New managing editor reinventing the word ‘newsman’

A popular columnist is paving the way for other females at the Telegram

Jasmine Burt
Kicker

If Pam Frampton doesn’t have her ashes thrown to the wind, her tombstone would say “Off Travelling.” Her passions lie in travel, wine and good food. Telegram file photo

She grew up a voracious reader, her childhood home littered with books. Her parents were very traditional, especially her dad, but he always made her feel like she could accomplish anything. It was a feeling that never left her.

Fast forward to 2019. Pam Frampton is surrounded by reading material still. Her desk should be crumbling under the weight of stacks of newspapers. Pinned in a line on her wall are individual pictures of Telegram reporters.

Every Tuesday around noon, she attends a meeting with other Saltwire Network journalists in one of the board rooms in The Telegram building, which is comparable to a maze.

“My first day here, I went out the wrong door and ended up coming out at the back of the building” she said with a laugh.

Frampton knows the place much better now. She is making history at the Telegram as the first female managing editor in its almost 140- year history. While her new post represents a historic change, she doesn’t plan to change her approach to her work.

 “I think my plans are what they have always been at the Telegram – to help coach and encourage reporters to write the best stories they can and to bring readers stories that engage them, entertain them and sometimes make them think,” said Frampton, who had held various editing postions at The Telegram for more than 20 years.

While Frampton offers support to many reporters, she has her own support system in husband Glenn Payette and their four-year-old old rescue dog, Lucky Luciano, named after the mob boss. They’ve shortened the dog’s name to Lucci.

Payette can speak about Frampton both as a wife and a colleague.

“She is open, loving and cares a great deal about others,” Payette said. “She has a great sense of justice and hates injustice.”

Payette guarantees that the Telegram will not reflect any bias.

In her new role, Frampton wants to support to reporters and photographers to do the best they can. It’s the kind of support didn’t always have from the public. 

Frampton recalls a time when it was a harder for women in the industry.

“I would answer the phone and they would say, ‘No, I want to talk to a newsman’ and I would say, ‘I’m a reporter, if you want to talk to a reporter. I am reporter no matter what my gender is.’ 

“Now that was a long time ago.’

Things have changed. 

‘A spark of originality’

Piles of The Telegram copies
Copies of The Telegram are stacked high on Frampton’s desk. Jasmine Burt/Kicker

The newspaper industry has gone through a hard time in recent years.

” A lot of people would discourage people (from getting) into the industry … If you want to have a wonderful career that lets you be creative and tell people’s stories, then do it.” Frampton said.

‘ . . . She has had to work harder and longer to get the job than managing editors before her.’ 

Russell Wangersky is Frampton’s long-time friend and colleague. In 2006, he and the managing editor at the time, Brett Loney,  interviewed Frampton for her first job at the Telegram as Sunday editor. 

Pam has a special spark of originality about her, the sort of thing you can’t conjure up if you don’t have it already inside you,” Wangersky said.“I don’t think it is unfair to also point out that, as the first woman to hold the position, she has had to work harder and longer to get the job than managing editors before her.”

This promotion has been a long time coming for Frampton, but she promises the future will be inclusive of both genders.

“Both Lucci and I are watching and excited to see what happens in the future,” said Payette.

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