Stephen Buckley Named New Dean of Poynter

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The publisher of and former managing editor of the St. Petersburg Times, Stephen Buckley has been tapped to lead Poynter faculty.

Stephen Buckley, publisher of and former managing editor of the St. Petersburg Times, today was named Dean of Faculty by The Poynter Institute, a school dedicated to serving journalism in the interest of democracy. Buckley, 43, who grew up in St. Petersburg and first attended a Poynter writing program as a teenager, assumes responsibility for all of the Institute’s in-person and e-learning programs, as well as for the staff that designs and carries them out.

Karen B. Dunlap, Poynter’s president, announced Buckley’s appointment and said his experience as a leader in print and digital journalism, together with his deep appreciation for Poynter’s work and values, made him the ideal choice for dean.

“This is a time of great change for journalism and for Poynter,” Dunlap said. “Stephen not only has the experience and instincts to help us set a smart track, he has the leadership qualities to help our organization move swiftly along that track. We’re delighted that he wants to lead at Poynter through these challenging times.”

Buckley took a leave in January from the Times – which is owned by Poynter – to became interim dean. He replaces Keith Woods, who joined National Public Radio as vice president, diversity in news and operations.

Paul Tash, chairman, CEO and editor of the St. Petersburg Times and chairman of the Poynter board said the qualities that made Buckley a first-rate journalist would serve both the school and its constituents.

“Stephen has a quick mind, a commitment to excellence and a winning demeanor. As a reporter, he was a relentlessly curious student of the world, and as an editor, he was a wonderful teacher,” Tash said. “The Institute is lucky to land him.”

Buckley, the son of Jamaican immigrants, first visited Poynter in 1981, when he talked his way into the high school journalism program by telling Poynter’s Roy Peter Clark that he wanted to become the next Red Smith. He went on to win a Poynter Scholarship to Duke University and had internships at the St. Petersburg Times (in sports) and the Detroit bureau of The Wall Street Journal. In 1989, he joined The Washington Post where he covered night cops on the metro staff and worked in a suburban bureau before joining the Post’s foreign staff and working as a foreign correspondent in Nairobi, Kenya, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

“It is wonderful to see the arc of Stephen Buckley's career, from a skinny, ambitious 13-year-old to a leader who towers over me,” said Clark, now Poynter’s vice president and senior scholar.

In 2000, Buckley spent six months as a visiting professional at Poynter, where he helped lead the summer fellowship program and taught in several professional seminars. He also served a term as a member of Poynter's Advisory Board.

Buckley returned to the Times in 2001 as a national reporter and became managing editor in 2005. In 2008, he was named publisher of, a new position designed to sharpen and accelerate the Times' push into electronic publishing.

Buckley lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Cathleen, and their children, Olivia and David.

Jessica Sandler, marketing director
Phone: 1-888-POYNTER (1-888-769-6837)


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