With cigar in mouth and Georgia Peach in hand, Brendan Buhler is ready to “up the megatonnage of the Nexus” as the 2002-03 editor in chief.

UCSB Press Council named Buhler, this year’s opinion editor, to the position of Daily Nexus editor in chief for next school year on Wednesday night. Buhler said his first concern for the Nexus is recruiting new talent.

“I’d like to spend a lot of the time with the incoming freshmen this summer to convince them of the truth: that we have the most interesting jobs on the planet and that the Nexus is a great place to work,” he said.

Starting as a reporter in Fall Quarter of 1999, Buhler is currently a staff writer, columnist and opinion editor. He has also held the ranks of assistant campus news editor and night editor.

“The mantle of the great Russians has descended upon him,” 2001-02 editor in chief Eric Simons said. “Brendan is more Russian than any other young American writer. He has such atmosphere and depth.”

He added, “although I should have thought the thing would be to be more American than any young American writer.”

Following a procedure that has taken place since 1974, the Daily Nexus staff made a recommendation to the Press Council after conducting interviews with the candidates May 20. Buhler won the recommendation of the Nexus staff by one vote. The Council always makes the final decision after an interview with the candidates.

Buhler was “surprised” at the outcome.

“I’m grateful that I was running against Marisa [Lagos] because I knew that no matter who Press Council selected, the paper would win. She’s an extremely talented journalist and no one knows the inside of a courtroom better. Her work on the David Attias story has been a credit to her and to the paper,” Buhler said.

Lagos, the county news editor, said she was disappointed but wished Buhler “the best of luck.”

Buhler said he understands the responsibilities that go along with the position.

“I’m happy to know that all the credit for next year will go to an extremely talented group of editors, reporters, artists and photographers, and that any of the libel lawsuits that come will have my name on them,” he said.

Buhler said he is looking forward to next year as being “terrifically exciting.”

“We’ve got an extremely talented staff,” he said. “As Chancellor Yang would say, ‘excellent and diverse’ writing have always been hallmarks of the Daily Nexus.”