- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 19, 2005

Meeting the needs and interests of competing generations is the main obstacle James Toedtman faces as the new editor of the AARP Bulletin.

The Bulletin is a monthly newspaper of the AARP, a District-based nonprofit and the nation’s single largest lobbying group.

The publication, which is mailed free to members 50 and older, provides news and analysis of issues including Medicare, Social Security, health and medicine, pensions and personal finance.

Covering issues important to all 35 million AARP members will be difficult, because the priorities of AARP’s older and younger members are different, Mr. Toedtman said.

“The baby boomers are primarily interested in financial planning and financial matters, and people over 65 are interested in health. So sort of bridging those gaps will be an interesting challenge,” he explained.

AARP editor in chief Hugh Delehanty praised Mr. Toedtman’s news sense along with his management capabilities and strong leadership skills.

“Jim is a seasoned news journalist and newspaper editor who has a strong background in covering politics, economics and business,” Mr. Delehanty said.

Before he joined the AARP Bulletin in late April, Mr. Toedtman was Washington bureau chief and chief economic correspondent for Newsday, a Long Island, N.Y., daily. He also served as managing editor responsible for production of the newspaper’s New York City edition.

Former Newsday editor Howard Schneider said he met Mr. Toedtman in 1967, when they were classmates at the Columbia University School of Journalism in New York.

“I think he’s going to transform that publication,” Mr. Schneider said, citing Mr. Toedtman’s ability to break down big issues to make them interesting to ordinary people by showing how their lives are affected. “He really has a passion for reporting and teaching, and there’s so many issues now that affect people in this age group.”

Mr. Toedtman said he is looking forward to engaging the Bulletin’s audience, comprising AARP members in 22 million households.

“My feeling is that while mainstream newspapers and television networks are losing readers and viewers, we’re gaining in intensity,” he said, “and it’s great to go from a paper like Newsday that’s having circulation problems to this, where our readers are increasing.”

In addition to working at Newsday for 20 years, Mr. Toedtman was executive editor of the Boston Herald-American and editor of the Baltimore News-American.

He shared a Pulitzer Prize in 1970 for a series of articles about Long Island land scandals and again in 1992 for spot news reporting of a New York City subway crash.

Mr. Toedtman lives in Oakton, Va., with his wife, Haydee.

—Kate Finneren

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