John Roach will be the the new executive editor of the Centre Daily Times, a role that brings the veteran journalist back to his roots in Pennsylvania, president and publisher Janet Santostefano announced Friday.
Roach relocates to the area from Mandeville, Louisiana, after working for five years as the sports manager for The Times-Picayune in New Orleans. He grew up in the Philadelphia suburb of Broomall, where his parents and extended family still live.
“Living in Louisiana for five years, it’s a very different world,” Roach said. “This is where I fit in.”
He replaces John Boogert, who left the CDT in September to return to his home state of Colorado, where he accepted a position as news director of The Gazette in Colorado Springs.
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Roach will start at the CDT on Monday.
“John is a collaborative leader and has a great track record when it comes to coaching and mentoring journalists,” Santostefano said. “He also challenges traditional ways of thinking and is a champion for enterprise and investigative journalism. We are looking forward to welcoming him into our newsroom.”
During his stint at The Times-Picayune, Roach managed a team of reporters and assumed responsibility for content across various platforms including web, video, social media and print. For the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina in 2015, he oversaw an award-winning series of 87 stories.
Before working in New Orleans, Roach was a senior producer in digital media for NBCSports.com and was one of the founding editors at ESPN magazine.
“I’m all about the idea of 24-hour news, that’s been my thing since I’ve been a journalist,” he said. “Sports, news or entertainment — it’s all the same principle.”
His top goals at the CDT include digital growth and making an impact with hard-hitting journalism.
“We want to connect with the community in a permanent, lasting and enduring way,” Roach said.
A DeSales University graduate, Roach said he’s eager to join the Centre County community, where he will be closer to family and able to reconnect with old friends.
“Because Penn State is so close to where I grew up, so many of my friends’ kids go to Penn State,” he said.
He’s also looking forward to another visit to the Penn State Berkey Creamery, which he had his first taste of about seven years ago when his daughter visited the campus.
Roach and his wife, Linda, have two children: 25-year-old Caitlin, who is in medical school at Auburn University, and 15-year-old Daniel, who is a freshman in high school.