Times-Dis­patch pub­lisher re­ceives news­pa­per group’s lead­er­ship award

Richmond Times-Dispatch Weekend - - NEWS -

Thomas A. Sil­vestri, pres­i­dent and pub­lisher of the Rich­mond Times Dis­patch, this week re­ceived the 2018 Frank W. May­born Lead­er­ship Award from the South­ern News­pa­per Pub­lish­ers As­so­ci­a­tion. Sil­vestri was pre­sented with the award Thurs­day morn­ing at the SNPA News In­dus­try Sum­mit in Nashville.

The award is named for Frank May­born, a Texas news­pa­per leader and founder of SNPA in the 1950s. The May­born award is given an­nu­ally to a vi­sion­ary leader in the news­pa­per in­dus­try.

“Tom is an ad­vo­cate for the im­por­tance of jour­nal­ism — ac­cu­rate, trans­par­ent, ob­jec­tive jour­nal­ism,” said SNPA Pres­i­dent Pat Dorsey, pub­lisher of the Austin Amer­i­can-States­man, in pre­sent­ing the award.

Sil­vestri, who was elected SNPA pres­i­dent in 2013 and who cur­rently serves as chair­man of the SNPA Foun­da­tion board, has been pub­lisher of The Times-Dis­patch since 2004. He was hon­ored for his work in Rich­mond and Vir­ginia, as well as his var­i­ous in­no­va­tive projects with SNPA, in­clud­ing the NEX GEN project, which de­vel­ops fu­ture news­pa­per lead­ers, and an ex­ec­u­tive de­vel­op­ment pro­gram run jointly by SNPA and Poyn­ter.

“The re­lated re­ward has been years of rep­re­sent­ing the RTD and ben­e­fit­ing from SNPA’s legacy of help­ing pub­lish­ers through train­ing, in­dus­try re­search, net­work­ing and shar­ing best prac­tices and ideas,” he said. “It’s a spe­cial or­ga­ni­za­tion.”

Sil­vestri, 63, grew up in Westch­ester County, N.Y. His fa­ther was a po­lice of­fi­cer who al­ways brought a news­pa­per home from his shift, so news­pa­per read­ing was in­grained in him at an early age. Sil­vestri was ed­i­tor of his high school pa­per and his col­lege pa­per at Pace Univer­sity.

He be­gan his news­pa­per ca­reer as a re­porter for Gan­nett in Westch­ester County be­fore join­ing The Times-Dis­patch as a copy ed­i­tor in 1982. He quickly moved up in the news­room lead­er­ship in Rich­mond, serv­ing as busi­ness news ed­i­tor be­fore tak­ing sev­eral cor­po­rate roles in Me­dia Gen­eral and then be­com­ing pub­lisher.

As a pub­lisher who believes in the power of civic en­gage­ment, Sil­vestri cre­ated The Times-Dis­patch’s Pub­lic Square pro­gram, which holds com­mu­nity con­ver­sa­tions about im­por­tant re­gional and statewide is­sues through­out the year. The news­pa­per is plan­ning its 75th Pub­lic Square for Oct. 30; the topic will be 75 Hopes for Rich­mond.

“Tom is an ad­vo­cate for the im­por­tance of jour­nal­ism — ac­cu­rate, trans­par­ent, ob­jec­tive jour­nal­ism.” SNPA Pres­i­dent Pat Dorsey


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