Veteran newsman David McCumber named Montana Standard editor

April 2, 2015 Montana Standard

Veteran newsman David McCumber, who is the Washington, D.C. bureau chief for Hearst Newspapers, has been named editor of The Montana Standard.

McCumber, 62, brings a wealth of experience and professional accomplishments to the job, including seven years spent in Montana where he published a magazine and researched a book. He also was part of a team that was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in local reporting for the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson in 1984. In 1980, the paper won a Pulitzer for a series of stories McCumber helped to edit and direct.

Tyler Miller, regional publisher for The Montana Standard, said the newspaper staff is anxious to have McCumber coming on board. McCumber starts April 15.

“David will be a great addition to the paper — and to Butte. We’re expecting he’ll take the Standard to new heights of good journalism and hard-hitting reporting,’’ Miller said.

McCumber has spent almost half his career over two different stints with Hearst: at the San Francisco Examiner, where he was Sunday editor, city editor and assistant managing editor; at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, where he was managing editor for the paper’s last decade in print; at Hearst Connecticut Newspapers, a group of four dailies and seven weeklies, where he was editorial director; and, for the past three years, in Washington, D.C.

In Montana, McCumber lived in Bozeman and Livingston. He was founding editor and publisher of Big Sky Journal, a magazine celebrating Montana, and in 1996 he worked for a year as a ranch hand on the Birch Creek Ranch west of White Sulphur Springs, researching a book called “The Cowboy Way: Seasons of a Montana Ranch” (Avon Books, 1999).

He has written two other books of nonfiction and co-authored a fourth with Pulitzer-winning journalist Andrew Schneider: “An Air that Kills: How the Asbestos Poisoning of Libby, Montana Uncovered a National Scandal” (Putnam, 2005).

Besides his work at the Arizona Daily Star, other career stops include newspapers in Nebraska, Texas, New Mexico and California, where he was a reporter, photographer and editor. He started full-time as a newspaper journalist when he was 16.

McCumber and his wife, artist Sarah Greene, have two children: Dylan McCumber, 14, and Katy McCumber, 11.

“I’m thrilled. It feels like I’m coming home — to Butte, to Montana and to the Standard,’’ McCumber said. “I’m honored to edit a newspaper that has played such a vital role in the state since 1876, and my family and I are eager to begin our new life in Butte.”

McCumber said it’s a challenging time for journalists everywhere.

“There has never been more demand for excellent journalism, and Butte has, and deserves, a newspaper that can meet those challenges in ways both old and new,’’ he said.

McCumber replaces Matt Christensen, who went from The Standard to take the editor’s position at the Times-News in Twin Falls, Idaho.