Bryan Monroe, longtime journalist and former editor, dies at 55


Monroe died Wednesday morning of a coronary heart assault at his dwelling in Bethesda, Maryland, the place he lived with household, in accordance with Suzanne Malveaux, a longtime buddy and CNN nationwide correspondent.

“He preferred to attach individuals who had been in several worlds — whether or not it was the media world, Hollywood, journalism, academia,” Malveaux advised CNN. “He cherished to cook dinner. He introduced folks to be at his home usually — effectively, not this previous yr, sadly. And he cherished to bake.”

In an extended journalism profession that included stints as vp and editorial director at Ebony and Jet journal and assistant vp of reports at Knight Ridder Newspapers, Monroe carried out the primary post-election interview with former President Barack Obama.

Sam Feist, CNN’s Washington bureau chief and senior vp, mentioned he first met Monroe in 2008 after the Obama interview.

“It was a unprecedented interview and was one of many causes I advised CNN’s management that we must always rent Bryan Monroe as our Political Editor,” Feist mentioned in an e mail. “I’ve by no means met somebody who was as comfy in any atmosphere — whether or not with a bunch of politicians, college students, Black journalists, or white journalists. Bryan navigated these worlds higher than anyone and the bridges he constructed between folks and between teams shall be round an extended very long time.”

Monroe had the final main interview with pop legend Michael Jackson two years earlier than the latter’s dying in 2009.

Bryan Monroe conducted the last major interview with Michael Jackson in 2007 in New York.
“Positive, I used to be shocked after I heard the information that the King of Pop had left the world,” Monroe wrote in June 2014. “However, in a manner, I used to be not all that stunned. Jackson, at the same time as troubled as he was, had given his all to the world throughout his 50 years on the planet. And now he was within the arms of historical past.”
Monroe was the Verizon Chair and professor at Temple College’s Klein School of Media and Communication. Earlier than Temple, he had been named editor of, main the editorial planning and content material technique for CNN’s on-line and cellular political protection from the DC Bureau.

“Bryan usually talked in regards to the significance of ‘connecting the dots’ in journalism… the idea of bridging concepts and massive image themes,” Meredith Artley, a senior vp and editor-in-chief of CNN Digital Worldwide, mentioned of Monroe. “He introduced that to work and likewise to life. He was a connector of individuals inside CNN and the business at massive. He was a magnet at any work or business occasion, all the time surrounded by folks and prepared with a superb story or an introduction. We had been fortunate to have him as a frontrunner and thinker at CNN, and within the journalism neighborhood at massive.”

“Bryan was a really social particular person and he cherished to deliver folks collectively,” Malveaux mentioned.

“He was actually good at that. He was all the time on the huge White Home correspondents’ occasions, the balls and the after events. He was my companion in crime as a result of I used to be too shy to method folks or introduce myself and he was like a social butterfly.”

Earlier than changing into editor of in 2011, Monroe was a visiting professor at Northwestern College’s Medill College of Journalism. He served as president of the Nationwide Affiliation of Black Journalists from 2005 to 2007.

“I’m past heartbroken,” NABJ President Dorothy Tucker tweeted Wednesday, including that an official assertion was to observe. “Bryan texted me a few days in the past simply to examine in and ask if I wanted something. What I would like now could be to listen to this can be a dream. My condolences to his household.”

As assistant vp of reports at Knight Ridder, Monroe helped lead journalists on the Biloxi Solar Herald in Mississippi to the 2006 Pulitzer Prize Gold Medal for Public Service for protection of Hurricane Katrina.

Malveaux recalled talking with Monroe on the cellphone on Tuesday, once they chatted about their households and pleasure over the brand new yr.

Throughout a tumultuous summer season of racial reckoning in America after the dying of George Floyd by the hands of Minneapolis police, Monroe lamented the toll the coronavirus pandemic and police violence on the Black neighborhood.

“It has set in stark aid how little of that is inside our management,” he wrote in a CNN Opinion piece. “We, largely, will not be the cops on the road. We, largely, will not be the CEOs within the board rooms. We, largely, aren’t the voters electing the prosecutors and judges. We’re not sitting on the dinner tables with the mildly racist cousins and uncles and in-laws who’re snickered at or simply tolerated.

“This week has proven how a lot of what has been occurring — and the way most of the issues that should change — are on the white majority. You have got the true energy. You’re within the positions of authority. If this has actually affected you at your core, you may really change white tradition. From the within. We won’t.”

A connoisseur of excellent meals, Monroe was enthusiastic about beginning life as a vegan about six weeks in the past, in accordance with Malveaux.

“He was very comfortable about all these completely different recipes,” she mentioned.

However it was socializing and entertaining and creating connections that impassioned him most, Malveaux mentioned.

“He was on a lot of Zoom teams and calls the place he was speaking to R&B and hip hop artists and journalists and he was all the time enthusiastic about bringing friends to talk to his class,” she mentioned. “He was all the time about how are you going to be your greatest, and the way can I assist folks join to one another to allow them to encourage one another and assist one another in being their greatest.”

Monroe was the founder and managing director of the Monroe Media Group, a Washington, DC-based media technique, disaster communication and private branding agency, in accordance with LinkedIn. He was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard College.

Monroe was born in Germany whereas his father was within the navy.

He’s survived by his fiancee Abrielle (Abe), his daughter Seanna, son Jackson, a sister and his father.

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