Portland AAJA’s Bill Church named McGruder diversity leadership winner

Portland AAJA gold member Bill Church, executive editor of the Statesman Journal, is this year’s winner of the prestigious Robert G. McGruder Award for Diversity Leadership.
The leadership awards were given at the recent Associated Press Managing Editors conference Oct. 20-22 at Poynter in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Both Bill and Arizona Republic editor and vice president Randy Lovely were award recipients.
Congratulations to Bill and his commitment to AAJA and diversity! Portland AAJA is so proud.

Ruth Liao

More information from the APME news release:

The awards are given annually to individuals, newsrooms or teams of journalists who embody the spirit of McGruder, a former executive editor of the Detroit Free Press, former managing editor of The Cleveland Plain Dealer, a graduate of Kent State University and relentless diversity champion. McGruder died of cancer in April 2002.


Church’s nominating letter said, “It is understood that newspapers in general have struggled to reset themselves in this unsettled climate. The economy and changing digital audience have forced newsrooms to downsize and rethink their operations.Yet, despite these challenges, Bill has maintained a Braveheart-like pursuit of ensuring our staff is diverse, developing our talented journalists of colors and being vigilant in growing the Statesman Journal’s relevance for readers of all backgrounds.”

Church became executive editor of the Statesman Journal in June 2006 after serving in the same role at the Star-Gazette at Elmira, N.Y. Prior to working in Elmira, he was managing editor of the Palladium-Item at Richmond, Ind.

Church started his career in 1981 as sports editor and managing editor of Review News Co., in Oklahoma City. He joined Gannett in 1990 as local news coordinator of the Wausau (Wis.) Daily Herald. He was named managing editor of the Battle Creek (Mich.) Enquirer in 1992 and managing editor at Richmond in 1998.

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