Carl E. Morris, 73, a former journalist who held executive posts with newspaper societies and founded a watchdog group to promote minority hiring and advancement, died Aug. 27 at his home in Reston. He died of complications from heart surgery he underwent in July.

Mr. Morris, a reporter and editor in his native Pittsburgh, settled in the Washington area in 1983 to became the minority affairs director of the American Society of Newspaper Editors.

At the time, he told the Associated Press he was disappointed with what he considered the higher hiring standards required of black journalists compared with whites.

"We're all not superstars," he said. "There are a lot of good, average reporters out there. You ought to hire them like you hire white reporters -- some on their skills and some on their potential."

After serving as executive director of the National Association of Black Journalists, he founded the National Association of Minority Media Executives in 1990. He was the association's executive director from 1990 to 1995 and helped encourage minority promotion to executive ranks of media companies.

He then wrote a newsletter, the Morris Memo, offering his commentary on the progress of minorities in journalism. He also produced a directory of minority journalists.

Carl Eugene Morris was an Air Force veteran of the Korean War and a graduate of West Virginia State College.

Early in his career, he worked for the St. Louis Argus in Missouri and the New Pittsburgh Courier, a historically black newspaper of which he became a top editor. He joined the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in 1978, serving as a city hall reporter and copy editor.

His marriages to Anne Morris and Shirley Morris ended in divorce

Survivors include his wife of 21 years, Kelda Morris of Reston; two daughters from the first marriage, Karla Morris-Holmes and Anna Morris-Betts, both of St. Louis; two sons from the second marriage, James Morris of St. Louis and Benjamin Morris of Los Angeles; two stepsons, Donald Hickman of Ashburn and Brian Hickman of Pittsburgh; a brother; nine grandchildren; and two great-granddaughters.