Dean of the College of Journalism and Communications

Published: June 11th, 2012

Category: Memos

J. Bernard Machen, University of Florida President

It is my pleasure to inform you that Diane H. McFarlin, publisher of the Herald-Tribune Media Group in Sarasota, has been named dean of the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications. Diane, a 1976 journalism graduate of UF, will assume her new position Jan. 1. She succeeds John Wright, who will return to the faculty in 2013.

Named an Alumna of Distinction by the college in 1999, Diane is a fourth-generation Floridian who began her journalism career in high school and took a reporting job in Sarasota after earning her degree at UF. She rose through the ranks to become managing editor of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune at 31. She left the newspaper in 1987 to serve as the executive editor of The Gainesville Sun. She returned to the Herald Tribune in 1990, serving as executive editor for a decade and as publisher since 1999.

Under her leadership, the Herald-Tribune Media Group, the largest media company in southwest Florida, has earned a reputation as an industry leader in media convergence. The group launched a 24-hour cable news channel, SNN, in 1995 as a fully integrated part of the Herald-Tribune’s news and advertising departments. SNN was sold in 2009 and continues to operate out of the Herald-Tribune newsroom.

Diane has been active in state and national media organizations. She is a past president of the American Society of Newspaper Editors and has served six times as a juror for the Pulitzer Prizes. She has taught at the Centers for Independent Journalism in the Czech Republic and Romania, and addressed the World Editors Forum in Amsterdam on the subject of multimedia newsrooms. She currently serves on the boards of the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association and the Florida Press Association.

Diane has a comprehensive understanding of the rapidly changing media industry and the challenges it faces. As the leader of a major media operation, she is well acquainted not just with the latest trends journalism, but also with current dynamics in advertising, broadcast media, online media, public relations – everything represented in the College of Journalism and Communications. I am confident that knowledge will translate into giving its graduates all the tools they need to compete with the best.

I would like to thank John for his superb leadership and dedication, and I hope you will join me in welcoming Diane to the University of Florida.

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