New Daily News Editor Manny Garcia: ‘I view this team as a diamond in the rough’

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- Manny Garcia chats with newsroom employees after being named as the new editor of the Naples Daily News on Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013, in Naples.

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DAVID ALBERS/STAFF - Manny Garcia chats with newsroom employees after being named as the new editor of the Naples Daily News on Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013, in Naples.

Manny Garcia introduced as editor of the Naples Daily News

Garcia replaces Phil Lewis, who retired in ...

Manny Garcia, right, talks to the Naples Daily News newsroom after he was introduced as editor by Mizell Stewart III VP/Content for Scripps Newspapers on Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013. (Photo by Jigsha Desai/Naples Daily News)

Manny Garcia, right, talks to the Naples Daily News newsroom after he was introduced as editor by Mizell Stewart III VP/Content for Scripps Newspapers on Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013. (Photo by Jigsha Desai/Naples Daily News)

Manny Garcia, an award-winning investigative reporter and executive editor of the Miami-based Spanish-language newspaper El Nuevo Herald, has been named editor of the Naples Daily News.

Garcia, 53, replaces Phil Lewis, who retired in July after 16 years at the newspaper’s helm. Garcia will join the Daily News on Oct. 21.

In Naples, Garcia said he has three areas of focus: increasing urgency on breaking news, developing more investigative projects and delivering content across multiple platforms, including smartphones and tablets.

“I view this team as a diamond in the rough, with a tremendous opportunity to grow and succeed and do even better work,” Garcia said. “For me, that’s a big attraction.”

Garcia has spent 23 years as a reporter and editor at The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald, covering many of South Florida’s most high-profile stories.

He served on two Pulitzer Prize-winning teams, investigating voter fraud in a 1997 Miami city election and documenting the 2000 raid that resulted in Elián González reuniting with his Cuban father. During Garcia’s tenure as editor of El Nuevo Herald, the newspaper was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2010 for its coverage of the Haiti earthquake, the first such recognition for a Spanish-language media outlet.

“Manny Garcia is one of the nation’s pre-eminent investigative journalists and newsroom leaders,” said Mizell Stewart III, vice president of content for the newspaper division of the E.W. Scripps Company, parent of the Daily News.

“His passion for great storytelling, his ability to build outstanding newsroom teams and his focus on serving news consumers on multiple platforms is a great addition to Scripps.”

The Daily News has roughly the same annual circulation as El Nuevo Herald, according to the Alliance for Audited Media, though it doesn’t have the backing of a major metropolitan sister paper like The Miami Herald. But after 4½ years leading El Nuevo Herald, Garcia said he’s ready for a new challenge.

“I’ve always looked for an opportunity where there’s a challenge and an opportunity to grow, because I don’t like to be stagnant,” Garcia said. “I think that’s when you start to lose it.”

Garcia said he envisions the Daily News as the go-to source for breaking news, leading the pack when major stories hit the region. He expects the newspaper to emulate El Nuevo Herald’s coverage of July’s shooting in Hialeah that left six people and the shooter dead.

“Our ownership of that story was so huge that you had English-language television stations saying, ‘First reported by El Nuevo Herald.’ That’s what I want,” Garcia said.

Garcia joined the journalism industry later than most, graduating from Florida International University and breaking in at the Miami Herald in his late 20s. Before that, Garcia said he worked as an emergency medical technician, beauty supply salesman and several other jobs.

About Scripps

Scripps is a leading media enterprise driven to develop and expand its digital strategies while embracing its rich history in delivering quality journalism through television stations, newspapers and the Scripps Howard News Service. Creative, talented and energetic employees are leading the way at 19 television stations and in 13 newspaper markets. The Scripps digital group is growing and gaining momentum with new product offerings, enhancements, and technology that gives customers the news, information and entertainment they crave.

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