Montgomery Media executive editor to take position with county
After serving as the executive editor of Montgomery Media in Fort Washington for the past decade, Michael Morsch has been named Montgomery County’s director of voter services.
County Commissioners Vice Chairwoman Leslie Richards, who heads the election board, said the county underwent a lengthy interview process in appointing Morsch. Morsch was se- lected from a complement of roughly 20 applicants, Richards said.
Reflecting on his decade with Montgomery Media, Morsch said, “Montgomery Media has been a special place to work for me. I’ve had the opportunity to be involved with several communities on a personal basis and met many wonderful people in the past decade. And I’ve had the chance to work with some highly skilled journalists along the way who taught me a lot about myself, about dedication and about the craft of local journalism. I am extremely grateful and humbled to have had a chance to work alongside those talented professionals.”
“Mike’s contribution and leadership at Montgomery Media is incalculable,” said Edward Condra, senior publisher of Montgomery Media. "He defines community journalism and will be missed.”
The decision was made clear following July 18’s regular convening of the county commissioners and the salary board.
Richards called Morsch an unbiased match for the job with strict deadline experience, having worked in newspapers for the last 30 years.
“Throughout his career in newspapers, Mike has demonstrated unquestioned fairness and objectivity, as well as strong managerial skills,” Richards said. “He also is used to working under pressure and with deadlines and has experience in moving an operation into the digital age.”
Morsch worked as the editor of The Times Herald, Montgomery Media’s sister publication, from 2000 to 2002. After a brief stint as a university magazine publisher in Illinois, he returned to Montgomery County in June 2003, when he became executive editor of Montgomery Media, whose newspaper titles include the North Penn Life. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Iowa.
“Local newspapers should be integral parts of their respective communities and I'm confident that the communities served by Montgomery Media publications and websites will continue to be well-served,” Morsch said. Longtime Voter Services Director Joseph Passarella, a Republican, was ousted in April, a move that drew the ire of the head of the county GOP.
The firing of Passarella ruffled the feather of the head of the Montgomery County Republican Committee, Bob Kerns, who called the move politically motivated. The MCRC sued the county over the interim appointment of Michael Paston, a Democrat and print and archive specialist, to the post. The lawsuit was withdrawn last week after Paston did not get the job. The May 22 primary election went off without a hitch, despite low turnout numbers.
Morsch will assume the position Aug. 5, resigning from Montgomery Media, and will take home a salary of $75,000.
In this Oct. 9, 2012, file photo, Michael Morsch, right, recently appointed as the Montgomery County director of voter services, greets John Pergine at the Montgomery County Coaches Hall of Fame banquet held at Westover Country Club in West Norriton.