's capital city newspaper.

``Of course, we're sorry to see Suzanne leave the helm at the Empire, but Alaska will gain an ambassador as she takes on this new challenge and opportunity,'' he said.

``Suzanne has done a wonderful job building the Empire into a newspaper that both Juneau and the state can be proud of,'' Winters added. ``She will be sorely missed, although this is a wonderful opportunity for her and our company.''

Downing was raised in Oregon and California and has lived in Alaska for nearly 20 years. She is a graduate of Oregon State University and was editor of the Bainbridge Review in Washington state before joining Morris in 1991 as Sunday editor for the Empire.

``I have been so fortunate to have had the opportunity to be editor of my hometown newspaper these past few years and I'll miss the challenges here,'' Downing said. ``But I'll carry with me a great affection for Juneau and Alaska. This is a state that gets under your skin. I don't think any of us ever really leave Alaska in our hearts.''

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