John McLoughlin Departs The Wave
This week’s edition of The Wave is the last under the leadership of Managing Editor John McLoughlin, who is pursuing a new opportunity.
McLoughlin first came to The Wave in June 1998 as the editorial assistant to Kevin Boyle. By September 1999, when Boyle left The Wave, McLoughlin was promptly promoted to editor. Since taking the lead editorial role, McLoughlin has expanded the role of The Wave in the community, increased coverage of peninsula-wide events, and has made numerous layout and style changes with the assistance of a professional team.
"Today is a day of mixed emotions," McLoughlin said. "I am excited about my future, and the new business venture I will be pursuing. This is the beginning of a new chapter in my life. But, I’m also going to miss The Wave. I’m going to miss working with people who have become more than colleagues, but true friends."
McLoughlin, a third generation Rockawayite, came to The Wave after serving as Councilman Al Stabile’s Rockaway representative from 1997 to 1998. McLoughlin, a graduate of Hofstra University, was the youngest editor of a weekly newspaper in New York State at the time that Leon Locke, deceased Wave publisher, named him to the position.
"It was an honor to work with Leon," McLoughlin said. "His trust and belief in me, at such a young age, made me even more so dedicated to the dream of making The Wave a great community newspaper.
"I miss Leon...his jokes, his concern for the community, our political chats in the morning," McLoughin said. He was not only a mentor, but a friend."
During McLoughlin’s tenure as editor, The Wave became involved in all aspects of the community. One of the most notable moments was The Wave’s involvement with Steven Morales, a Far Rockaway boy with an inoperable brain tumor. The Wave led the effort to raise monies for this youngster to receive needed treatment. The community came together, raising more than $30,000 in a matter of months.
"The moment I met the Morales family I knew The Wave could help them," McLoughlin said. "This is the purpose of a community newspaper. Not to tear people apart, but to bring people together...so that they can help each other and help the community, making this a place that people are proud to call home."
Also during McLoughlin’s leadership, The Wave sponsored several forums to allow the public to be heard on a number of issues. In October 2000, The Wave and the Chamber of Commerce co-sponsored a Candidate’s Night, and this past February The Wave and StylesComMedia hosted a forum addressing issues of the black community in the new millennium. These dialogues are expected to continue, with an Education Forum slated for April 30, 2001.
"It was important to me that The Wave become immersed in the community – from east to west," McLoughlin said. "This is the only way I knew how to truly represent the entire peninsula and everyone’s needs."
McLoughlin is the first to point out that he couldn’t have done these things alone.
"It’s about teamwork. Everyone offered a different talent and together we made the changes here at The Wave."
McLoughlin especially thanks his editorial staff – News Editor Joan Ward George, Associate Editor Paula Montemorano, former Editorial Assistant Heather Dalton, and the newest member of the gang, Sports Editor Emanuel Jalonschi.
"We’re a close team – like family. It’s going to be weird not seeing them almost everyday," McLoughlin said.
"I’ve had the pleasure to have worked with and for John over the past three years and it has been an amazing experience and served as a professional growth for both of us," said Wave News Editor Joan Ward George. "John is a gung-ho community activist and he brings his verve and commitment to all aspects of the job and his personal life. His stretch into covering the whole of the Rockaway peninsula, from Breezy Point, to Broad Channel, to Far Rockaway, has made The Wave a true community newspaper. A guest speaker on every civic organization’s top ten list, John’s nights have been as busy as his days in the managing editor’s chair. He reminds me very much of myself back in the early 80’s when I really got into community news reporting.
"John was never ‘the boss’; he’s the kind of guy you can bounce things off of. You always know where you stand while working for John. He remains supportive and is always there offering positive criticism, and praise when praise is due. The experience of being his partner in ‘crime’, so to speak, for the past two years has been quite professionally rewarding. I’m sure going to miss him and I wish him only the best in his future editorial endeavors. Good luck, God bless."
Although McLoughlin is departing from The Wave, his home and heart continue to be in Rockaway. He serves as chairman of the Rockaway Park Association and is a member of the Peninsula Hospital Community Advisory Council, Chamber of Commerce of the Rockaways, and the 100th Precinct Community Council.
"I will continue to advocate and lobby on behalf of Rockaway," McLoughlin said. "Having worked both in government and in the media, I have made important contacts that will benefit our community. I look forward to serving the Rockaways in new and exciting ways."