Chandler Is Out

Making news over the transom is the word that Ken Chandler is out as the editorial director of The Boston Herald. According to a press release, Chandler will leave at the end of the month to start up his own media strategy firm. Kevin Convey will become the editor. Chandler is a tabloid veteran, whom I first met when he was at The New York Post. (The Post had just moved to the Fox building in midtown.)  Given as he learned at the foot of Rupert Murdoch, I imagine he’ll be able to both help clients with tabloid trouble and advise media clients as well.

Coming out of the Anglo-Australian school of Murdochian journalism, Chandler attempted to give Boston a dose of Dunleavian dispatches. As much a fan as I am of the original, Steve Dunleavy, who once regalled me with his exploits as a young crime reporter Down Under — “Police, Police!!!” he would pound on the door to get a victim to answer, only to mutter under his breath, “Police reporter” — I’m not sure this brand of journalism could ever get traction in Boston. Boston’s still too button-down and repressed for that. Though, it’s unclear how much Convey will roll back.

Here’s the text of Chandler’s press release and the Herald’s story on the subject (via Romenesko):

                                                                            

KEN CHANDLER LAUNCHES CONSULTING FIRM

Company will specialize in media relations

BOSTON–Editorial Director Ken Chandler is leaving the Boston Herald at the end of next month to form a new company specializing in media relations for senior corporate executives, publisher Patrick J. Purcell announced today.  Chandler will remain a consultant to help the Herald on business and internet strategies.

Purcell also announced today the promotion of long-time Boston Herald editor Kevin Convey as the newspaper’s editor in chief. 

Chandler said that his new company, Chandler Media, based in New York, will offer specialized advice to Fortune 500 CEOs and their companies on global positioning, crisis management and new media.

Chandler is a senior media executive with experience on three continents.  He spent 30 years as a top editorial executive at Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation in New York and Boston.  He served twice as Editor of the Boston Herald and was Editor in Chief and Publisher of the New York Post.  He was also an executive producer of Fox TV’s “A Current Affair” and before that a founding editor of Star Magazine. 

Chandler returned to the Herald in 2003 as a consulting editor.  A year later he was appointed Editorial Director and oversaw a sweeping revamp of the newsroom as well as an increased emphasis on Bostonherald.com.

He began his newspaper career in his native England at The Sun, the largest English-language daily in the world.  He later spent 15 months in Singapore where he helped launch a new daily in the dynamic city-state.

After three years of commuting to Boston from his home in Westchester County, N.Y., Chandler said he and Purcell agreed last summer that he would return to New York at the end of the year to be with his family.  His wife, Erika Schwartz, MD, is a women’s health specialist with a practice in Manhattan.  Their five children live in New York.

Chandler said, “Over the years, I’ve seen so many companies make needless mistakes when the media spotlight shines on them because they are unprepared and do not know how to act quickly and decisively to limit the damage.  In the age of internet with its instant deadlines, the need for sound advice has never been greater.”

Chandler said he is sad to be leaving a newsroom with so many talented, enthusiastic and dedicated colleagues.

“Our accomplishments have been solely the result of team effort,” he said.  “I’m delighted that Kevin Convey will take over and ensure that the Herald will remain a vibrant and lively force for years to come.”

“Ken has been a friend, colleague and counselor for over 20 years,” said Purcell.  “His editorial instincts are second to none, and he makes every newspaper he touches more interesting and enjoyable.  I want to thank Ken for his help over the past few years and wish him every success in this new endeavor.”

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