ST. PETERSBURG — Timothy A. Franklin, a nationally known journalist who edited major metropolitan newspapers and founded an education center for sports journalism, will be the new president of the Poynter Institute.
The Institute announced Thursday that Franklin, 53, will become the school's fifth president since 1975, succeeding Karen Dunlap, who is retiring.
Franklin is currently managing editor of Bloomberg News in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was the top editor at the Indianapolis Star, the Orlando Sentinel and the Baltimore Sun, and was the founding director of the National Sports Journalism Center at Indiana University.
"Tim brings a wealth of experience in journalism across all platforms, and a strong background in journalism education," said Paul Tash, the chairman of the Poynter Institute trustees and CEO of the Tampa Bay Times. "For everyone who cares about journalism as a foundation of democracy, this is excellent news."
Founded by former Times owner Nelson Poynter, the Poynter Institute is a St. Petersburg-based school and media strategy center that teaches journalists from around the world. The Institute, 801 Third St. S, now owns Times Publishing Co., which publishes the Times and Florida Trend magazine. Franklin will become a director of Times Publishing.
"The Poynter is one of the most revered journalistic institutions in the world, and there has never been a time in recent history where the industry has needed Poynter more than it does now," Franklin said.
The splintering of the news audience between social media, the Web, cable, print and apps is a "tectonic change," he said. "Poynter needs to be a force for innovation and ideas to help us navigate through this period."
Franklin is a graduate of Indiana University and in 2012 was named an IU School of Journalism Distinguished Alumnus, which recognizes leaders in the journalism profession. Franklin returned to his alma mater in 2009 to start the National Sports Journalism Center, an academic program for sports media students.
Brad Hamm, who was dean of the IU journalism school when the sports program began, said, "Tim kept improving areas and developing new ideas.
"It's hard for me to imagine a more ideal person to lead Poynter," said Hamm, now the journalism dean at Northwestern University and a Poynter Institute trustee. "He has skills and experience across all areas."
For the past 21/2 years, Franklin has directed daily news coverage by the 200 journalists in Bloomberg's Washington bureau. He is married to Alison Franklin, a lawyer. They have twins, a son who attends Duke University and a daughter who attends Elon University.