Arnie Robbins, the former editor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, will become executive director of the American Society of News Editors.
"We are overjoyed to have such a distinguished news executive and champion of innovation join ASNE at this pivotal moment in our history," said ASNE President Susan Goldberg. "Arnie is an experienced and gifted leader, administrator and journalist who can help us build partnerships as we reinvigorate this important organization."
Robbins served for 13 years as the editor and managing editor of the Post-Dispatch, resigning in May. He helped lead the newsroom's expansion from a primarily print operation to one that also excels at delivering content on tablets, smartphones and the newspaper's website. During this time, he was an active member of ASNE.
"Arnie will be a terrific leader for ASNE," said Joyce Dehli, vice president for news at Lee Enterprises, owner of the Post-Dispatch. "In St. Louis, he was a real innovator, aggressively pursuing digital news forms as they emerged. At the same time, he championed core journalistic values and was motivated by a fundamental desire to serve the public interest."
ASNE, the nation's premier organization for journalism leaders, announced in April that it was partnering with the University of Missouri's School of Journalism, one of the world's leading institutions for journalism education and innovation. This summer, ASNE will relocate its headquarters from Washington, D.C., to the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute on the university's Columbia, Mo., campus. The organization will also maintain an office in the nation’s capital.
Robbins said the ASNE-Missouri partnership was a big draw for his new position.
"This is about two great organizations partnering at a perfect time, building something bigger and better than either could do alone," Robbins said. "There's a lot more innovation occurring in news organizations around the country than we give ourselves credit for. I really believe that this partnership can help boost that innovation even more by providing leadership, creativity and tools for the news industry, journalists, educators and students."
Robbins will begin at ASNE on July 9. "ASNE was vital for me as an editor," he said. "While I'll be wearing a different hat, I'm excited about the opportunity to continue working with editors and educators around the country."
Robbins succeeds Richard Karpel, who was recently named president and CEO of the Yoga Alliance, the Arlington, Va.-based organization that represents and certifies yoga schools and instructors in the U.S.
"We are grateful to Richard for his dedicated service to our organization during this time of transition," Goldberg said. "He helped strengthen ASNE, organized a terrific convention and put us in a good position to succeed in the future."
Before joining The Post-Dispatch in 1997, Robbins, 59, spent 13 years at the Minneapolis Star Tribune in a variety of editing positions. He also worked at the Chicago Sun-Times. Robbins began his career in 1975 at the Suburban Trib, a zoned insert of the Chicago Tribune. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.
About the American Society of News Editors
ASNE was founded in 1922. It champions fair, principled, high-quality journalism and the protection of First Amendment freedoms. Its other areas of focus are leadership, innovation and diversity. Although historically an organization of the nation’s top newspaper editors, it now includes many members from online-only news outlets, broadcast stations, colleges and universities, and media-related foundations and training centers.