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Debby Krenek replaces John Mancini in top Newsday spot

Newsday Managing Editor Debby Krenek, who was instrumental in developing the paper's Web site, was appointed editor in chief Friday, replacing John Mancini, who resigned after five years in the top job.

Mancini, 49, along with Krenek as his chief deputy, transformed the newsroom into an interactive print and Web news organization. He oversaw award-winning projects including one on Long Island Rail Road platform gaps that was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for public-service journalism. He will serve as a consultant to Newsday and amNewYork for an undefined period, he said.

In a sometimes emotional address to surprised newsroom employees, Mancini saluted them for getting through rough times in the newspaper industry. "You've kept this place afloat and not only afloat but thriving," he said. "You do work that you have the right to be proud of every day."

Krenek, 54, said in an interview that "John was a great editor and he did great things here at Newsday. I plan to keep that tradition going."

Krenek, a former editor in chief of the New York Daily News and a native of Texas, will oversee both Newsday and Newsday.com. She will report to Newsday publisher Terry Jimenez. Newsday is owned by Cablevision.

"Debby Krenek is a gifted editorial leader with a clear sense of our journalistic mission and the role Newsday plays on Long Island," said Tad Smith, Cablevision's president of Local Media. "She also has a strong understanding of the opportunities that exist on the Web, having successfully led Newsday's digital transformation."

Jimenez said he was "confident in her abilities to lead Newsday into the future."

In an e-mail to employees, he thanked Mancini, saying he "skillfully guided our newsroom through one of the most challenging times in the history of the newspaper industry." Jimenez noted that issues Newsday covered under Mancini included abuses of the state pension system and special taxing districts, and the impact of Alzheimer's disease on Long Island families.

Krenek said she planned to continue Mancini's focus on intensive local news coverage, investigations, enterprise work and a melding of the print and Web operations.

"Newsday is one of the great institutions in journalism, and I look forward to building upon the value and quality of its content and its position in the marketplace so it continues to grow and flourish for years to come," she said.

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