Eanes had a devotion to readers

Howard Eanes: In leading the newsroom from 1974 to 1987, he set a high standard for editors and reporters.

In the years that the late Howard Eanes led the news department of The Augusta Chronicle he probably turned out more managers than any editor before or since.


Eanes, an old-school newspaperman, held fiercely to journalism's truest mission -- serve the reader -- and he insisted that all who worked for him do so.

Julian Miller, whom Eanes hired in 1979 as city editor, and who later became the general manager of The Chronicle and later the publisher of the Savannah Morning News, called Eanes "a perfectionist who demanded the ultimate on behalf of the readers. Their benefit was his first concern in all cases and he would fight anyone who wanted to give them less than they deserved.

"He put a lot of young journalists to work, challenged as many older ones and each of us learned many lessons from him," Miller said.

Eanes had earned a national reputation in the newspaper industry serving as treasurer for the Associated Press Managing Editors Association in 1983 and 1984. He had served on the association board of directors from 1976 to 1982 and was named a regent for the association in 1984.

His service to APME prompted the association to present him with its Meritorious Service Award in 1992.

Eanes came to Augusta after teaching journalism at Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Va.

The experience served him well because it gave him some ideas on how to combine the teaching of young journalists with his years of professional experience.

Eanes had a long career in Virginia newspapers, beginning as a reporter and sportswriter in his hometown of Petersburg, Va. He would eventually work as a reporter and editor for a number of newspapers, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch and the Roanoke Times .

Eanes led The Augusta Chronicle newsroom for 13 years, first as managing editor from 1974 to 1984, then as executive editor of the combined Chronicle and Herald from 1984 to 1987.

After that he was appointed director of recruiting for Morris Communications, the parent company of the newspapers.

"Howard was an extremely capable and dedicated newspaper executive, well-grounded in the fundamentals of our business and always concerned about the quality of the newspaper he was responsible for," said William S. Morris III, remembering Eanes after his death in 1993.

"He had an unusual flair for teaching young people about the business. He was always dedicated to helping people learn about writing, editing and publishing newspapers.''

Ed Skinner, The Chronicle's general manager during Eanes' newsroom tenure, called him "one of the most devoted journalists we've had here. He was a true journalist."