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Ex-Star editor hopes to do communications consulting

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Dennis Ryerson, the former editor of The Indianapolis Star, says he wants to do communications consulting and journalism training in the Indianapolis area now that he's left The Star.

Ryerson’s last day at the daily newspaper was Aug. 8. He had retired as editor of the paper on June 1 but had worked about 32 hours a week since then helping to write editorials and working on a special project about early childhood development.

Ryerson, 64, said he was not pressured to leave The Star, although he acknowledged there was some tension working there after his successor, Jeff Taylor, joined the paper in July.

“It was a little bit strange being the former editor and being there,” Ryerson said, adding, “There’s always a tension in those kinds of things.”

But Ryerson said Taylor had been “most gracious throughout all this.”

In his nine years as editor of The Star, Ryerson said, he made many contacts that he thinks might now benefit from his expertise on dealing with the news media, particularly during crises.

In addition, Ryerson said he and his ex-wife, Mary Milz, are working on journalism and communications training courses they hope to offer to companies or colleges in the area. Milz is a reporter at WTHR Channel 13.

“I’ve got a lot of things in the fire that I want to do,” Ryerson said, adding, “Working even 32 hours at the paper kept me from doing things like that.”

Ryerson will continue to serve on several local boards, including the Indiana Debate Commission, Y-Press, the Indianapolis Press Club Foundation and now Dance Kaleidescope.

Ryerson is also working on a book about how he reconnected with his late father during visits back to his home in Iowa before his father died more than three years ago.

“He and I never had more than a working relationship,” said Ryerson, who grew up helping his father with the rental farms he operated. “I’d go back to Iowa and open up my laptop and kind of interview him.”

In addition, Ryerson said, he plans to visit his two children and two grandchildren, who all live in Denver. He also hopes to get more time for his sailing hobby.

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