Remembering a biz editor who pushed others to become better
Warren Strugatch, a former columnist for Long Island Business News, remembers the paper’s former editor John Kominicki, who died recently.
Strugatch writes, “In the weeks and months that followed, he engineered a series of changes, starting by walling off editorial from advertising. He hired new writers, introduced new features, supervised a graphic makeover.
“As a writer, his columns were humorous, irreverent and insightful. As an editor, he prodded his staff to get out in the field and meet sources. Some writers disliked what they called his ‘sharp pencil.’ Others grew under his wing. I remember reviewing his edit of one long-ago article and seeing his sole comment in caps: ‘HOW MUCH IS HE GETTING PAID?’ The answer caused me to reframe the article. The new piece, far better, was front-paged.
“I moved on after two years. Kominicki stayed until 2013, transforming the publication while raising the bar for Long Island business journalism. He trained a generation of journalists to use their brains rather than accept pat answers, to demand more of themselves rather than less of their editors. He became a confidant of business and political leaders even as he shone a bright light on their goings-on. He was a masterful showman and superb live interviewer. Media types and power brokers who agree on nothing else agree Kominicki was our Edward R. Murrow.”
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