Thomas Baden Jr., an award-winning editor with experience at newspapers across the country, is the new editor of The Daily Record, Publisher Suzanne E. Fischer-Huettner announced Monday.
Baden, 60, a native of Upper Marlboro and a University of Maryland journalism graduate, comes to Maryland from Danbury, Conn., where he led the newsroom of The News-Times during the paper’s coverage of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, for which it won a national journalism award.
Baden called his experience with Newtown “far and away the biggest challenge in my career — and also the most rewarding and painful at the time.”
“Those readers depended on us for sensitive, accurate, fair coverage of the shooting and its aftermath,” he said. “I think we learned a lot about how important it was to be professional, to be aggressive, sensitive, and constantly ask ourselves, how can we best serve our readers?”
Baden began his career as a reporter for the Post-Standard in Syracuse, N.Y., where he led an investigative project that resulted in a federal overhaul of the city housing agency. As a White House and national correspondent for Newhouse News Service, he followed the money trail in the 1988 and 1992 presidential campaigns.
Before he took over in Danbury he was managing editor at The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa., executive editor at The Salt Lake Tribune in Utah and editor at the Connecticut Post in Bridgeport.
“I think the more places I’ve been the more I’ve realized how vital news organizations are to a community and how personal their connection is with the readership,” Baden said.
“This is their newspaper, this belongs to them. And it doesn’t mean that you’re in the business of pleasing them, you have to serve them. You have to give them the information they need, information that’s useful and relevant — sometimes information that’s troubling, challenging. But at the end of the day there are few professions that perform such a noble and vital service.”
Fischer-Huettner called Baden “a seasoned journalist with longstanding ties to Maryland and the professional know-how to help The Daily Record continue to deliver high-quality print and online products.”
“For 125 years, The Daily Record has upheld high standards of editorial excellence, and Tom will continue that tradition,” she said. “Under Tom’s leadership, The Daily Record is poised to strengthen its current products, introduce new ones and continue to deliver the type of journalism that readers have come to expect. I am pleased and excited that he is coming on board to take on the top editorial job at The Daily Record.”
Baden said he was “excited to join an organization with a justified reputation for high-quality journalism,” and said its key areas of focus — business and law — were critical.
“They really strike at the heart of what our community is all about — what the state is all about,” he said.
“I’m impressed that The Daily Record is aggressively moving to serve readers in different ways — newspaper, special sections, website, social media — and I look forward to helping it to grow and serve readers in the greater community.”
Baden has taught journalism classes at Penn State University and Fairfield University in Connecticut. His wife, Kathleen, is an artist and educator and his daughter, Jacqueline, is a freshman at Penn State.
The Daily Record, which celebrated its 125th anniversary in October, is a Baltimore-based daily newspaper covering Maryland business and legal affairs in print and on the web. It is owned by The Dolan Company, which is based in Minneapolis.