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Margaret M. Sullivan, marking her first day as editor of The Buffalo News, today named veteran newsmen Edward L. Cuddihy and Stephen W. Bell as managing editors of the newspaper.

Their appointments, effective immediately, are the first to be made by Ms. Sullivan, who succeeds The News' newly retired, longtime editor Murray B. Light.

"It's a great feeling to know that I have two people by my side in whose judgment and ability I have so much trust," Ms. Sullivan said of her managing editors.

"As we move toward the goal of making The Buffalo News the best regional newspaper in the country, I know Ed and Steve each will make a huge contribution."

Cuddihy, deputy managing editor of The News since 1986, is a 37-year employee of the paper, serving through the years in numerous editorial capacities.

Bell, the paper's assistant managing editor for business since November 1997, joined The News as city editor in 1987.

Both men will report directly to Ms. Sullivan.

"With our emphasis on more and better local news, it's a real advantage that both Bell and Cuddihy have served long terms as city editors here," Ms. Sullivan noted. "We know that deep, enterprising local news is the key to our future."

Cuddihy, 59, and Bell, 45, succeed Ms. Sullivan, who has been managing editor since January of 1998.

"They are equal positions," she said of the two managing editors. "Each will be supervising about 80 people."

The two will have separate but complementary responsibilities -- with Cuddihy overseeing the city, news and copy desks, and Bell supervising the sports, business, features and graphics departments.

Cuddihy introduced computer systems operations in the newsroom in the 1980s and has overseen editorial systems operations in addition to his editorial management functions since.

In his new position, he will continue to both handle union matters within the newsroom and to oversee newsroom production systems.

Cuddihy, a native and lifelong resident of the Buffalo area, said:

"I think I have a good feel for the people and institutions of Western New York. I think I know my neighbors' interests and will do everything I can to continue The News tradition of delivering the information Western New Yorkers want and need.

"I care very much about this community," he continued.

"This is where I raised my children. This is where my lifelong friends live and work. There is a thin line for a newsman between caring and promoting a community, but I think my years in this business have taught me how to draw that line."

Bell, a native ofLarchmont, came to The News after five years with the Associated Press, serving as state editor in Albany, and as correspondent and head of the AP bureau in Buffalo.

Earlier, he spent six years at the Stamford (Conn.) Advocate where he advanced to assistant metropolitan editor.

"There is no end to the challenges facing newspapers nor, therefore, a better time to be part of one," Bell said of his appointment to managing editor.

"The task we face is to manage dynamic change in ways that enhance the enviable status this newspaper holds with its readers, while never taking that for granted."

Bell, a member of Leadership Buffalo's class of 1999, said his priorities include moving The News "in fresh directions, including appealing to new groups of readers in different ways."

Another priority, he said, "is to find effective ways to diversify our newsroom to better reflect the readers we serve."

Cuddihy, a graduate of Bishop Timon High School in South Buffalo, holds a bachelor of arts degree in English literature from Quincy (Ill.) College. He first worked at The Buffalo Evening News as an intern in 1958.

A reporter from 1962 to 1967, when he was made an assistant city editor, Cuddihy was promoted to city editor in 1977. He was named an assistant managing editor as well in 1979, and executive city editor in 1982.

He is a longtime member, a past president and a board member of the New York State Associated Press Association. In 1998, he received the St. Paul Award for service to the communications ministry of the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo.

He lives in Hamburg with his wife, Irene, dean of business at Trocaire College. They have three sons and eight grandchildren.

Bell, a 1976 graduate of Dartmouth College, where he majored in history, holds a master of arts degree in modern European history from the State University at Albany.

He was honored in 1984 as Upstate Staffer of the Year by the New York Associated Press Managing Editors Association. He received a Southern Christian Leadership Conference Community Award in 1992.

He lives in Eggertsville with his wife, Ginny, a fitness supervisor at the Town of Tonawanda Aquatic and Fitness Center, and their three children.

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