One of the Daily News’ correspondents in Northeast Nebraska — who I’ve known for a long time — recently sent me an email with some kind words in relation to my plans to retire from the full-time editor’s position at the Daily News at the end of this month.
Then, she also made a humorous reference to the plans to have Daily News staff members Tim Pearson, Jerry Guenther and Jay Prauner help lead the way in the newsroom after the transition.
“Are you sure you want those yahoos driving the ship?” she asked with a laugh.
My response was that I couldn’t imagine any better yahoos to have in charge.
Those three individuals have been stalwarts of the newsroom for many years. They are dedicated and talented journalists who have earned the respect of their newsroom colleagues and the readers of the Daily News.
They’re well-known and liked.
Jerry Guenther was one of the first hires I made after coming to Norfolk. A University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate, he was applying for a reporting position and was competing against two University of Nebraska at Kearney graduates — Thad Underwood, who went on to become the sports editor at The Omaha World-Herald and Connie White, who also has had a lengthy and distinguished career at The World-Herald.
But I made the best choice in choosing Jerry for the job.
Over the years, Jerry — a West Point native — has served in a variety of reporting and editing positions and has been extensively involved in community endeavors.
Jay Prauner actually was already at the Daily News when I arrived here, working on a part-time basis while also running a retail men’s clothing store in Norfolk.
Jay, who is a Battle Creek native, later went full time with the Daily News, working primarily in sports but also on the news side in the past.
Highly organized, Jay has served as the sports editor here for numerous years and brings a wealth of talents and abilities with him in whatever he is working on.
Tim Pearson is the only one of the three who isn’t a native Northeast Nebraskan, but he married one — his wife, April, grew up in Orchard. Tim joined us right after graduating from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and interning at the daily newspaper in Spokane, Wash.
He’s the epitome of a quiet and talented journalist who leads by example, especially in the area of news judgment, headline writing, newspaper layout and design and editing.
They each possess different areas of expertise that will serve the Daily News well in the months ahead. Having Jay, Tim and Jerry in the newsroom to help provide guidance is a tremendous asset to have.
They’ll bring their own expertise, ideas and leadership to the Daily News, keeping some things in place and making changes, too. They’ll work closely with Bill Huse, our publisher, all the while.
So, yes, these “yahoos” mean the Daily News is in good hands.