Steve Paul, a 39-year veteran of The Kansas City Star, has been named editorial page editor.
Paul, 60, succeeds Miriam Pepper, who retired Aug. 1.
“He brings a wealth of knowledge to the role, as well as a critical eye, keen curiosity and deep appreciation for the importance of opinion work in our community,” publisher Mi-Ai Parrish said in the newspaper’s announcement.
Paul joined the newspaper’s editorial board in December. In his new post, Paul said his focus will be on maintaining a lively debate on the issues of the day.
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“It’s certainly a challenging time, an exciting time,” he said. “We do our part. We push people’s buttons and contribute to the conversation.”
Paul joined the paper’s business desk as a copy editor in 1975 but has worked throughout the newsroom. His duties have included assistant city editor, arts editor, book review editor, special assignment writer and editor in features. He was The Star’s FYI arts editor before he moved to the editorial page.
Among his contributions at The Star have been his work with others on an investigative project on art fraud and a six-part, 4,000-mile series on the Lewis and Clark bicentennial.
He is best known for playing a long and meaningful role in the Kansas City area’s arts, architecture and culinary communities. A three-part series focused on construction of the glass-walled expansion of the Nelson-Atkins Museum. He has profiled Julia Irene Kauffman and Arkansas museum builder Alice L. Walton. He produced special sections on the openings of the Nelson’s Bloch Building and the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.
A magazine feature called Architecture A to Z led to a 2011 book, and he has edited tomes on dark contemporary short fiction and Ernest Hemingway. Current projects outside The Star include a book on Hemingway in Kansas City.
Paul grew up in his native Boston and in Maine but has been a longtime Kansas City area resident. His first byline in The Star came in the early 1970s when he worked as the campus correspondent from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He also worked as a part-time clerk on the sports desk.