An accomplished journalist who has written for the Chicago Tribune, overseen major projects at two newspapers and served as director of journalism at Canisius College has been named executive editor of the Niagara Gazette and Lockport Union-Sun & Journal.
Robert L. Kaiser, 53, of Amherst will oversee the editorial operations of both newspapers, effective Aug. 29.
The Lexington, Kentucky, native is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared not only in the Chicago Tribune but also in Chicago Tribune Magazine, The Washington Post, Buffalo Spree and Best Newspaper Writing 2000.
“I’m thrilled we can bring in someone with Rob’s credentials to lead our newsrooms into a new era,” said Chris Voccio, publisher of the Niagara Gazette and the Lockport Union-Sun & Journal. “Rob will help our editors and reporters better serve our readers. He’s an accomplished journalist, teacher and coach. He’s just what we need.”
Bill Ketter, senior vice president of news for the newspapers’ parent company, Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc., said Kaiser has a rich background in investigative and explanatory journalism that will help foster in-depth reporting on local government and civic life.
“In today’s journalism world,” said Ketter, “greater emphasis is needed on original stories that dig into the underlying significance of local news for both print and online audiences. Rob has the background to guide reporters to do that on subjects that matter to the public.”
Kaiser began his career at The News-Enterprise in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, where he covered county government and served as the paper’s editorial cartoonist. He then spent a decade at the Lexington Herald-Leader, where he was a staff writer and then assistant city editor. And, in 1996, he became a columnist and editorial writer for The Cincinnati Enquirer.
In 1997, Kaiser joined the Chicago Tribune, where he wrote mostly for the front page. He covered major stories such as school shootings in Kentucky and Oregon and wrote serialized long-form narratives, including life in Sears Tower after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and a four-part series about the dangers confronting rookie police officers. He also traveled around the country for three months after 9/11 writing stories for the Tribune about how the attacks affected life in America.
In 2003, the San Antonio Express-News hired Kaiser as assistant managing editor for projects. He also oversaw the Sunday edition of the paper and served as the paper’s writing coach. He later filled a similar role at the Post-Crescent in Appleton, Wis., where he oversaw a month-long package of multimedia stories on that state’s culture of drinking that garnered a “Best of Gannett” award.