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Posted on Sun, Mar 13, 2011 : 6 a.m.

Two new members join the Editorial Board

By Tony Dearing is welcoming two new community members to our Editorial Board. Mary Kerr, president of the Ann Arbor Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, and David R. Lampe, vice president for communications at the University of Michigan, joined our board last week and participated in the deliberations on today’s editorial.

The board meets weekly to discuss local issues and formulate the positions that takes in the editorials that appear in print and online every Sunday. The other community members currently on the board are David Mielke and Marsha Chamberlin. Bob Guenzel, the retired Washtenaw County administrator, has finished his term on the board and stepped down last week.

Kerr serves on the board of a variety of community organizations, including the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Washtenaw County Workforce Development Board, the Arts Alliance of the Ann Arbor Area, the Washtenaw Community College Foundation Women’s Council and the University of Michigan Exhibit Museum of Natural History. She served two terms as president of the Michigan Association of Convention and Visitor Bureaus and is a current board member of that organization.

Lampe oversees communications activities at U-M that include Public Affairs, Michigan Public Radio, Michigan Productions (video and television) and the Freedom of Information Office. Before coming to U-M, he held marketing and communications positions at Harvard Business School, Boston University and MIT.

A former journalist, he worked as reporter for the Los Angeles Times and Business Week. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and a master’s in mechanical engineering from MIT. He also earned an M.A. in journalism from Stanford University.



Wed, Mar 23, 2011 : 8:36 p.m.

This endeavor was silly two years ago, and it's clear not much has improved. Your great staff additions? Gone. Objectivity? Gone. One part of a response deserves additional comment: "We've had community members serve on our Editorial Board on a rotating basis since shortly after we launched, and some of them have leadership position in institutions we cover." This is typical newspaperspeak, used to defend any move at any time. Of course, you've had community members on the board. But we all know that is not the point. The point is you have named a specific member whose record would be against staying objective about the university in your town. Just saying: "We've had community members before!" is a silly response.


Wed, Mar 23, 2011 : 8:28 p.m.

Tony, if you really want a "community member" who has "knowledge of the community and local issues," why would you name a person to your board who has only been in the community since 2007? Lampe went to school in Virginia, Massachusetts and California, and he last worked in Cambridge/Boston. How deep do you think his knowledge of "community and local issues" might be. Other than the duties of his job at U-M, how, exactly, Tony is Lampe involved in the Ann Arbor community? .... I thought so.... Tony, at least be honest with us and stop blowing smoke up our you-know-where.


Wed, Mar 23, 2011 : 6:47 p.m.

Tony, please correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding is that David Lampe moved here in 2007. Is it possible for someone with that short a tenure here to have a depth of knowledge about the community and its issues? It's really hard to take your explanation seriously given his lack of track record here. It looks like an attempt to cozy up to the largest power broker you cover and the office that directly controls your access to university officials. There is, of course, a history with Mr. Lampe that raises deeper questions that I mentioned above, but my guess is you could have been unaware of that, given your own short tenure in town.


Wed, Mar 23, 2011 : 4:22 p.m.

Tony, actions speak louder than words. If you name a man who tried to curtail a legitimate story to your editorial board, it says a lot for what you and's owners stand for. The situation is akin to naming Gaddafi to serve as a judge on a war crimes tribunal. It doesn't pass the smell test.

Tony Dearing

Wed, Mar 23, 2011 : 3:45 p.m.

We've had community members serve on our Editorial Board on a rotating basis since shortly after we launched, and some of them have leadership position in institutions we cover. We find that their knowledge of the community and local issues adds a valuable perspective to our discussions, and any time we are addressing an issue that they have any personal or professional connection to, they do not participate in our deliberations. We have had people in leadership positions at the University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University serve on our Editorial Board in the past without raising any real or perceived concern in the community. While David Lampe is the communications officer at U-M, we are satisfied that his journalistic background and his integrity allow him to add to our discussion on local issues not related to U-M, and like all current and past community members, he will not participate in any discussions in which he would have a conflict of interest.


Wed, Mar 23, 2011 : 2:38 p.m.

I don't understand why you would even post this. EVERYONE is going to say it's a terrible idea and disparage you. (And deservedly so.) And it's not like you have a great reputation for "openness" that you need to preserve. (Resignations and layoffs? What resignations and layoffs?) Maybe Lampe can help you with your PR.

Andrew Jason Clock

Wed, Mar 23, 2011 : 2:18 a.m.

Now we know how is going to replace it's education reporter, with press releases straight from the source! Pure genius. Tony, with this type of responsible fiscal thinking, replacing paid reporters with PR people from various organizations and companies, you should join Rick Snyder's budget team. Oh, wait.... Things must be pretty rough around the office. You aren't even pretending to have journalistic integrity any more, are you?

Geek Chick

Tue, Mar 22, 2011 : 11:41 p.m.

University of Michigan is the biggest business in this town. And you have its top PR guy on your "editorial board"? Your pretense of journalism is over. Fold your tent. Any editor who needs the community's help figuring out what kind of editorials to write should quit.


Tue, Mar 22, 2011 : 9:22 p.m.

David Lampe spent a good six months fighting The Ann Arbor News at every single point of our academics and athletics investigation. He is a well-paid professional spinner for the biggest organization you cover. The idea you would put him on your editorial board would be nothing less than mind-boggling if it weren't for everything we've seen over the past year-plus. Pretty much epic fail on every front at this point, Tony.