David Shribman, the top editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, said on Tuesday that he will be retiring at the end of this year.
Shribman, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1995, has worked at the paper for 16 years, and was widely expected to retire at the end of next summer.
“I was expecting David’s departure a little bit later,” said Tom Waseleski, the Post-Gazette's former editorial page editor. “It comes at a difficult time for the Post-Gazette … there are the union negotiations that are at a standstill, the paper has cut back from printing two days a week, and I know that has dissatisfied a lot of subscribers.”
Waseleski worked with Shribman for 12 years while he led the editorial page, before retiring in 2016. He said people have noticed a shift in the position and tone of editorials at the Post-Gazette, and also noted the firing of editorial cartoonist Rob Rogers.
“I think this is going to disturb and confound a lot of readers,” Waseleski said.
As executive editor, Shribman served as a firewall between the newsroom and J.R. Block, the Post-Gazette’s publisher. The paper did not respond to a request for comment, nor did Shribman.
“Editors and publishers typically have clashes,” Waseleski said. “David shielded – legitimately shielded – editors and reporters under his supervision, sometimes, from the whims of the owners. David resisted budget cuts. He resisted layoffs. He sought very hard to preserve jobs, and as everyone knows, this is a tough climate to be doing those sorts of things in.”