Bernard Kirsch Is Elected President,
David Andelman to Edit Silurian News
Bernard Kirsch, a veteran reporter and editor who now arranges wine tastings for The New York Times, has been named the 70th president of the Society of the Silurians, heading the 2016-17 slate of officers and board members. Kirsch, who joined the Silurians 10 years ago, was first vice president, as well as editor of the Silurian News. He succeeds Betsy Ashton, who because of business commitments and a book contract is stepping down after only a year in the top slot. Since 1990, presidents have usually served for two consecutive one-year terms. Ashton moves to the Advisory Committee, replacing former president Allan Dodds Frank, who joins the board. In other changes, board members David A. Andelman succeeds Kirsch as first vice president and Michael Serrill becomes second vice president, a post that had been vacant. Linda Amster continues as secretary and Karen Bedrosian Richardson remains as treasurer.
Andelman also succeeds Kirsch as editor of the Silurian News, while Valerie S. Komor of The Associated Press and Myron Rushetzky, a retired stalwart of The New York Post, have been elected to the Board of Governors, replacing Ralph Blumenthal and Barbara Lovenheim, who are stepping down. Returning board members are Jack Deacy, Bill Diehl, Gerald Eskenazi, Tony Guida, Myron Kandel, Carol Lawson, Ben Patrusky, Anne Roiphe, Wendy Sclight and Mort Sheinman.
Kirsch, the new president, became a newspaperman because his first job after college was with an ad agency and it didn’t take long before deciding he didn’t want to be “a 9-to-5 man.” He was hired part-time by The New York Times in 1964, “running copy and getting coffee for the sports department” and 9-to-5 became a memory. Kirsch worked from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Within a year, Kirsch was full-time at The Times and he’s been a journalist ever since. He eventually moved to Newsday’s sports department, then in 1970 to Paris as sports editor of The International Herald Tribune. “It was a dream job in a dream city, especially for a single guy,” he recalls.
Kirsch was based in Paris for seven years, covering stories that included the terrorist attacks at the 1972 Munich Olympics. His assignments took him from Madrid to Stockholm to Bucharest to Val d’Isère with many stops in between. His beats included auto racing, tennis, skiing, boxing and soccer, while filing for both the IHT and The Times.
Returning to the U.S. in 1977, Kirsch freelanced for five years, then rejoined The Times as a copy editor on a variety of desks. He retired “the day I hit 65” and began taking filmmaking courses at New York University. He has still managed a connection with The Times that might also be described as a dream job. Kirsch organizes tastings for Eric Asimov, the paper’s wine critic. As he puts it, “I get paid to drink.”
His successor as editor of the Silurian News, David A. Andelman, is a well-traveled journalist whose more than four-decade career includes working as a reporter, a foreign correspondent and an editor for The New York Times, CBS News, CNBC, Bloomberg LP, The Daily News and Forbes.com. He became the editor of World Policy Journal in 2008 and is currently the editor emeritus. He is also a former president of the Overseas Press Club.
There are also changes in the administration of the Silurian Contingency Fund. Steven Marcus is the new chairman of the Fund’s board of trustees, succeeding Larry Friedman. Nat Brandt, Joy Cook and Martin Steadman, like Friedman, are stepping down after many years of loyal service. The new trustees are George Arzt and Betsy Wade. They join Mark Lieberman, who continues as a trustee.