From The Plain Dealer

Debra Adams Simmons, editor of The Plain Dealer, has been named vice president of news development for Advance Local, which oversees local newspapers and websites across the country.

Advance Local is part of Advance Publications, which owns The Plain Dealer and about 30 other newspapers and websites nationwide.

Simmons, who became editor in 2010 after three years as managing editor, announced the appointment in a meeting with staff Friday morning.

She said that her new job — a new position in the company — would focus on producing the best possible journalism and recruiting the top journalists in the country.

“We’re excited to have Debra work with us on a number of high-priority strategic initiatives,” said Randy Siegel, president of Advance Local. “She brings tremendous ideas and experience to this important role and will help us move forward in myriad ways as we accelerate our community engagement efforts, broaden our talent development programs and develop new ways to further our commitment to public service journalism.”

Simmons will start on April 21 and will be based out of Advance Local’s Cleveland and New York offices.

Virginia Wang, general manager of The Plain Dealer Publishing Co., said the company will conduct a national search for a new editor.

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