Stan Evans, deputy managing editor of The Buffalo News, retires today after more than three decades of directing upstate New York’s largest news staff.
From his editor’s perch at the far end of the city desk, Evans guided The News’ coverage of the most important local stories of his generation.
“I can count on one hand the number of people who had as big an impact on our news report as Stan Evans,” said Mike Connelly, editor of The News. “For an incredible 32 years, Stan has been at the heart of every local news story and at least a million decisions about coverage.”
A Utica native and Army veteran, Evans earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Syracuse University. He joined The News in 1985 following stints at The Tribune in Hornell and The Post-Standard in Syracuse, was named assistant managing editor of The News in 1987, and deputy managing editor in 1999.
Connelly noted a long list of breaking stories with Evans at the helm, including the crash of Flight 3407 and the follow-up coverage that helped change the U.S. regional airline industry. Evans also directed coverage of Niagara County native Timothy McVeigh’s role in the 1995 bombing of Oklahoma City’s federal building, the terrorist attacks of 2001, and devastating snowstorms such as the October Surprise of 2006 and Wall of Snow in 2014 – a Pulitzer Prize finalist for breaking news reporting in 2015.
“I have watched with admiration how Stan works the room every day to line up the important, outrageous, maddening, interesting stories that determine what Western New Yorkers know,” Connelly added.
Denise Jewell Gee, an Orchard Park native and Buffalo resident, will succeed Evans in supervising local news coverage as assistant managing editor. She is a Boston University graduate majoring in political science and journalism, who started her newspaper career at the Gloucester County Times in Woodbury, N.J., before working for the Niagara Gazette.
She joined The News in 2007, covering Erie County government, Niagara Falls and education, as well as writing a weekly column. She most recently was business editor.
Announcing her new duties, Connelly noted Gee’s “great mix of reporting, editing and digital experience.”
“She was a founding member of the web team, doing real-time reporting and video, and has been an advocate for data reporting,” he said. “As business editor, she has lifted our coverage and pushed nontraditional storytelling. It doesn’t hurt that she brings a lifetime of local knowledge to the job.”