Phillips named Scripps editorial development director

Fri, March 31, 2000 by Mark Kroeger

CINCINNATI – Mike Phillips, president and publisher of The Sun in Bremerton, Wash., since 1997, has been named director of editorial development for The E.W. Scripps Company’s newspaper division.Michael A. Levi, president and publisher of The Destin (Fla.) Log, will succeed Phillips as president and publisher in Bremerton. Both appointments are effective April 1.In his new role, Phillips will be responsible for further developing editorial quality at all of the Scripps newspapers and their Internet sites. He also will work to integrate the company’s readership development initiative, Readers First, throughout the Scripps newspaper group, and will lead the division’s editorial training and recruitment efforts. “Mike Phillips is one of the newspaper industry’s most respected readership experts and has been a very successful editor and publisher,” said Alan M. Horton, senior vice president of newspapers. “Having led our Readers First initiative for nearly three years, he’s earned the right to head the program and other related projects full time.”Readers First is a program through which all Scripps newspaper employees are trained to better serve readers. In addition to leading Readers First, Phillips recently served on a team assembled by the American Society of Newspaper Editors and the Newspaper Association of America that researched successful newspaper readership development programs. He was the lead writer and editor for the resulting report, Turning the Tide.Phillips, 53, joined The Sun as editor in 1989. He previously had been the editor of The Hollywood (Fla.) Sun-Tattler; managing editor of The Kentucky Post in Covington, Ky.; deputy metro editor of The Cincinnati Post; and a reporter and editor at several newspapers in Texas. He started his newspaper career in 1967 as a copy editor at the Tribune-Herald in Waco, Texas, while still a student at Baylor University.Levi comes to Bremerton after serving 12 years as president and publisher of The Destin Log. The Sun, published daily, and The Log, published twice weekly, are both Scripps newspapers. The company announced in February that it is swapping the Destin newspaper, plus an undisclosed amount of cash, to Freedom Communications for The Tribune, a daily newspaper in Fort Pierce, Fla. The transaction is expected to be completed by the close of business today. “Mike Levi has built a very successful twice-a-week franchise in Destin,” Horton said. “The skills he developed there will help him make The Sun an even more successful enterprise than it already is.”Levi, 53, joined Scripps in 1972 in the sales department of The Stuart (Fla.) News. He worked in Stuart for 16 years, holding various positions, including general manager of a small group of community newspapers Scripps formerly operated in tandem with the Stuart newspaper.Levi, a native of Rumson, N.J., is a graduate of Northeastern University in Boston where he earned a bachelor’s degree in advertising and marketing.The E.W. Scripps Company operates 19 daily newspapers; 10 broadcast television stations; three TV networks, Home & Garden Television, the Food Network and Do It Yourself; and a TV programmer, Scripps Productions. The company also operates United Media, a worldwide syndicator and licensor of news features and comics, and the Scripps Howard News Service. Scripps operates 31 revenue-producing Web sites, including hgtv.com, foodtv.com, diynet.com and comics.com.