Top News-Sun execs will retire

Editor and publisher, managing editor to step down at end of year.

Two veteran journalists and leaders of the Springfield News-Sun have announced they are retiring at the end of this year.

Steve Sidlo, editor and publisher of the News-Sun since 2006, and Tom Hawkins, News-Sun managing editor and a 38-year journalist with the paper, made the announcements to their newsroom Thursday.

“I’ve been in this business for 40 years and the last five have been here in Springfield,” Sidlo told a gathering of News-Sun staff. “It has been a deeply rewarding experience.”

Sidlo is a Columbus native who has spent the majority of his newspaper career in southwest Ohio. Before joining the News-Sun he served for 18 years as the managing editor of the Dayton Daily News. During his tenure in Dayton he led a newsroom staff that won nearly every major journalism award in the business, including the Pulitzer Prize in 1998 for national reporting for a series of articles on military medicine. In Springfield he served as both editor and publisher as the newspaper continued its work as the No. 1 news source for Clark and Champaign counties.

He shaped journalism and journalists around the country through his leadership in state and national organizations, and is past secretary of the governing board of directors of Associated Press Managing Editors.

A resident of Clark County with his wife, Cynthia, Sidlo has been active in leadership positions with the Clark State Community College Foundation Board and with the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce. He is an outdoorsman, hunter and extensive reader and said he expects to remain in the community and will continue to write.

Hawkins is a lifelong Springfield resident and has worked at the News-Sun since 1973. He served as managing editor for the past six months after stints that included editorial page editor, news editor, city editor and reporter. He has overseen, at times, nearly every aspect of the News-Sun’s coverage.

“My family has been (in Springfield) since the early 19th century, and I think it’s been more fun to be in a place I really cared about,” Hawkins said.

He and his wife, Susan, own a home on Beaver Island in northern Lake Michigan. He is a gourmet cook and has excelled in numerous hobbies, including hand-building canoes and kayaks.

“Steve and Tom have devoted their adult lives to the highest form of journalism,” said Jana Collier, editor in chief of the Dayton Daily News and Cox Media Group Ohio newspapers. “They are incredibly devoted to the Springfield community and will truly be missed.”