Kevin Walter, a 19-year veteran of The Buffalo News, has been named the newspaper’s editorial page editor.
Walter will succeed John Neville, who is retiring this month after 33 years with The News.
Walter, an editorial writer throughout his News career and deputy editorial page editor since 2006, assumes his new post “amid an upheaval in opinion writing,” said Michael K. Connelly, editor and vice president.
“The digital explosion has made everyone a commentator, placed a premium on speed and has allowed the wildfire spread of point of view that is unmoored from facts,” Connelly said. “The News has an unusually strong position at the center of important community conversations. The challenge: Find the perfect mix of reporting, insight, voice and community debate that makes us even stronger in the digital world than we have been in print.”
A native New Yorker and graduate of Ryerson University in Toronto, Walter came to The News in 1999 from the Binghamton Press and Sun-Bulletin, where he wrote editorials after eight years as Sunday editor and metro editor.
Meanwhile, Connelly called Neville “one of the key gatekeepers at The News.”
“He spent his first year on the copy desk, then worked the next 25 years as an assistant news editor, news editor, executive news editor and assistant managing editor/news, deciding day in and day out what led the paper, what ran inside and what didn’t get in at all,” Connelly said. “It is telling that when there was a big project to tackle, whether the implementation of a new publishing system or the launch of our first real website, John was always in the middle of the action.”
Neville has directed The News editorial page for almost seven years, and became a public face of the newspaper dealing with hundreds of people every year seeking The News’ endorsement on local issues.
Neville grew up in Snyder, graduated from Amherst High School, and studied journalism and political science at Syracuse University. He worked at the Syracuse Herald-Journal during college and after graduating, then spent five years at Albany’s Knickerbocker News and another five years at the Columbus Citizen-Journal, where he was assistant managing editor.