The Examiner soon will have a new leader in the newsroom, though it will be a familiar face.

Sheila Davis, who has served as executive editor since 2010 and was managing editor for a total of 23 years before that, will retire next week. Examiner Publisher Julie Moreno has named Jeff Fox, a member of the newsroom for 23 years, to succeed Davis, effective March 19.

“Sheila’s career at The Examiner has spanned many years in several roles, including most recently leading the newsroom as executive editor during a period of time that has brought significant change to our industry,” Moreno said. “The technological shifts in how we deliver news and information have been been rapid, and Sheila has been a steady force in successfully guiding the newsroom through the many changes. Her commitment to the community has been unwavering - Sheila’s deep knowledge of people and events that have shaped Eastern Jackson County have been a tremendous resource for this newspaper, and she will certainly be missed.”

“Fortunately, when the time came to look for her replacement, we didn’t have to look far,” Moreno added. “Jeff has deep roots in this community, and a passion for telling stories that matter to the local communities that we serve. I know that he will continue this as he steps into the editor’s role.”

Davis first joined The Examiner as a reporter and then news editor for the Blue Springs office in 1981, then three years later became managing editor in Independence. From 1993-96 she worked at the Livingston County Public Library in Chillicothe before returning as managing editor in 1996.

“I went to J-school thinking I wanted to be an editor at a small paper, and I lucked into The Examiner,” Davis said. “I’ve been really happy here, and I hope I did a good job. It feels good when I hear people say that The Examiner gave them a good start as a journalist.

“I believe in hometown newspapers, and I’m glad The Examiner has survived in a time when many communities are losing theirs.”

Fox started with The Examiner as a copy editor and then news editor 1984-88. Over the next six years he was managing editor at the Mesabi Daily News in Virginia, Minnesota, covering schools, local government, iron mining and the outdoors, and then briefly as a city hall reporter for the St. Cloud (Minnesota) Times before returning to Independence in 1994. Since rejoining The Examiner's staff, Fox has been in a variety of roles, including business editor, executive editor, opinion editor, columnist and reporter.

“I am keenly aware of The Examiner's service to this community through the last 120 years,” Fox said. “I hope I can build on Sheila's many years of stellar work. The forms and formats of journalism keep changing, but the job is the same: Tell this community's stories and foster its ongoing civic conversation.”