New Editors Announced at Santa Barbara News Press

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 11, 2006--Santa Barbara News-Press Acting Publisher Travis Armstrong today announced four new editors at the Santa Barbara News Press.

Charles Bucher was named assistant managing editor, Scott Steeplton was named the new City Editor, Tony Peck was appointed Interim Sports Editor, and Brian Banmiller was appointed contributing business editor of the Santa Barbara News Press.

“I am also committed to strengthening newsroom planning, improving newsroom communication and increasing web site partnerships.”

More appointments are expected in the coming weeks to fill the two remaining slots created by the recent resignations of six editors and a columnist at the newspaper.

"I am pleased to promote these excellent journalists," said Armstrong. "They bring to their positions an intense focus on the reader, a creative approach to the presentation of news and a dedication to local reporting."

Bucher had previously served as the paper's nation and world editor. Steeplton was formerly a senior writer and Peck was formerly an associate editorial page editor. Banmiller is new to the team.

As nation and world editor, Bucher was responsible for determining the top stories to feature from wire services. Prior to joining the News Press, he was managing editor of the South Coast Beacon, a weekly publication serving southern Santa Barbara County. Bucher also served in editorial roles at the Ventura County Star and the Galveston County Daily News. While with the Star, he won an award for newspaper design from the California Society of Newspaper Editors. Bucher began his career as a researcher and reporter for the Houston Chronicle.

"As assistant managing editor, my first priority is to improve the sophistication of the paper's design," said Bucher. "I am also committed to strengthening newsroom planning, improving newsroom communication and increasing web site partnerships."

Armstrong said selecting Scott Steeplton as city editor and Tony Peck as the interim sports editor will add a great deal to the paper.

Steepleton joined the News Press in 2000 as an assistant city editor and columnist. He also has served as a reporter, his work appearing in various sections of the paper. Prior to that, he worked for the Los Angeles Times.

"This is a transition period at the News Press. At the same time, we have a tradition of excellence to uphold," said Steepleton. "For the past six years, I have had the pleasure of working alongside a talented group of reporters who are dedicated to the craft of journalism. I am proud to call them my colleagues."

The News Press is expanding its Web presence, an initiative that Steepleton has been a part of since last year. In addition, Steepleton will be working with the newspaper's partners at KZSB AM 1290 to bring radio listeners more local news.

Tony Peck is the interim Sport Editor. Peck joined the News Press copy desk on December 2000. Prior to the News Press, he served as news editor of the LA Times-owned Daily Pilot in Newport Beach. His career began as a sportswriter at the Antelope Valley Press in Palmdale in 1986 and later held positions as prep sports editor, wire editor and news copy editor. He's also former news editor and sports editor of The Signal in Santa Clarita.

Armstrong also announced that "in a continuing drive to bring the best writing talent available to Santa Barbara readers," nationally known and respected business journalist and commentator Brian Banmiller is coming on-board as Contributing Business Editor for the Santa Barbara News Press.

Banmiller was Business Editor at KTVU Channel 2 News in the San Francisco Bay Area for the past 16 years, until leaving last year. His nationally syndicated television program, "Banmiller on Business" aired in 85 cities during the 1990s. He continues his two decade long affiliation with CBS News Radio as a national Business Correspondent. And, he is a regular contributor to the Insight section of the San Francisco Chronicle.

"I am very excited about the opportunity to communicate with the people of Santa Barbara about economic and business issues that directly affect them locally. My first love has always been writing, and I do not agree with those who think newspapers are a dying business. Rather, they are going through an exciting transformation in the ever expanding media world. I hope to bring my multi-media experience to this effort at The News Press," Banmiller said.

The Santa Barbara News-Press was founded in 1855 and today has a circulation of 41,000. It is locally owned and published by Ampersand Publishing LLC, which purchased the paper in 2000 from the New York Times Co.

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