Daniels, former AP president and newspaper publisher, dies | New

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RALEIGH, NC — Former Associated Press Board Chairman Frank A. Daniels Jr., who led The News and the Observer of Raleigh through an era of political and economic transformation in the New South, died Thursday at the age of 90.

Daniels, whose family owned the North Carolina newspaper for more than a century before it was sold to McClatchy Newspapers Inc., in 1995, died in a Raleigh retirement community where he lived, according to his son , Frank Daniels III. The son said his father died after a month of declining health.

In his 26 years as publisher of the leading state newspaper for politics and government, The NOPE has become a regional powerhouse for news, particularly from the growing Research Triangle region of the state, and an online pioneer. Likewise, his tenure as chairman of the board of directors of AP in the mid-1990s was marked by the technological expansion of the nonprofit press cooperative.

Daniels’ family business embraced technology in the newspaper industry by developing one of the World Wide Web’s first newspapers, The NandO Times — a play on the News & Observer name designed to differentiate it from the printed product — in 1994, and Nando.neta commercial Internet service provider.

Daniels joined AP’s board of directors in 1983 and served as its chairman from 1992 to 1997. During his leadership, AP focused on expanding its multimedia presence, launching a video news agency and the development of “The Wire”, an effort to combine audio and video news with text and photos.

Daniels “was one of the first enthusiastic supporters of AP’s entry into video, a major step for the news cooperative which in subsequent years proved to be the right decision when we made it. “, Louis D. Boccardi, president and CEO of AP, from 1985 to 2003, said in a recent email.

Daniels retired as N&O editor in early 1997, months after the paper won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for its series on the environmental and health risks associated with handling pork waste generated by the growing hog production industry in North Carolina. The paper won two more Pulitzers while it was a publisher, including a commentary award for editor Claude Sitton in 1983.

Daniels and Sitton – known for his previous civil rights reporting for The New York Times — defended the paper’s stubborn investigative coverage. They were known to lock horns consistently with arch-conservative Republican U.S. Senator Jesse Helms on the paper’s Democratic-leaning editorial pages and wore the conservatives’ nickname for the paper – “The Raleigh Nuisance and Disturber” – as a badge of honor. .

Originally from Raleigh, Frank Arthur Daniels Jr. was 14 when he started working for the newspaper bought at an auction in 1894 by his grandfather.

Josephus Daniels, later Secretary of the Navy and Ambassador to Mexico, used the newspaper to promote white supremacy among North Carolina Democrats, circa 1900. But by the next generation of family leaders, The News and the Observer had become a pillar of civil rights and racial equality, a commitment that continued under the leadership of Josephus Daniels’ grandson.

“Frank Jr. was the preeminent modernizer of The News and the Observersaid Ferrel Guillory, who worked at the newspaper for more than 20 years as a political reporter, editor and columnist. “He viewed newspapers as a catalyst for economic, social, and civic engagement and betterment.”

Owen Youngman, professor emeritus of journalism at Northwestern University specializing in digital media, praised Daniels’ role as a pioneer in internet publishing, particularly for sports content.

“Nando.net and the Nando Times simply dominated online sports in the early days,” said Youngman, who also worked for decades at the Chicago Grandstand, said in an email. “ESPN and USA Today didn’t go online, until 1995, for example, and Yahoo was trying to rank the web, not publish news. Frank had the vision to understand that geography was irrelevant…Nando could create an audience anywhere, and he did.

Tall with a deep-voiced Southern drawl, Daniels graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After a stint in the Air Force that took him to Japan, he joined his family’s newspaper full-time in 1956.

Her father, Frank Daniels Sr., was the general manager and her uncle was the editor. Daniels learned all facets of the newspaper industry, selling advertising and serving as acting director of circulation, he said, in a 2002 oral history project interview by the ‘A C. But he largely stayed away from reporting and writing.

“I was a terrible typist, and you have to be able to type to write a story,” Daniels said, in a 2017 interview with PBS North Carolina. “I liked selling, I liked being with people. I enjoyed the achievement. … It seemed natural to me.

Daniels was elevated to president and publisher in 1971, when his father’s health failed. His son, Frank Daniels III, also rose through the ranks in the family business, eventually becoming editor, leading the newspaper’s Internet efforts.

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