Former WSJ AME Hinson dies

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Dan Hinson, an assistant managing editor at The Wall Street Journal who retired in 1997, died on Monday.

In an email to the staff on Tuesday, deputy managing editor Jim Pensiero writes, “Dan retired in 1997 after working for Dow Jones and the Journal for 42 years. He was one of the key people responsible for overseeing the ‘daily miracle’ of the Journal’s news production spanning from the days of hot-metal composing to desktop publishing.  In addition to being exceptionally good at his work, he was a kind and gentle man with a great eye for talent.”

Hinson’s son Steve Hinson wrote, “Please know that the thoughts, prayers, notes, cards and photos from you and the rest of his extended family at Dow Jones helped to cheer and sustain him over these past few months.  Only a week ago, we watched the video of my father’s retirement dinner and it brought him great joy to see all of you again at one of his proudest and happiest moments.”

Former WSJ managing editor Paul Steiger sent the following note to Talking Biz News about Hinson:

Dan Hinson, who retired in 1997, was a true MVP of the Wall Street Journal whom few readers of the paper had ever heard of. He was also that rare person whom everyone he worked with both respected and loved. His job was to manage the interfaces between the Journal’s news department and its production and advertising departments. He did it brilliantly and seamlessly, always with the reader uppermost in his mind. It fell to him to remind the journalists that deadlines do matter and the production people that story fixes needed to be made immediately. It was his job to tell the ad people that, no, they couldn’t run this $100,000 insertion because he had discovered it misquoted a Journal story. It was also his job to tell the newsies that they couldn’t do a story on a takeover bid that someone spotted in an ad on the composing room floor until at least one copy of the paper had left the door of one printing plant somewhere in the country (and thus the ad was in the public domain). He spotted talent well and was one of the first leaders to avidly recruit and promote women. He was, as his friend and colleague Jim Pensiero noted today, one of the all time greats.

Barney Calame, a former deputy managing editor at The Journal, sent the following to Talking Biz News about Hinson:

Dan was a gentle straight shooter in a newsroom with its share of large egos.  But he didn’t duck speaking truth to power when he felt it was necessary.  His work on the production side of the Journal before he became an assistant managing editor in the news department made him especially valuable there.  With his deep understanding of how the Journal worked — from reporting to delivery truck — Dan played a key role in making sure the paper got out every day.  And when there was a crisis, his calmness and wisdom would save the day.