New top editor announced at AJC

Kevin Riley, editor-in-chief of the Dayton Daily News, will succeed Julia Wallace as The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's top editor, effective Jan. 3.

Wallace, who has been at the AJC for 10 years, will become senior vice president of news and programming for Cox Media Group’s Ohio properties, based in Dayton.

The moves were announced Thursday morning.

Riley, who has more than 27 years of experience in various roles in Dayton and with Cox’s Ohio properties, will be responsible for all news content for the AJC’s print and digital products. His current duties include overseeing the newsrooms for several daily and weekly papers in Ohio.

A native of Ohio, Riley started his career on the Daily News copy desk, served as both sports and features editor and ran its online business for five years.

Riley was named one of the industry's “20 under 40” up-and-comers in 2001 by the Newspaper Association of America. He was publisher of The Springfield News-Sun in 2007 when he was tabbed to be editor of the Daily News.

He has been deeply involved in strategic planning for Dayton’s multi-media project, which includes bringing together the newsrooms for radio, TV and newspapers.

“I know Kevin as an effective, collaborative and innovative leader who has worked with newsrooms to keep pace with our rapidly changing environment,” AJC Publisher Michael Joseph said in a letter to staffers. “His unique combination of experience, coupled with years of work with Cox, makes him the ideal leader to take on the job of editor of the AJC.”

Wallace will oversee all newsgathering, entertainment and programming for CMG Ohio’s properties, which include 12 newspapers – the Dayton Daily News, The Springfield News-Sun, The Middletown Journal, the Hamilton Journal News and eight weekly newspapers – as well as three radio stations, WHIO-TV and all associated digital products.

Wallace has been editor of the AJC since July 2002 and in 2004 was named editor of the year by Editor & Publisher magazine. During her tenure, the paper won two Pulitzer Prizes and significantly expanded its digital products, while focusing on investigative reporting and breaking news coverage.

Wallace presided over the newsroom during a time of dramatic change, as the AJC responded to significant challenges in the newspaper industry. She reorganized the newsroom to account for a smaller staff, which currently numbers about 230. The AJC has recently added back several pages of content to its daily editions.

“The AJC’s newsroom under Julia’s leadership has made tremendous progress in improving our content by focusing on doing the best possible job for our readers,” Joseph said. “We will continue to focus on investigative journalism and relevant and important news for our core audience.”