about me


The St. Louis Post-Dispatch [Lee Enterprises] 901 North 10th St., St. Louis, Mo. 63101. [February 2013 – ] Joined the newspaper as business editor, overseeing staff of 11. Switched to metro in January 2018 to oversee enterprise, government, politics and other subjects.  

The Commercial Appeal [E W Scripps] 119 South Main, Suite 300, Memphis, Tennessee 38103 [February 2010 – February 2013] Business editor of daily, now owned by Gannett. [September 2009-February 2010] Independent contractor; editor of online environmental magazine for The CA, among other duties.

Independent Writer and Editor [August 2008 – February 2010] Wrote for various publications. Assisted authors with book projects, including the story of a family dairy farm and a memoir of Ethiopia during revolution. Relaunched magazine. / archive.

Illinois Times [Central Illinois Communications] P.O. Box 5256, Springfield, Illinois 62705 [October 2003 – August 2008] Editor of award-winning independent weekly, a founding member of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies.

The Riverfront Times [New Times] [June 1999 – September 2003] Managing editor of newsweekly, since sold.

The Tampa Tribune [Media General]  [April 1998 – June 1999] Assistant business editor for daily, now closed.

The Commercial Appeal [E W Scripps] Memphis, Tennessee [October 1989 – April 1998] Reporter and editor for daily, now owned by Gannett.

Memphis Business Journal, Nashville Business Journal [February 1986 – September 1989] Staff writer for independent weeklies, since sold.

St. Louis Journalism Review [May 1982 – January 1986] Managing editor of monthly tabloid, now incorporated into a magazine published by the Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

FOCUS/Midwest [May 1982 – August 1983] Assistant editor of bimonthly that closed in 1983.

Student Life [August 1981 – May 1982] Business manager of student newspaper of Washington University.

The Riverfront Times [June 1981 – August 1981] Staff writer for weekly.

Student Life [August 1980 – May 1981] Editor-in-chief of student newspaper of Washington University.  

4 sundays


I joined the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in February 2013 as business editor, overseeing a staff of 11, covering a range of news. In March 2017, the business news staff won first place for spot news in the Missouri APME for coverage of the Bayer AG takeover of Monsanto. The coverage also was recognized by SABEW in April. And the section’s coverage in 2017 was recognized as best in the state among large dailies by the Missouri Press Association.

07-01-2018 arch cover

Beginning in 2018, I was asked to take on new responsibilities, overseeing enterprise stories. That’s meant handling more weekend stories and overseeing a few projects. Government and politics eventually fell under my responsibilities as the newsroom continued to shrink.

One of the sections I supervised in 2018, “Gateway to the Arch,” took a look at the renovation of the grounds of the Gateway Arch National Park, including the expansion of the park’s museum (published July 1). I also oversaw and contributed to a series of reports on urban issues, including disinvestment and property abandonment, that kicked off in August 2018 and continued into 2019.


Before resigning to head north, I was editor of the business section of The Commercial Appeal for three years, working with five staff writers, as well as several freelancers and a few columnists. I also worked with our Washington correspondent. I wrapped up my last week at the paper with the Feb. 8, 2013 edition.  I also led efforts to develop a local site focused on business startups and entrepreneurship, now discontinued. Two projects won the investigative and explanatory categories in the 17th annual Best in Business national competition sponsored by SABEW. From the fall of 2009 until mid-2010, I also edited Going Green, the newspaper’s digital-only environmental publication, now discontinued.

During my earlier stint at The CA, as a reporter and an editor, I won awards for investigative and deadline reporting.

I’ve spent half of my career working for metropolitan daily newspapers. The other half included nearly a decade at two alt-weeklies, as managing editor of the Riverfront Times in St. Louis and then editor of Illinois Times. Both papers, at the time, won many regional and national journalism awards.

07-22-1981 abortion small

Early career stops included freelancing in the late 1970s for the St. Louis American and working as a staff writer for the Riverfront Times in 1981, where I wrote the alt-weekly’s first cover stories on abortion rights and gun control, among other subjects. In 1982, I joined Focus/Midwest magazine and the St. Louis Journalism Review as an editor (the SJR won the national Lowell Mellett Award for its coverage of the sale of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat) and serving as the first state government reporter for the then-independent Memphis and Nashville business journals (1986-1988).




My parents are immigrants. I was born at MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn, Ill. (a Chicago suburb), graduated from St. Xavier, a Roman Catholic high school in Louisville, Ky., and Washington University in St. Louis, and have worked at newspapers in five cities. I’m married to Maureen; we have two adult sons, Andrew and Joshua.

Unless otherwise indicated, the content on this site, including John and Mack Rust, Red Kane, Wartime Letters and other sites listed on the blogroll, is mine and cannot be republished without my consent.



Donations to exonerated former Missouri inmate top $1 million on Thanksgiving. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Nov. 25, 2021)

Various book reviews

Ghost town: The city’s long struggle with vacant, abandoned buildings. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Sept. 15, 2018)

St. Louis has thousands of vacant buildings. Here’s a look at 10 of them. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Sept. 15, 2018)

City said no to the kitchen with a toilet in 2015, but the owner appealed. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Sept. 4, 2018)


Gateway to the Arch Editor of a special section on improvements at the national monument. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 1, 2018)

Navigating Health Care Editor of a special section on the Affordable Care Act (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Sept. 29, 2013)

Cotton firm accused of market manipulation Louis Dreyfus Commodities BV, and its Cordova-based cotton division, Allenberg Cotton Co., are targets of six federal lawsuits … (The Commercial Appeal, July 24, 2012)

The Armadillo in All of Us. [original link broken] It may be small-brained and shortsighted, but the armadillo has managed to take over most of the Americas. (American Way, March 1, 2012)

Growth potential. The story of how a handful of hobbyists turned a corner of southern Illinois into a blossoming wine country. (American Way, June 15, 2010)

Bourbon revival. The bourbon industry helped fuel the rebirth of a once-struggling Louisville. Now Louisville is returning the favor. (American Way, May 15, 2010)

Still singing the blues. The Mississippi Delta’s history of hard times inspired the art form of blues music. Celebrating that dark legacy may be the region’s ticket to a brighter future. (American Way, Dec. 1, 2009)

Bluer blues: Grim figures tell of region on the ropes. Rich in culture, resources, Mississippi Delta getting poorer amid illusory gains, stumbling strategies. What options remain for a region on life support? (The Commercial Appeal, Nov. 8, 2009) [original link broken or lost, available here https://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-21880876.html and also at Newsbank.

Editor, Going Green, digital-only publication of The Commercial Appeal, Nov. 1, 2009-May 30, 2010.

Tunica accustomed to tough times, takes trouble in stride (The Commercial Appeal, Sept. 20, 2009) — Tunica’s casinos — once-mighty job-creation machines in the Mississippi Delta — have been wrestling with a steady drop in revenues since the beginning of 2007  [sidebar here].

Midwest grape growers note rising temperatures (FOCUS/Midwest, June 15, 2009).

Raising Kane: How curiosity about a family heirloom led to new questions about a sensational century-old crime (St. Louis magazine, April 2009).

An engineer who raised safety concerns at AmerenUE’s Callaway nuclear power station received a six-figure settlement after accusing the company of retaliation (FOCUS/midwest, Jan. 4, 2009).


Things I’ve learned: Journalism will survive the passing of some newspapers (Illinois Times on July 31, 2008).

Swimming with sharks: Calming these troubled economic waters won’t be easy (Illinois Times on Feb. 7, 2008).

Homers: Who needs a cartoon Springfield when we’ve got Mayor Quimby and Chief Wiggum? (Illinois Times on Nov. 29, 2007).

Missing Lincoln link: The jury’s still out on area church’s claims (Illinois Times on Sept. 27, 2007).

Travel to unravel: Some of my favorite places here, there, and everywhere (Illinois Times, Sept. 19, 2007)

The Great Communicator: Lincoln wrote to shape and save a nation. (published by Illinois Times on Nov. 30, 2006)

Systemic failure: The biggest problem at the SPD: a lack of openness and accountability (Illinois Times on Oct. 19, 2006).

Sticks and stones: Name-calling is an occupational hazard, especially when pundits get lazy (Illinois Times on July 21, 2005).

Master’s voice: The Copley practice of making chain-wide presidential endorsements appears to be falling out of favor with other newspaper groups. (Illinois Times on Oct. 28, 2004)

Simon Says: Now more than ever, America needs leaders who aren’t afraid to tell the truth. This interview with the former Illinois senator was published shortly before his death (Illinois Times, Oct. 30, 2003).

Editor, Illinois Times (October 2003-August 2008).

Backfire: Former exec’s suit could blow Enterprise’s files wide open. This was one of a series of columns known as “The Worm,” named best humor column by the Missouri Press Association (The Riverfront Times on March 12, 2003).

Sign of the Times: It’s all in the family at Engineered Support Systems (The Riverfront Times on Jan. 22, 2003).

The Terrorists Are Winning: Truth, justice and the American soap opera are under attack at the West County Y. One of a series of columns known as “The Worm.” (The Riverfront Times on Dec. 18, 2002).

Members of the Firm: Law-firm employee apparently didn’t see enough dicks at the office. One of a series of columns known as “The Worm.” (The Riverfront Times on Dec. 11, 2002).

Herky Jerk: Doe Run’s owner has done this before — and that has regulators braced for trouble (The Riverfront Times on Feb. 20, 2002)

blue-light special

Heavy-Metal Racket: John Chamis and other residents of lead-contaminated Herculaneum are tired of getting jerked around by regulators and by Doe Run (The Riverfront Times on Dec. 26, 2001).

Mano a Fisho: Legal or not, a-noodling they will go (The Riverfront Times on Dec. 20, 2000).

seeing red

Blue-Light Special: When it came to guns, the Overland cops weren’t just playing around, along with Gun Club (The Riverfront Times on Aug. 2, 2000).

No-Sell Hotel: Ex-Mayor Vincent Schoemehl swings a headache ball at the city’s convention-center-hotel deal — and misses (The Riverfront Times on Feb. 2, 2000).

Connective Tissue
: Dennis Judd wants St. Louis to be linked by more than just highways between sports palaces and shopping malls (The Riverfront Times on Sept. 8, 1999).

Seeing Red: After years of taking it on the chin, Bob Goeggel struck back at his competitor. Thanks to his accusations of fraud, the state’s largest ambulance company is on the operating table and the feds are doing the cutting (The Riverfront Times on Aug. 11, 1999).


Stories written before June 1999 are available online at Nexis, NewsBank, and similar services. During seven years as a reporter at The Commercial Appeal in Memphis, I wrote around 1,700 stories — more than 300 appeared on A1. A number of the stories were carried by the Scripps Howard News Service, and versions were published elsewhere.

The crush to act with Tom Cruise: Arnold Goldin jokes that he’s had only “”limited experience” playing a slimy lawyer. But that didn’t stop the Memphis attorney and more than 300 others who showed up Sunday at a casting call for the upcoming thriller, The Firm. (The St. Petersburg Times on Oct. 21, 1992)

Elvis, The Blues, and Now Coors: Peter Coors yesterday loaded Coors’ first shipment of Memphis-packaged beer on a truck, launching the brewer’s Tennessee operations. (The Rocky Mountain News on April 10, 1991)

Memphis Move a Test for Coors: Coors Brewing Co. faces a challenging transition in the next several months as it takes ownership of Stroh Brewery Co.`s plant in Memphis. The primary hurdles for the nation`s No. 3 brewer include modifying the 19-year-old Stroh plant and producing beer with a unionized work force trained to make a competitor`s product. (The Chicago Tribune, June 17, 1990)

Wal-Mart Gets a Vote of Confidence in Iowa: Voters have given a thumbs-up to Wal-Mart, but it came after wrangling over an all-too-familiar question: Can traditional mom-and-pop shops in small-town, rural America survive competition from big retail discount chains? (The Chicago Tribune, Nov. 20, 1989)

Illinois Times covers by Joe Copley and Dave Janes; “The Worm” logo by Tom Carlson; Riverfront Times cover designs by Tom Carlson and photography by Jennifer Silverberg.

One thought on “about me

  1. Hello, My name is Anthony Denning loved your article about my Great grandfather. I’ve read it before in a book torn from the land. I’m from Jeffersonville, in. Currently live in Indianapolis, in. This was always told to us as children but never saw proof until several years ago.my granfather George was his son was 10yrs old at the time my father George is deceased my grandfather had him when he was 54 in 1942 big age gap there but we Denning’ are still around in Jeffersonville & Louisville would love to talk to you. As I know you are a very busy man but would like that opportunity.

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