Gwen Florio, editor of The Missoulian for the past year and a half, resigned Sunday.
Florio, 65, told Missoulian staffers in an email that she had planned on announcing her retirement this Wednesday, but “events have forced a quicker departure.”
Florio has worked for more than 40 years as a journalist, and is the author of seven novels.
Missoulian Publisher Jim Strauss said Sunday, “Gwen is an outstanding journalist and has delivered impressive work at the Missoulian. I’m glad she is remaining in Missoula, where she will continue to make a positive difference for our community.”
Florio has been a staff writer and editor for the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Denver Post and Missoulian, among others, covering stories ranging from the mass shooting at Columbine High School to sexual assault at the University of Montana. The latter coverage led to a federal investigation and won the Lee President’s Award. Florio also reported from Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia, “as well as Lost Springs, Wyoming, population three.”
More recently, she was part of a Missoulian team that investigated Montana’s for-profit programs for troubled youth, a project which won several journalism awards. She has taught as an adjunct professor at the University of Montana School of Journalism.
David McCumber, Mountain West regional editor for Lee Enterprises, said Sunday that Florio would be greatly missed. He added that because Florio had earlier shared her retirement plans with Lee, a search for a new editor for the Missoulian is already underway. He said that as of now, City Editor Keila Szpaller will lead the newsroom as acting editor.
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