SPRINGFIELD – A 30-year veteran of the newspaper business has been named executive editor of Illinois Issues magazine published at the University of Illinois at Springfield. Dana Heupel, reporter and Statehouse editor for GateHouse NewsService/Copley News Service since 1997, will succeed Peggy Boyer Long, who will retire on December 31.
Anthony Halter, executive director of UIS' Center for State Policy and Leadership, where the magazine is located, said Heupel will begin work on January 7. The position also includes serving as director of Center Publications. "The readership of Illinois Issues has come to expect independent, in-depth reporting and analysis of state government and politics that is provocative and informative. We are confident that we've selected the right person to carry on that tradition," Halter said. "At the same time, Mr. Heupel has the background and ideas for expanding the magazine's web presence, as well as strong management experience for his role as director of Center Publications."
"I'm excited by the opportunity to work with the talented staff at Illinois Issues and to join the team of distinguished professionals at UIS' Center for State Policy and Leadership," Heupel said. "I look forward to continuing along the course set by Peggy Boyer Long and her predecessors at the magazine."
Heupel has 30 years' experience in newsroom management, at The State Journal-Register; Fresno Bee in Fresno, California; Indianapolis Star; and Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He has covered state government for GateHouse Media newspapers in Springfield, Peoria, and Rockford, as well as about 20 other GateHouse newspapers in Illinois.
An award-winning state government writer and columnist, Heupel has coordinated statewide investigative and explanatory projects for the Associated Press, Copley News Service, Indianapolis Star, and other publications. From 1992-97, he was city editor at The State Journal-Register. Previously, he taught news writing and editing at Indiana University at South Bend.
Among his numerous awards, he was the first individual recipient of the Illinois Associated Press' top award – member of the year – for coordinating a statewide open-records project in 1999.
Heupel received a bachelor's degree in journalism from Indiana University/Bloomington in 1973 with a concentration in magazine writing. He has participated in numerous continuing education programs in newsroom management, editing, and writing.Illinois Issues, with a readership of about 12,000, has reported on political trends, legislative issues, and the state's quality of life since 1975. It is published ten times a year, along with a December online-only edition. It produces a monthly website at http://illinoisissues.uis.edu.