Robert Feder Updated 10/12/2021 1:21 PM
Diane Dungey, senior deputy managing editor of the Daily Herald and the highest-ranking woman in the newsroom, is calling it a career after 40 years.
Editor John Lampinen and managing editor Jim Baumann announced in an email Tuesday Dungey will retire from full-times duties November 12. She will take on an unspecified post-retirement role with the newsroom, they said.
“We thank Diane for the great devotion she has brought to the paper all these years and to meeting the needs of the communities we serve,” Lampinen and Baumann wrote. “We wish her all the best, and we’re happy she will be staying connected to the paper.”
Dungey, 62, who grew up in downstate Kewanee, joined the Daily Herald in 1981 straight out of Northern Illinois University, where she graduated magna cum laude with a journalism degree.
Over the next four decades she rose from reporter to special projects editor, features editor and assistant managing editor before being named deputy managing editor in 2010 and senior deputy managing editor in 2019.
“In these last roles, she has overseen our day-to-day coverage and planned our weekend and projects coverage,” Lampinen and Baumann wrote. “In addition, she has been a vital advisor to the two of us. And she has mentored and developed our most senior staff members with a care and devotion that is unmatched.”
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Dungey twice was listed here among the most powerful women in Chicago journalism. She also is a member of the Daily Herald editorial board.
“I fell into journalism years ago, knowing I wanted to be a writer and knowing I needed to get a salary for it,” Dungey told me. “That has been great, but the real payoff is being surrounded every day by interesting, smart, creative, thought-provoking people, both in the newsroom and in the community. The people I’ve met along the way stick in my memory, and I’m glad to have them there.
“I’m grateful to the Daily Herald, the Paddock family, Editor John Lampinen and Publisher and CEO Doug Ray for hiring me back in 1981 when I was a very green news reporter and for letting me hang around all these years. They have been good stewards of a great company in a tough industry.
“I hope to keep my hand in and help support journalism in any way I can. My husband and I are going to continue living in the suburbs, giving more time to family, friends and travel, and keeping up our newspaper subscriptions.”
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