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Free Press editor and publisher announces retirement

Candice Williams
The Detroit News

Paul Anger, editor and publisher of the Detroit Free Press, announced his retirement Thursday. His last day at the paper will be May 15.

Anger, who joined the Free Press in 2005 and became publisher in 2009, will end a journalistic career of almost 50 years.

He started out in 1967 “taking bowling scores by phone for his hometown newspaper in Oshkosh, Wisconsin,” said Joyce Jenereaux, president of Michigan.com, which manages the business operations of the Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News and other Gannett Co. properties in Michigan.

He later worked as an editor of the Des Moines Register and had editing roles at the Miami Herald and the former Knight-Ridder Washington Bureau, said Jenereaux.

“Under his leadership, the Free Press’ commitment to public service has never been stronger or more effective,” Jenereaux said in a statement Thursday. “Free Press teams relentlessly investigated the corruption in city government, probed the city’s bankruptcy, investigated charter schools and tackled many other topics that were critically important to the people of Michigan. Those watchdog efforts were recognized by two Pulitzer Prizes.”

Anger, 65, is active in community affairs, including serving as president of Free Press Charities. He is also founding chair of Reading Works, which is dedicated to improving adult literacy.

“A significant part of his legacy in Detroit is that he’s always been a guy who has cared deeply about the people on his staff, and supported them — both professionally and personally,” Jenereaux said. “That will not be forgotten.”

Anger and his wife, Vickie, plan to relocate to Louisiana to be closer to family.

“You can never truly leave Detroit behind. And Detroit will never leave you,” Anger said.