Xana Antunes, Business Journalist and Top Editor, Dies at 55

Xana Antunes, a business journalist who was editor of The New York Post from 1999 to 2001 and later ran the business news site Quartz, died on Jan. 27 at a hospice care center in Manhattan. She was 55.

The cause was pancreatic cancer, her husband, Scott Schell, said.

Ms. Antunes worked for some of the best-known business news outlets over a three-decade career. When she was appointed editor of The Post, she joined a handful of women who were leading major newsrooms at the time.

“As I looked around the paper then, almost all the other senior staff were men,” she said in a recent speech.

At The Post, under the ownership of Rupert Murdoch, Ms. Antunes bolstered the paper’s business coverage and introduced new lifestyle features, including a page devoted to the fashion industry.

She was replaced in 2001 by Col Allan, who had worked closely with Mr. Murdoch’s son Lachlan in the past. Shortly after that, Lachlan Murdoch took over as publisher. At the time, The Post was competing with The Daily News in a circulation battle.

Ms. Antunes went on to work at Crain’s New York Business, CNBC and Fortune magazine.

After moving to Quartz in 2014, she oversaw major pieces on President Trump’s aide Steve Bannon, maternal mortality and a boom in lobster consumption. She also built a team of video journalists that won a Gerald Loeb award for business news.

Ms. Antunes was a generous mentor, colleagues said, urging young reporters, especially women, to pursue ambitious projects or apply for jobs they thought were beyond them.

In a remembrance on Quartz, colleagues recalled the time she sat down with a reporter to discuss troubling life-expectancy data from Appalachia. Before the reporter could finish speaking, Ms. Antunes was looking up flights to West Virginia. “How about you head there on Sunday?” she asked.

Susana Maria Douglas Ramage Antunes was born on May 17, 1964, in Lisbon to Eugenio and Helen (Ramage) Antunes. Her father was a businessman, her mother a social worker.

As a child, Ms. Antunes spent time in Portugal, Scotland and England. She graduated from Kenilworth School in Warwickshire, England, and earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Leeds in 1985 as well as a graduate degree in journalism from City, University of London, in 1986.

She married Mr. Schell in 2011. In addition to him, Ms. Antunes is survived by her mother; her daughter, Elisabeth Schell; her sister, Veronica Perryman; and her brother, Filipe Antunes.

After working as a reporter in Britain in the 1980s, Ms. Antunes went to New York in 1993 as a correspondent for The London Evening Standard. She joined The Post as deputy business editor in 1995.

When she was young, Ms. Antunes had dreamed of being a war correspondent. But when she was 15, a school guidance counselor told her that a journalism career was unrealistic. She should consider becoming a nurse or teacher, she was told.

Ms. Antunes recalled that conversation in November as she accepted a lifetime achievement award from the Newswomen’s Club of New York.

“It was by no means the first time or last time that I and thousands of women have been brought short by low expectations,” Ms. Antunes said in her acceptance speech. “But low expectations, it turned out, also had an upside.”

She continued: “I could just try anything and then be completely shocked when I succeeded. And that really has been the story of my career.”