York Dispatch editor leaving; new editor named

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch

The York Dispatch’s new editor is a familiar face in the newsroom.

Patrick DeLany, 51, will take over for current editor Allison Frisch, whose last day is Aug. 10, according to York Dispatch business manager Teresa Hoover.

DeLany has been managing editor for four years.

“He knows this paper inside and out,” Hoover said. “He is going to do a great job.”

David Martens, president of The York Dispatch, cited DeLany’s extensive knowledge of local issues.

Patrick DeLany

“That’s an important asset for the staff in sorting out all that’s happening here in York,” he said. “I’m very pleased that Patrick, who I’ve worked with since 2004, is ready, able and eager to take on this important leadership role.”

“Pat has worked in York for many years (and) he knows the issues and the players,” Frisch said. “He knows the importance of telling stories on new platforms, but he never forgets that the traditional tenets of journalism are the foundation of the work.”

DeLany consistently pushes Dispatch reporters to dig deep and do data-driven and investigative work, Frisch said, which “has garnered this newsroom and its staff a number of prestigious awards.”

Moving home: Frisch, better known to readers as Allison Roth-Cooper, is stepping down to move back to the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, where she and husband Kevin Frisch live with their dog, Tug McGraw.

Hired as Dispatch editor in November 2014, she said she’s leaving because she wants to spend more time with them. The Frisches were recently married; he is communications director for Keuka College in upstate New York.

DeLany started out as a staff writer for The York Dispatch in 1992 before being promoted to assistant city editor in 1999 then to city editor in 2002.

Allison Frisch

“It was my first journalism job out of school, and it’s pretty much been my job since,” he said.

In 2004, DeLany left to work at The Salt Lake Tribune in Utah but returned to The York Dispatch in 2008 as editorial page editor.

“I was very happy to come back,” he said. “This is our home.”

He and wife Kim live in Springettsbury Township and have two adult children.

Martens announced the change in leadership at a staff meeting on Tuesday, July 17.

DeLany said reporting on local news — including covering school board and municipal government meetings — is The York Dispatch’s mission “and something we can do better than anyone else.”

“We’ll continue to focus on local, local, local,” he said, “and holding our … elected officials responsible for what they do on behalf of the taxpayers.”

Teaching ahead? Frisch, 52, said she will most likely return to teaching. She has taught journalism at Ithaca College; a power-and-influence course at Rochester Institute of Technology; and marketing at Harrisburg Area Community College.

She said she has loved working at The York Dispatch, citing Martens’ “unflinching support” of the staff and its mission.

“I’d like to say that it has been personally and professionally rewarding to work alongside journalists of this caliber,” Frisch said. “I have never worked in a newsroom like it, and I’m certain I will never again.”

Prior to coming to York, Frisch worked for the Messenger Post Media in upstate New York in positions including managing editor and regional editor.

Hoover said she and others will deeply miss Frisch.

“She was an excellent editor and a good fit for the company,” Hoover said. “She cared about her employees and was a great team player.”

Martens said he has “total confidence” in Frisch’s judgment.

“Allison … with her leadership skills, guided us through this transition to digital (journalism) and the urgency of the reporting cycle,” he said. “Now we’re on a 24-7/365 news cycle where we are updating our local news reports (continuously).”

Martens praised Frisch’s people skills and said she recruited “some really fine journalists during her time here.”