Moore Than Before

The Denver Post's new editor wants to help the paper realize its potential.

Considering the workload of a managing editor, it seems a lot to expect for you to really have the time to work closely with a columnist like her. Did that strike you as a systemic problem?

The reason the higher-level editors were editing the columnists is so they would not be sort of ordered about by assistant managing editors, who'd tell them to write a column about this or that. It was a way to send a signal that they were more independent voices, above the daily vagaries of the news -- that they could pick and choose what they wanted to cover. But, look: The way the system was set up was the way the system was set up. And we did the best we could, given the load we had to handle. But now the deputy managing editor handles the three columnists, and that person doesn't have the same load that the executive editor and the two previous managing editors did. So I like the system they have there now much better.

When your hiring was announced, I had the opportunity to talk with Matt Storin about this topic, and the quote he gave me was, "Greg would be the first to admit that he had a supervisory role that he did not fulfill quite to the degree that he or I would have wanted in retrospect." Do you agree with that statement?

Taking charge: Denver Post editor Greg Moore.
Larry Winter
Taking charge: Denver Post editor Greg Moore.

Yes. I've never tried to separate myself from that. I was part of the management team at the Globe; that was a person I was responsible for editing. And if it happened on my watch, it happened on my watch. But if we had it to do over again, when we first found out there might be questions about how Pat was putting together her columns, we probably should have taken the column away from her. Because that was an abrogation of the public trust and the trust her editors had placed in her. And if we'd done that, it wouldn't have happened. I believe in second chances, and I want to make sure that we run a place that's compassionate and understanding. But there are certain things that are too big to be ignored. You have to have a hierarchy of wrongdoing. And that is near the top.

When Matt Storin left the Globe and an outside editor was brought in, you let it be known that you wanted to run your own shop -- and that you might have to leave the Globe to do it. Were you actively looking for other opportunities?

I wasn't actively looking, but it was just a fact. It was well-known that I wanted to be an editor, and I certainly would have loved to have done that at the Globe after sixteen years there. I was ready for the opportunity, and I was well-prepared; I haven't seen everything, but I've seen a hell of a lot. So I was committed to doing this, and I really didn't care where I did it as long as it was a good newspaper in a metropolitan area in a community that deserved to have a first-class newspaper. And Denver fits that bill.

In the national journalism community, you've been seen as a rising star for a long time, which may lead some people to believe you see the Denver Post as a stepping stone to papers with bigger reputations. Is that misdirected?

It is misdirected. You look at my career, and you'll see I go places and I stay either until I've outgrown the place or the place has outgrown me -- and the latter hasn't happened yet. I'm not a job-hopper. I do what makes sense, and this job makes sense for me. I left a very good job making a very nice living, with a house that I loved, that my wife [TV executive Nina Henderson Moore] loved, and causing her to leave her career. And now we're bringing a new baby into the world [it's due in November]. Now, you don't do those type of things lightly, thinking "Two years from now, I'll be somewhere else." This is where I want to be.

Even though the Post is seldom mentioned among the great papers in the United States?

There are very few papers in this country that are of the caliber of the Washington Post or the Wall Street Journal; there are a lot of newspapers that are left out of that equation. But the Denver Post has a substantial staff in a community that has high newspaper readership. It's affluent, well-educated, very interested in the news. It's a paper that's won a few Pulitzer Prizes, most recently in 1999. The Denver Post probably in the near future isn't going to win one for international or national reporting. The Globe hasn't been able to do that. But we can be recognized for covering things in our back yard that are important. And I want to make sure we capitalize on them and serve our readers well.

Regarding international coverage, the Post hadn't done a great deal of it in the past -- but after 9/11, there was an expenditure of quite a lot of funding to send folks overseas. Is that something you see the Post doing more of in the future?

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