Grand Rapids Press Editor
Mike Lloyd’s years in leadership at The Grand Rapids Press were remarkable for Grand Rapids and West Michigan and for journalism throughout the state. As editor of The Press for 31 years, he led in telling the story of his city and region and in developing The Press into a vigilant participant in the lives of hundreds of thousands of readers.
Michael S. Lloyd came to The Press in 1967 after graduation from the University of Missouri. He quickly moved through a succession of reporting and newsroom management positions. In 1977, he was appointed editor at age 33, becoming one of the youngest newspaper editors in the nation.
He went about casting the paper more strongly toward local news and involving himself directly in the daily news product. He elevated the photojournalism department, gave religion a full section paper and changed the lifestyle section from a domestic arts/society orientation to one speaking to who we are and how we live. Each Sunday, Mike offered an op-ed column that told the how and the why of some aspect of the prior week’s news coverage.
In no area did Mike Lloyd leave a stronger mark than in his challenges to the closed-door practices of government. More than a dozen times, Mike and The Press went to court in successful lawsuits and petitions, mostly hinged on Michigan’s Open Meetings and Freedom of Information Act. The resulting precedents and reforms comprise a lasting legacy of Mike’s statewide newspaper leadership.