Fred Uffelman's eyes welled up with tears and his voice grew increasingly hesitant.
The York native glanced around the crowded lobby area of the York Newspaper Co. and the York Daily Record/Sunday News and, with a strength that embodies nearly three decades of leadership, spoke to his employees.
"This is the hardest part . . . saying goodbye to you guys," he said. "I want to thank you for all the hard work that you do every day."
Later this month, Uffelman will retire as publisher of the York Daily Record/Sunday News and CEO and president of the York Newspaper Co.
On Thursday, Digital First Media named Sara Glines to replace Uffelman as the publisher of the Daily Record/Sunday News.
Digital First Media manages both The Journal Register Co. and MediaNews Group, the parent company of The Evening Sun and the York Daily Record.
In her new role, Glines, like Uffelman, will have oversight of the Lebanon Daily News, The Evening Sun and the (Chambersburg) Public Opinion.
She will also serve as president of the York Newspaper Co.
"I wanted to be here, not to just run a company, but to be here to be part of the community," Glines said. "We need to be a leader in the community . . . and we are that. I need to make sure that continues to be that."
Aside from publishing newspapers, the media company also pushes news out to the community through various digital portals such as gametimepa.com.
"I don't plan to come in here and shake things up," she said. "Your team has already laid the path, with tweeting, blogging. We will just stay on that path and accelerate it."
The change of publishers will appear seamless to the company's subscribers.
"In the near term, you won't see any demonstrable change," said Jeff Bairstow, president of Digital First Media. "We will find ways to more effectively continue to serve the community in both digital and print formats."
As part of her career at MediaNews Group, Glines has overseen digital sales and some of the digital operations for all of the company's newspapers along the East Coast, Texas, New Mexico and St. Paul, Minn.
"Sara has worked at the corporate level to lead Pennsylvania and other MediaNews Group newspapers through the transformation to Digital First Media," said John Paton, CEO of Digital First. "She is uniquely qualified to now step in and lead the local transformation."
Uffelman's last day will be April 20.
Uffelman started with the Daily Record in July 1984 as a district manager in circulation. Later, he moved into the company's advertising department as a sales representative.
He moved up the ranks and eventually took over as publisher in May 2004.
"Fred has led us into transition from print-only to a digital first orientation," said Jim McClure, editor of the Daily Record/Sunday News. "I consider Fred a mentor, a coach and a friend. I told him that he has become a great journalist"
Uffelman said he doesn't see himself leaving the workforce entirely once his retires.
His recent bout with cancer of the urinary tract contributed to his decision to step down.
"I had surgery and I'm healthy at this point," he said. "It gives you a perspective about the time you have left on this earth. You want make sure that you take advantage of the time that you have left."
[sad: cutline: ] York Daily Record reporter Sean Adkins interviews outgoing publisher Fred Uffelman. At right is Sara Glines. Uffelman's last day with the company will be April 20.
ABOUT FRED UFFELMAN
Name: Fred Uffelman
Job history: Uffelman started with York Daily Record in 1987 as a circulation district manager. Later, he became an advertising sales representative focused on automotive advertising.
He next took on the role of major accounts manager and moved onto retail advertising manager, advertising director and to vice president of sales and marketing. In 2001, he became president of York Newspaper Co. - a job he inherited from Joseph Zerbey.
Uffelman also became publisher of the York Daily Record/Sunday News in May 2004.
Educational history: Uffelman graduated from York Catholic High School. He attended Penn State University and studied community development.
ABOUT SARA GLINES
Name: Sara Glines
Job history: Glines started her career in media at the San Francisco Examiner in the editorial department. She left that newspaper in 1990 after becoming assistant metro editor.
Later, she held positions at Paul Glines Photographics, the New Haven Register, New Jersey Online, Hachette Filipacchi New Media and SP&G Consultants.
In 2002, Glines joined The Journal Register Company as its corporate director of online operations. One year later, she moved to MediaNews Group as its vice president of interactive operations.
She moved to other positions within the company eventually taking on the role of Vice President, Digital First Media.
Educational history: Glines attended both Diablo Valley College and San Francisco State University.