Thursday, May 12, 2005

McIntyre steps down as ACES head

You just know it's not going to be a great day when your morning e-mail contains a line "Unpleasant News" from someone in the industry you admire and respect.

And so it was on Wednesday morning when the e-mail from John McIntyre, president of the American Copy Editors Society, arrived. "Personal considerations have compelled me to step down as president of ACES, a necessity that I deeply regret," it read.

The official announcement came out later in the day. Chris Wienandt of the Dallas Morning News, the indefatigable "master of the universe of ACES conferences" (my title for what officially was known as vice president of conferences), will take over. Scott Toole, news editor at The Express-Times in Easton, Pa., will rejoin the board to fill the vacancy created with Wienandt's ascension to the top spot.

John, who became president in 2001, had just been elected to a third term at the ACES convention in Hollywood. ACES will be the poorer for his decision to release the helm, although I know Chris will do a fine job. John, the assistant managing editor for the copy desk at The Sun in Baltimore, is a gentleman's gentleman. I never worked for him, but only had the pleasure of working with him as ACES grew and matured. He managed to combine the withering stare of a professor over his glasses (he does also teach at Loyola of Maryland) with the insouciance of a raconteur and bon vivant.

When ACES looks back a decade or two from now, there will be the unmistakable "McIntyre era."

One can only hope those "personal reasons" are not serious. And if they are, godspeed.

Tributes already have started on the ACES message board and at Testy Copy Editors, where Peter Fisk writes: "No words can fully express the gratitude we owe John for his tireless contributions to our profession," and John responds, noting the general breakdown in order at TCE: "Why, bless your souls, you ordinarily testy lot. You're very kind."

They'll get over it eventually, John, but your mark has been indelible.

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