The Baltimore Sun’s longtime managing editor is retiring at the end of the month, the newspaper said Tuesday.

Sam Davis, 64, from West Baltimore, has been with the paper since 1980, when he started working as an editorial assistant while he was a student at Coppin State University.

Davis will serve as a “consultant” for the paper for several months. He has been managing editor since 2016.

It’s the first big leadership change announced at The Sun since the newspaper was purchased by local businessman and Sinclair Inc. executive chairman David Smith.

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Davis told Trif Alatzas, The Sun’s publisher and editor in chief, about his plans to retire “earlier this spring,” according to a note Alatzas sent to staff sent around 8:45 a.m. Tuesday.

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“When Sam announced his retirement, it was important to me and our owners that his replacement be someone who knows our region, our legacy, our staff and our readers, who expect high-quality journalism from Baltimore Sun Media,” Alatzas said in the note to staff.

Tricia Bishop, who is The Sun’s top editorial board editor, will take over as managing editor. She’s been with The Sun since 1999. Bishop moved into management at the paper in 2013, according to the note from Alatzas, and became director of opinion and features content in 2019.

Bishop “envisions the organization becoming more data-driven to determine readers’ preferences, producing stories more efficiently, adding more video and expanding social media reach,” according to The Sun.

Other changes implemented since Smith’s ownership include the running of regular columns by co-owner and conservative commentator Armstrong Williams and running stories produced by Fox45.

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In an early meeting with staff, Smith insulted the newsroom and encouraged the reporters to mimic Fox45, his flagship TV station.

On Monday, the paper announced it was hiring Brooke Conrad from Sinclair Broadcast Group’s national operation, where she was a producer for “Full Measure with Sharyl Attkisson.”

Conrad joined the paper as a regional multimedia editor, and will “edit, report and write from a regional perspective on various topics, including local government, crime and education,” according to an announcement sent to staff Monday.

Smith purchased the newspaper from Alden Global Capital for an undisclosed sum, though Smith told reporters at the paper it was in “nine figures,” or at least $100 million. Maryland businessman Stewart Bainum, the founder of The Baltimore Banner, attempted to purchase The Sun from Alden before launching The Banner.

This is a developing story.

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Correction: This story has been updated to correct the year Tricia Bishop started working at The Sun.

Cody Boteler is a reporter on The Banner’s Express Desk, reporting on breaking news, trending stories and interesting things in and around Baltimore. His work has appeared in The Baltimore Sun, USA TODAY, Baltimore magazine and others.

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