Solange De Santis named editor of Episcopal Life Media

May 29, 2008

Journalist and author Solange De Santis -- whose 32-year career has included assignments with Reuters, the Wall Street Journal, and the Anglican Journal of Canada -- has been named editor of Episcopal Life Media (ELM).

Hired on the unanimous recommendation of a five-member review panel, De Santis will begin her new position on July 1 at the Episcopal Church Center in New York City, said Canon Robert Williams, the Episcopal Church's director of communication, who announced her appointment May 30.

De Santis -- a staff writer since 2000 for the Anglican Journal, the national newspaper of the Anglican Church of Canada -- will shape and plan content for both ELM's online and print editions, and provide editorial leadership for its 225,000-circulation Episcopal Life monthly newspaper, Williams said.

"Clarity and creativity are among the many gifts Solange De Santis brings to Episcopal Life Media," Williams said. "Her expertise and contacts are far-reaching within the Anglican Communion, and her wire service management and diverse reporting experience make Solange uniquely suited to building synergy and continuity among ELM's news outlets."

In addition to the monthly newspaper, those sources include the Episcopal Life Online website, Episcopal Life Daily email releases, Episcopal Life Weekly parish bulletin-insert editions, and the Episcopal News Service -- as well as the monthly Episcopal Life Focus video multicasts, a shared project with the Church Center's Digital Communication Group.

"We are thrilled to have Solange and her experience, energy, and empathy for the whole Church join us at Episcopal Life Media," said ELM Board of Governors chairperson Eugene Willard of North Carolina, a former newspaper executive who served on the interview panel. "We are very, very happy with her appointment and to have her as editor of the monthly newspaper. We look forward to Solange hitting the ground running as we, the board, begin to analyze and look at new delivery streams for the future."

Joining Willard on the interview panel were Nathan Brockman, online and print editor at Trinity Church, Wall Street; Kevin Eckstrom, editor of the Washington, D.C.-based Religion News Service; Vivian Harrison, human resources manager at the Church Center; and the Rev. Canon Bill Lewellis, communication minister for the Diocese of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Lewellis is also editor of one of 38 diocesan and parish newspapers published in partnership with Episcopal Life.

"The Episcopal Church's communications platforms continue to break new ground in reaching out to all the church's constituents," De Santis said. "I am thrilled to have the opportunity to contribute to this work, and to build upon the distinguished work of current staff and especially editor emeritus Jerry Hames."

Hames retired in 2007 after more than 17 years as Episcopal Life's founding editor. The newspaper, formerly The Episcopalian, was acquired in 1989 by the Episcopal Church's principal operating corporation, the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society (DFMS), which continues to own and operate the paper and all ELM components. ELM was reorganized as a full media group, including web and video operations, in 2007.

In her new capacity, De Santis will work closely with ELM general manager Lawrence Moore, who oversees all business operations including advertising, circulation, marketing, and printing partnerships. De Santis will supervise an editorial team that includes ELM section editors and correspondents.

During her tenure at the Toronto-based Canadian newspaper, De Santis reported on a range of topics, including the Canadian House of Bishops, the church's relations with indigenous peoples, and issues of human sexuality. She also covered the Episcopal Church's 2003 and 2006 meetings of General Convention, the Episcopal Church House of Bishops' 2007 meeting in New Orleans, and the Anglican Consultative Council's 2005 meeting in Nottingham, England.

"At their best, the church's media function as sources of light and inspiration, enabling an informed public to better meet the challenges of the day," De Santis said.

Prior to the Anglican Journal, De Santis was a reporter in the Toronto bureau of the Wall Street Journal. In the late 1990s, her book, Life on the Line, an account of her experience working in a doomed General Motors plant, was a finalist for Canada's National Business Book Award.

A native New Yorker, De Santis went to Canada in 1986 as news editor with Reuters. She also worked for Reuters in Los Angeles as chief financial correspondent. She holds a bachelor's degree from Barnard College and a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University. She has one daughter, Florence De Santis Peters, who is 11. They both play the piano and participate in community theater.

Further information about ELM -- an integrated system of online, print and video communication resources serving Episcopalians, seekers and observers -- is online at www.episcopalchurch.org/library.

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