Longtime Telegraph Herald Executive Editor stepping down - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Longtime Telegraph Herald Executive Editor stepping down

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For the first time since 1986, the Telegraph Herald Newspaper in Dubuque will have a new executive editor at the helm.

Brian Cooper announced this year that he will step down and take over as editor of the editorial page as he transitions to retirement.

Longtime staffer and editor Amy Gilligan will take over his post, becoming the first woman to hold that position in the history of the paper.

The world has changed quite a bit since Cooper took over the paper 30 years ago, but Cooper says one thing about journalism never will.

"Whether it's delivered on a website or a tweet, or a print product or a magazine, people still need and expect to have good quality local news," he said.

Cooper has a lot to be proud of in his time with the Telegraph Herald.  Among those accomplishments he's most proud of is getting the paper on the Internet back in 1996.

"I know, everybody today has a website, but 20 years ago we really didn't know what we were doing, but we wanted to get started and get into the web," he said.

Cooper, who got his start writing briefs for his high school track team, says he's had more time to reflect on the changes three decades brings with it.

"I know Dubuque has certainly changed for the better over those years, and I hope that people think the TH has well," he said.

He'll still be around the building, taking over the editorial page and also contributing to special projects here and there.

"I really felt a desire to get back into aspects of why I got into the business in the first place.  And it wasn't to go to meetings and do budgets, it was to engage in journalism," he said.

There's no doubt that after 30 years, Cooper has certainly left a mark on the paper and the community he reported on for so long.

"Even though we had to report stories that some people didn't like or would prefer that we not report, that we did it fairly and we did it in a community minded manner, without neglecting our responsibilities, so I like to think that people get a fair shake from the TH and from me."

Cooper says he has no particular timetable in mind for when he'll retire for good.

Gilligan takes over as executive editor on Jan. 1.

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