Rick Hutzell, the editor of Capital Gazette Communications, is safe after a horrific shooting that has left at five people at a local news publication dead. He is going to have a tough road ahead of him in the coming days and weeks, as he responds to media inquiries about what happened and tries his best to console a grieving staff and their families. As of the time of publication, he hadn’t yet made a public statement about the shooting.
Here is what you need to know about Rick Hutzell.
1. Rick Hutzell Has Been Editor of Capital Gazette Communications Since 2015, Overseeing The Capital Newspaper & Other Publications
Rick Hutzell was promoted to Editor of Capital Gazette Communications in 2015. The company publishes multiple newspapers, including The Capital and the Maryland Gazette. The newspapers’ online mastheads, however, do read Capital Gazette.
The Capital is the hometown paper for Annapolis and the Gazette is a separate publication.
In 2014, the Baltimore Sun Media Group acquired The Capital. The daily newspaper has been published since 1884, and its sister publication The Maryland Gazette is one of the oldest newspapers in the United States, and it’s published on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
The Capital was an evening newspaper until it moved to mornings in 2015. In 2013, The Capital had a daily circulation of 30,000.
2. A Reporter Quickly Shared that Hutzell Was Safe after the Shooting Started
When the shooting started, Danielle Ohl, a reporter for the Capital Gazette, quickly shared that many of her colleagues, including Rick Hutzell, were safe. Ohl was on vacation in the Outer Banks when the shooting happened.
She later added that any reporters who wanted to contact her needed to go through Hutzell first:
3. Hutzell Is Happily Married & Has Two Children
Hutzell is married to Chara Hutzell and they have two children: Lily and Evan. Chara is a sales manager at a local hotel, The Baltimore Sun reported.
Hutzell and his family appear to be very close. He often shares videos of fun trips they take on Facebook and tags them in happy posts about their latest adventures and outings.
4. He’s a Self-Professed Dog Lover Who Often Talks About His Pet Online
On his Twitter bio, Hutzell describes himself as “the editor of Capital Gazette Communications, columnist, husband, father, cook, amateur lawn mower and dog lover.” He holds true to his statement about being a dog lover, as many of his posts often talk about his dog or the walks they’re taking.
5. Hutzell Has Worked with the Capital Gazette for More than 30 Years, But Had Originally Intended to Focus on Being a Journalist Rather than an Editor
Hutzell has worked for Capital Gazette Communications for more than 30 years. Before becoming the editor, he was an assistant editor, overseeing the Maryland Gazette, the Crofton-West County Gazette, and the Bowie Blade-News, and he also did government reporting, Capital Gazette reported. His journalism career started when he worked for his hometown paper in Ocean City.
He actually hadn’t imagined himself as an editor, he said when he was first promoted to the job. “It was never my goal to be the editor. Just to be a journalist in my hometown.” In fact, when he was first hired he had planned to just work for two years and then move on to the Associated Press.
When he was first promoted, he said that one of his goals was to increase the diversity of the staff.
Hutzell has also served on the Chesapeake Arts Center board, the Northern Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce, and the West County Chamber of Commerce.
He says on his LinkedIn profile, “I have an excellent track record of working with young, developing talent. I’m goal oriented and a team builder.”
Hutzell has an M.S. in communication from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and a bachelor’s in English and U.S. history from the University of Virginia at Wise.
When he wrote a column giving advice to 2018 graduates, Hutzell included this: “Finally, question authorityrelentlessly. Some of you are good at this already. Here’s why you need to keep at it: One day, far sooner than you think, you’re going to be running the world. Just when you’ve got life figured out, some know-it-all twenty-somethings are going to show up to tell you you’ve been doing it all wrong. That is the moment to think back and remember all the times you questioned some graybeard like me. Seriously, my beard has gone gray from having young journalists consistently show me up with smarter ideas.”