CANTON - The Watertown Daily Times will be led by Timothy J. Farkas, who was hired to serve as the papers new editor.
Im very honored to be chosen to help build on the Johnson familys legacy and success in the newspaper business and community, Mr. Farkas said in a phone interview Thursday. Im really looking forward to getting started there on Sept. 25.
Mr. Farkas also will serve as vice president of news operations for the Northern New York Newspapers Corp., which includes the Daily Courier-Observer.
The new editor comes to the north country with a wide range of experience in the field.
From December 2004 to this summer, Mr. Farkas was the executive editor of The Berkshire Eagle, a MediaNews Group paper in Pittsfield, Mass. During his time there, he helped improve the papers digital products and directed numerous national and regional award-winning newsroom projects. The paper was selected as New England Newspaper of the Year three times during his tenure.
Mr. Farkas also has worked at the Times Union, Albany; News and Observer, Raleigh, N.C.; Seattle Times, Seattle,; San Jose Mercury News, San Jose, Calif.; Orange County Register, Santa Ana, Calif.; Macon Telegraph and News, Macon, Ga., and the Akron Beacon Journal, Akron, Ohio.
He graduated from Kent State University, Kent, Ohio., in 1983.
John B. Johnson, the Timess co-publisher and chief executive officer, said Mr. Farkas brings with him a great history of making newspapers serve as both the newspaper of record and as creators of enterprise reporting.
Our ability to navigate both of those things makes him the right person to lead the newsroom, Mr. Johnson said.
Mr. Farkas, an Akron native, said he first got interested in journalism when he was 6 years old, when he started writing game recaps of his favorite team, the Chicago White Sox, for his personal notebook. He said he knew his future career path after working at his junior high school newspaper.
This is where I wanted to go, he said.
Mr. Farkas summarized his philosophy as striving for dynamic presentation and enterprise reporting in print, and breaking news and social media outreach in digital formats.
I believe readers yearn for quality journalism, and we in the media business need to provide it to them on multiple platforms, he said. We need to continue to build audience at a time when readers know there are options out there.
Before interviewing for the position, Mr. Farkas said the closest he had been to Watertown was visiting his son, Brady K., 23, while he attended SUNY Oswego.
Mr. Johnson said one of his goals for Mr. Farkas is for him to meet members of the community and gather input on how the Times and its connected papers can improve.
I hope he can come at it from a fresh perspective, and move us forward quickly, Mr. Johnson said.
For fun, Mr. Farkas performs on guitar and vocals in a cover band called Mountain Breeze and skis and plays tennis and golf. In addition to the White Sox, Mr. Farkas also roots for the Cleveland Browns, Cleveland Cavaliers, Ohio State football and Duke University basketball.
Mr. Farkas has been married to his wife, Jami L., for 25 years, and they have two children, Brady K. and Troy S., 17.