Ed Cromer retiring as editor of The Tennessee Journal

Ed Cromer is retiring on Dec. 31 after 20 years as editor of The Tennessee Journal, the capstone of a career largely devoted to astute observation and reporting on state government and politics since the 1970s.

Ed is 65. His retirement was announced via a brief notice in the current edition of the Journal, which adds that a successor will be named soon.

A 1974 graduate of Vanderbilt University (an English major), Cromer worked for the Tullahoma News, The Herald-Chronicle in Winchester and briefly for the Williamson Leader in Franklin before joining The Tennessean in 1977, covering a mixed bag of news topics until being put full-time on the government and politics beat in 1982.

Cromer continued with The Tennessean until 1986, when he became communications director of Republican Winfield Dunn’s general election campaign for governor. After Dunn’s loss to Democrat Ned McWherter, Cromer went to work for the Nashville Banner – covering politics and state government most of the time, though with stints as an editorial writer and editor of political and governmental reporting by others.

He became editor of The Tennessee Journal — founded by the late M. Lee Smith in 1975 as “an insider’s newsletter on Tennessee government, politics and business” — in 1997.

As for Ed’s work there, here’s an excerpt from a Facebook post by Adam Kleinheider, communications director for Lt. Gov. Randy McNally (and before that, for Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey and, before the operator of a blog on Tennessee politics and state government):

While the circulation of the Tennessee Journal is small, its influence has been enormous. For twenty years, that influence has been due to the meticulous reporting and quiet authority of Ed Cromer. If the Journal were only a cohesive and well-written summary of the past week in Tennessee politics, it would be indispensable. But under Cromer, it has been so much more. Ed Cromer is an artist who has consistently painted journalistic masterpieces each week for twenty years. The way he effortlessly sprinkles breaking news and insight throughout his smart weekly wrap-up of the state’s political world is a thing of beauty. And you know all of it is true because Ed Cromer wrote it.

To say he will be missed is cliche and a massive understatement. When Ed Cromer steps away at the end of the year, a massive void will be left.

Personal note: I’ve been a contributing editor to Tennessee Journal since retiring from the News Sentinel in 2014 and have known Ed since his days at The Tennessean. Kleinheider is right. Unflappable Ed is a gifted writer who has accumulated a deep knowledge of everything from the arcane inner workings of TennCare policy and the BEP formula to the rough-and-tumble of hardball politics and campaign finance quirks. He’s had a remarkable career and deserves a remarkable retirement.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *