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Slep named Mirror publisher

Kruger concludes 60-year career in newspapers

Mirror photo by Patrick Waksmunski Dan Slep (left) and Ed Kruger look at a plaque that honors Mirror founder Harry E. Slep. Kruger is retiring as Mirror publisher, wrapping up a 60-year career in newspapers, and Dan Slep has been named publisher.

The Altoona Mirror leadership torch has been passed.

Ed Kruger, who has held the publisher position since 1998, is retiring and wrapping up a 60-year newspaper career.

He will be succeeded by Circulation/Operations Manager Dan Slep, a fifth-generation descendent of Mirror founder Harry E. Slep.

Slep, who began at the Mirror in 1972, called his appointment “a childhood dream come true.”

“Growing up, my brothers and I would have frequent visits to the Mirror — then downtown (on Green Avenue) — with our dad and grandfather,” Slep said. “My dad made his rounds, going from department to department, talking to as many employees as possible.

“He reminded us that the people, our employees, are our biggest assets and can make things happen for all of us. Hearing the roar of the press brought great joy and excitement to me, and it still does.”

Kruger expressed confidence in the succession.

“We are very fortunate to have someone of Dan’s caliber to take over the reins,” Kruger said. “The Mirror will be in very good hands as Dan’s heart has always been with the Mirror and in the community.”

A product of Altoona Area High School and Penn State University, Slep thanked Kruger for his support.

“Ed brought us new vision, ideas, stability and challenged all of us, and I thank him for his support, leadership and friendship,” Slep said. “My career wouldn’t be complete without having the opportunity to be named publisher of the Mirror. I’m very appreciative.”

Prior to coming to Altoona, Kruger served as publisher of Ogden newspapers in West Virginia, Missouri and Iowa.

Under Kruger’s leadership, the Mirror sponsored several annual community events, such as the Hometown Favorites, Mirror Athlete of the Year and Health-O-Rama along with publishing more than a dozen glossy magazines, including Blair Living, Mirror Moms, Alleghenies Adventure and Blitz.

Kruger championed the Mirror’s annual Season of Sharing campaign, which has raised more than $300,000 in 16 years for area non-profit agencies.

Kruger also served as general manager of EZtoUse

.com, a sister company and online business directory that produced more than 50 phone books in six states.

He was honored with the Pennsylvania Newsmedia Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2020.

He and his wife, Lena, have two children, Todd and Julie Kruger Tutterrow, four grandchildren and a great granddaughter.

The Krugers were active in the community and have been members of Grace Bible Church in Hollidaysburg.

“We have been blessed and grateful to have always been surrounded through the years by wonderful work families, especially at the Altoona Mirror,” he said. “Lena and I would like to thank all our friends and the wonderful people and businesses of Altoona who have made this forever our hometown.”

Slep is a member and elder at Providence Presbyterian Church, where he sings in the choir and “still dusts off the trumpet for special occasions.”

He has served on the board at the Blair County Chamber of Commerce, is past president of the Inter-State Circulation Managers Association and current member of the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association and 360 Media Alliance.

He and his wife, Kathy, have two children, Christine Inmon (Allen) and Justin (Nichole), and four grandchildren.

Slep thanked his family for its support, adding that he was originally hired by J.E. (Ted) Holtzinger and began his career in the circulation department under the direction of Fred Everts and Joanne Beringer.

The Mirror has become a Central Pennsylvania production/print site that prints five daily papers, weekly and monthly publications and also operates the Mirror Ad Center, which designs print and digital ads and special publications throughout the country.

“Our technology has changed dramatically, but we have a very talented and dedicated team,” Slep said. “I’m sure my parents and grandparents are smiling from above.”

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