Editors Joe Grimm and Wanda Lloyd honored with diversity leadership awards

Joe Grimm, recruiting and development editor at the Detroit Free Press, and Wanda Lloyd, executive editor of the Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser, have been named winners of the sixth annual Robert G. McGruder Awards for Diversity Leadership.

Joe Grimm, recruiting and development editor at the Detroit Free Press, and Wanda Lloyd, executive editor of the Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser, have been named winners of the sixth annual Robert G. McGruder Awards for Diversity Leadership.

The two will be honored for their outstanding leadership in newspaper newsroom diversity at the Associated Press Managing Editors (APME) convention Oct. 5 in Washington, D.C.

The awards are given by APME and the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) in partnership with the Freedom Forum, which provides funding. Each honoree receives $2,500 and a sculpture.

The awards recognize leadership in news content. This year’s winners also were singled out for their career-long contributions to recruiting, developing and retaining journalists of color.

“When you think of editors who have worked for diversity over the years, these two editors stand out,” said Charles Overby, chairman, CEO and president of the Freedom Forum and Diversity Institute. “They’ve built relationships between newspapers and applicants, mentored young journalists and ensured opportunities for people of color.”

“Wanda and Joe represent the best in our business as they dedicate themselves day-in and day-out to making American journalism reflect our communities accurately,” said Sharon Rosenhause, a 2006 award winner and managing editor of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale.

Grimm, who won in the over-75,000 circulation category, works in the newsroom once led by Robert McGruder, for whom the award is named. McGruder, a former Free Press executive editor and a diversity champion, died in April 2002.

“Bob McGruder would not have been as successful in moving the numbers and creating the type of newsroom where everyone felt welcomed without Joe Grimm,” said Arlene Notoro Morgan, associate dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University, who nominated Grimm for the award.

Award judges noted that Grimm developed the Spirit of Diversity job fair, created a popular online news careers site and has worked with a newsroom training program that focuses on the diversity of the community. He writes a column for UNITYNews, an electronic newsletter of UNITY: Journalists of Color, and an “Ask the Recruiter” column for the Poynter Career Center.

In the under-75,000 circulation category, Lloyd also was recognized for her coaching and mentoring of young journalists. “She talks regularly with aspiring high school journalists and brings them to the newspaper for a tour,” said Mel Gray, managing editor of the Advertiser, who nominated Lloyd. “Wanda touches young lives even when they aren’t working directly for her. She’ll mentor these gifted young people at conventions, job fairs or simply meetings of the local NABJ chapter.”

“Lloyd has been a champion of newspaper diversity throughout her career,” said Otis Sanford, editor/opinion and editorials at The Commercial Appeal in Memphis, Tenn., and an awards judge. “From training and editing to hiring and promoting, she is totally deserving of this recognition.”

Lloyd has been executive director of the Freedom Forum’s Diversity Institute at Vanderbilt University. She is a founding member of the National Association of Minority Media Executives and has chaired the diversity and human resources committees of the American Society of Newspaper Editors. “It’s great to see her recognized for the leadership she has provided and for her commitment to results,” said Caesar Andrews, executive editor of the Detroit Free Press and an awards judge.

For the first time, nominations also included diversity initiatives for newspapers’ online products and niche publications. Other nominees were:

(Over-75,000 circulation category)

  • Doug Clancy, assistant managing editor/administration, The Record, Hackensack, N.J.,and executive editor, Herald News, West Paterson, N.J.
  • Carl Crothers, executive editor, Winston-Salem(N.C.) Journal
  • Ken Paulson, editor, USA TODAY
  • Rick Rodriguez, executive editor, The Sacramento (Calif.) Bee
  • The Arizona Republic, Phoenix
  • The Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, Miss.
  • The News Journal, Wilmington, Del.
  • The News-Press, Fort Myers, Fla.

            (Under-75,000 circulation category)

  • Charles Pittman, senior vice president of newspapers, Schurz Communications Inc.
  • The Daily Times, Farmington, N.M.
  • The Wausau (Wis.) Daily Herald

Judges were: Calvin Stovall, executive editor, Press & Sun-Bulletin, Binghamton, N.Y., and Sanford, representing APME; Andrews and Gilbert Bailon, publisher and editor of Al Día in Dallas, representing ASNE; last year’s winners Rosenhause and Rindraty Celes Limtiaco, publisher of the Pacific Daily News on Guam; and Kate Kennedy, representing the Freedom Forum. Andrews recused himself from the large-circulation award judging.