Gannett’s Des Moines design studio promotes Bill Wambeke

Sean McKeown-Young — creative director of the Gannett Design Studio in Des Moines, Iowa — sends along yet another bulletin.

He writes:

I can’t overstate how thrilled I am to announce that Bill Wambeke is taking over my beloved Wisconsin Team as Team Leader.


This was a position near and dear to my heart. Bill doesn’t just meet the high expectations that we all have for Wisconsin Team Management, he far exceeds them. He’s also a really spectacular guy with really spectacular ideas. I can’t wait to see where he takes them. We made the announcement at the studio exactly 7 minutes ago [Thursday] – so you are the first, outside of the studio, to know.

Bill Wambeke is a 2004 graduate of Valley City State University in Valley City, ND. He was born and raised in north central Wyoming.

Bill started in newsrooms immediately after graduation. He was county government reporter and part-time copy editor/paginator at the American News in Aberdeen, S.D. In May 2006, he moved on to the Sheridan Press in Sheridan, Wyo., where he again was a county government reporter and outdoors editor. Then in October 2006 he moved to the Times-News in Twin Falls, Idaho, where he was a copy editor/page designer and then news editor. In May 2010, Bill moved to the Journal Star in Lincoln, Neb., where he was a copy editor/page designer.

In April 2011, Bill became the presentation editor of The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead in Fargo, N.D.

011112 Wed(A1)COLOR

010613 Sun (A1,A10)-2nd-cmyk

111312 Tue(C1) Variety

082811 Sun(B1) Life


Finally, he joined us at Gannett’s Des Moines design studio in June 2013. He has led Green Bay’s design since his arrival.

He is greatly respected and admired in the studio and newsroom.

Find more of Bill’s work here. Find his Twitter feed here.

Birthdays for Friday, Dec. 19

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to three excellent visual journalists…


Dan Buettner is the founder of Port 80 Productions, a company that creates custom web-based software. A graduate of Grinnell College in Iowa, Dan worked for a company called Outsell, Inc., and then spent several years as IT manager for the Des Moines Register. Find his blog here and his Twitter feed here.


Brian Cleveland is a multiplatform editor for the Washington Post. A 1997 graduate of the University of Missouri, Brian spent four years as a copy editor for the News Tribune of Duluth, Minn., before joining the Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va., in 2005 as a copy editor. He was promoted to chief of the Pilot’s copy desk in 2007 but left in 2011 to join the Post. Find his Twitter feed here. Brian turns 36 today.


Dan Taylor is a freelance comic book writer in Orange County, Calif. You might know him as the writer and co-creator of the web comic Hero Happy Hour. A graduate of California State University in Long Beach, Calif. Dan spent two-and-a-half years as an editor with IDW publishing before going it alone. Find his web site here and his Twitter feed here.

Brian, Dan and Dan share a birthday with actors Jacob Benjamin “Jake” Gyllenhaal, Alyssa Jane Milano, Amy Rose Locane, Marla Lynne Sokoloff, Jessica Steen, Jennifer Beals, Timothy L. Reid, Cicely Tyson and Robert Michael Urich; musician Walter Anthony Murphy Jr.; magician Christopher Nicholas Sarantakos (better known as Criss Angel); sports greats Reginald Howard “Reggie” White, Warren Carlos Sapp, Randall Cornell McDaniel, Jason Steven “Jake” Plummer, Robert Lawrence “Bobby” Layne (all five football), Kevin Edward McHale (basketball) and Albert William “Al” Kaline (baseball); paleoanthropologist Richard Erskine Frere Leakey, WABC-TV news anchor Lizabeth Aimee “Liz” Cho; talk show host David Susskind and former Soviet leader Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev.

In addition, today is Underdog Day. Seriously.

Best wishes, you three! Have a wonderful birthday today!

Newport News, Va., Daily Press seeks ‘a strong visual journalist and wordsmith’

My friend Shana Gray — deputy night editor of the Daily Press of Newport News — writes to say:

The Daily Press has some copy desk openings.  was hoping you could do a blog post about it.

For you, Shana? Absolutely.

Here’s the job listing:

The Daily Press is looking for a strong visual journalist and wordsmith who can act as page designer, digital producer and copy editor for its combined print and digital night operation.

  • Can you design eye-catching print pages with an emphasis on strong, storytelling headlines?
  • Can you make content sing on desktops, tablets and mobile devices using digital content management systems?
  • Can you get content noticed using SEO tactics and strategies?
  • Are you a social media whiz who understands the different platforms, their audiences and how to speak to them?
  • Do you have strong skills in Photoshop and/or Illustrator and the creative know-how to produce striking illustrations?
  • Do you enjoy the challenge each day of working with a blank page and creating something different?

If so, we’re eager to speak with you.

The Daily Press is a darned good paper. They have you-know-who in their backyard — just across the Chesapeake Bay — so they know they have to be at the top of their game visually.

And they are. Just a few samples from my collection:





In addition, the Daily Press redesigned four months ago. Read all about it here.

Back to Shana’s ad:

The Daily Press Media Group is located in Newport News, Va., on the Virginia peninsula. We are surrounded by the York River, the James River and the Chesapeake Bay.


Among the communities we cover: Hampton, Gloucester, Mathews, Williamsburg and Smithfield. We are the home to Colonial Williamsburg, Yorktown and Jamestown. If you’re a history buff, you’ll never be at a loss for places to see.

If you like great seafood, beaches and still want to watch the leaves change in the fall, this is the place for you. In addition, we are the home to many colleges and universities including Hampton University, Christopher Newport University and the College of William and Mary. We offer a great place to live as well as a great place to work.

Shana might also add that the Daily Press moved into a brand-new location this very week in downtown Newport News. A few excerpts from a gallery the paper posted Monday:




Find the Daily Press web site here and the city’s official web site here.

Shana writes:

Please email your resume, design clips and digital experience to Shana Gray at

sgray [at]

Gannett’s Des Moines design studio hires one and seeks to hire two more

Sean McKeown-Young, creative director of the Gannett Design Studio in Des Moines, Iowa, announces:

We have a new designer starting here in early January: Piper Haugan.

She is really cool. I’m excited to work with her.


A 2011 graduate of the University of Montana, Piper grew up in Valdez, Alaska. She worked as a local government reporter for the Independent Record of Helena before joining the Montana Standard of Butte.

Find Piper’s Twitter feed here.

Sean tells us:

We’re also hiring – which makes me a happy man.

I just posted our positions on the SND Job Board, but I can talk directly to anyone interested.

We’re looking for page designers and finishers. We’re looking for creative, clever, smart, engaging people that get as excited about great journalism and design as I do, and you know what a spaz I am.

Read more about Sean and his work here and here.

Birthdays for Thursday, Dec. 18

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to six wonderful visual journalists…


Bill Baker is the owner of Bakedmedia, Inc., a 3D animation and multimedia studio based in Owings, Md. A 1977 graduate of the Pensacola School of Liberal Arts, Bill spent a couple of years as a jet mechanic in the U.S. Marines before joining the News Star World of Monroe, La. He worked for the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, the Detroit News and then USA Today before moving to Knight-Ridder Tribune graphics in 1988. He eventually became animation director for KRT’s News-In-Motion unit, producing graphics for TV news. He founded Bakedmedia in 2002. Find his Twitter feed here. Bill turns 55 today.


Suzanne Behnke is a grad student at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, and a legislative clerk. A graduate of Wartburg College, Suzanne spent three years as a reporter and copy editor for the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier before moving to the Des Moines Register in 2000. There, she coordinated special sections and managed the copy desk. Suzanne left the Register in 2009.


Don Morris is assistant art director for the Tampa Bay Times of St. Petersburg, Fla. A 1986 graduate of the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif., Don joined the Times in 1988 and has worked there ever since, as a reporter, illustrator and art manager. In addition, he’s freelanced for such clients as Red Bull, Turner Broadcasting, Coca-Cola, Chick-Fil-A, Smithsonian magazine and the Wall Street Journal. Find samples of his work via his agent.


Neal Pattison is executive editor of the Everett, Wash., Daily Herald, in the northern suburbs of Seattle. A 1974 graduate of Ohio University, Neal spent four years as assistant city editor of the Arizona Republic and the Phoenix Gazette before moving to the Spokesman Review as assistant managing editor. He spent ten years in Spokane before becoming managing editor of the Albuquerque Tribune in 1992 and then assistant managing editor of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in 1996. He served as president of the Society for News Design in 1997, spent two years as a journalist in residence at American University in D.C. and then moved to Everett in 2007. Find Neal’s Twitter feed here.


Diego Sorbara is a copy editor on the foreign copy desk of the New York Times. A graduate of the University of Missouri, Diego spent a year-and-a-half on the copy desk of the Rocky Mountain News before moving to the Times in 2008. Find his Twitter feed here.


Francie Williamson is regional news editor for the Gazette of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. A 2000 graduate of the University of Missouri, Francie spent two years as a designer for the Sun News of Myrtle Beach, S.C. and then two more years as a copy editor at the Press Herald in Portland, Maine. She moved to the Savannah (Ga.) Morning News in 2004 and then to the Quad-City Times in Davenport, Iowa in 2007, where she was page one editor. She moved up the road to Cedar Rapids nearly three years ago as copy desk chief and took on her current duties in May. Find her Twitter feed here. Francie turns 35 today.

Diego, Francie, Suzanne, Don, Bill and Neal share a birthday with actors William Bradley “Brad” Pitt, Kate Noelle “Katie” Holmes, Raiford Chatman “Ossie” Davis, Raymond Allen “Ray” Liotta and Elizabeth Ruth “Betty” Grable; musicians Keith Richards, Shawn Randolph “Randy” Houser and Christina Maria Aguilera; wrassler Steve James Anderson (better known as Stone Cold Steve Austin); sports greats Don Lee Beebe (football), Charles Oakley (basketball) and Tyrus Raymond “Ty” Cobb (baseball); former Mythbusters co-host Kari Elizabeth Byron; painter Paul Klee; South African activist Stephen Biko; Russian leader Ioseb Besarionis dze Dzhugashvili (better known as Joseph Stalin); Austrian leader Franz Ferdinand; movie critic Leonard Maltin and director Steven Allan Spielberg.

In addition, today is Arabic Language Day, International Migrants Day, National Re-Gifting Day, Free Shipping Day and Answer the Telephone Like Buddy the Elf Day. Seriously.

Best wishes, all! Have an excellent birthday today!