Editor of Virginia Gazette, Daily Press leaves amid restructuring

Staff writer

Tribune Publishing, the owner of Virginia Gazette, Daily Press and The Virginian-Pilot, has announced the departure of the publications' top editor.

Marisa Porto had been both editor and publisher of the Daily Press since 2016 and editor of The Virginian-Pilot since shortly after Tribune bought The Pilot in May 2018 for $34 million from the Batten family.

Prior to overseeing both, Porto had led the Daily Press Media Group, which includes the Virginia Gazette in Williamsburg and Tidewater Review in West Point, since 2011. The publications under the Daily Press and Pilot were combined to create one news organization, called Virginia Media.

Tribune executive Par Ridder told staff Thursday afternoon that the company would no longer have a single role for both editor and publisher and that Porto had left, effective immediately. Ridder, who has been serving as interim general manager of the combined news organizations since Feb. 1, has been based in Tribune's Chicago headquarters serving as general manager of the company's Chicagoland Targeted Media properties.

Parr said the company would begin the search to hire an editor to oversee all the publications under Virginia Media. Ryan Gilchrest, managing editor, will assume oversight of all news coverage in the meantime. The title of publisher has been eliminated and the business side will be overseen by a general manager. Ridder said the company would be looking to hire a permanent replacement for that position as well.

Prior to joining the Daily Press, Porto had worked in newsrooms in Florida, Delaware and Ohio.

"I've worked with some of the most talented colleagues in the news business," Porto said in a statement. She said those colleagues had shown a "heartfelt commitment" to the Peninsula, South Hampton Roads and the entire region. "They make a difference every day in this community with their work, and I know they'll continue to do that." 

This is a developing story. Check vagazette.com for updates.

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