Pittsburgh Post-Gazette announces leadership change to editorial page | Labor | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette announces leadership change to editorial page

click to enlarge Pittsburgh Post-Gazette announces leadership change to editorial page
CP photo: Lisa Cunningham
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette stand in Downtown Pittsburgh
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette editorial page has been at the center of a fair amount of strife. For years, the page had long skewed a bit more to the left, with some surprises to the right given the proclivities of Editor-in-Chief and publisher John Block. But a conservative tilt seemed to accelerate with the addition of Keith Burris, who wrote some controversial columns, including a highly criticized piece on race seemingly in defense of Donald Trump calling some African and Caribbean nations “shithole countries.”

But now, changes have come the leadership at Post-Gazette’s editorial page, and the paper announced that Burris, who retired in August, is being replaced by Jeffery Gerritt, who will serve as editorial page chief.

Gerritt is a 2020 Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who most recently served as the editor of the New Castle News and Sharon Herald. He joined the Post-Gazette on Dec. 13. He previously worked as deputy editor of the Toledo Blade, which, like the Post-Gazette, is owned by Block Communications Inc.

“Jeff Gerritt is one of America’s most distinguished editorialists,” said Block in a recent article announcing the new hire. “I was privileged to work with him in Toledo and now welcome him to Pittsburgh.”

The Post-Gazette article announcing the change didn’t mention any alteration to the editorial page, but past interviews with Gerritt suggest his leanings are different from Burris.

In a Q&A with Gerritt for the Pulitzer Prize website, he acknowledged how, during his tenure at the Blade, the paper’s editorial page “took a really hard right,” and then the editor that hired him was fired. He left shortly after.

Gerritt won the Pulitzer Prize in 2020 for his reporting on the deaths of pre-trial detainees in an East Texas jail and the negligence of local law enforcement and court officials. He said in the 2020 Q&A that this was the type of journalism he was accustomed to doing.

In addition to Gerritt, the Post-Gazette also named a new company board member. Ronald R. Davenport Jr., the chief operating officer of Pittsburgh’s Sheridan Broadcasting Corp., recently joined the board of Block Communications Inc.

Davenport is a Pittsburgh native and currently lives in Shadyside. He has worked as an attorney for the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in Washington, D.C. and he serves on the board of the Cultural Trust in Pittsburgh.

“It’s a tremendous opportunity to contribute to the legacy of the Post-Gazette, the Toledo Blade and the Block Communications organization,” said Davenport in the Post-Gazette announcement. “My plan is to listen, learn and contribute where I can with my media background. It’s still a learning process. I know the radio side of the business. The newspaper and the TV and cable is a whole other entity, but I think there’s some opportunities for cross-pollination, and I look forward to exploring those.”

The 2024 Pittsburgh Dyke March
24 images

The 2024 Pittsburgh Dyke March

By Mars Johnson