Give us some details about yourself. (Where are you from? How long have you worked in the industry? Where did you get your start?)
I grew up in Andrews graduating from high school there in 1967.
Started out throwing the Andrews County News as a youngster and later became a part-time sports photographer for the paper. Became editor for Hood County News in Granbury in 1971. So I’ve been earning a living in the industry for 41 years.
Tell us about your time in Andrews, Texas, and your connection to James Roberts and the Roberts Publishing Group, along with several TPA presidents.
While in high school I would ride with James Roberts, owner of the Andrews County News, to out-of-town football games to take pictures while he covered the game. After the games, I would develop and print the photos so he could get them in the next morning’s paper. He began encouraging me to get into the business during those trips. While going to school at North Texas State, Roberts called and said they had just bought the Granbury paper and needed someone to be the editor. The publisher of Hood County News was Larry Crabtree, also an Andrews graduate. I later became advertising director of the Hood County News and eventually went to work for the Snyder Daily News as advertising director working for Roy McQueen, also an Andrews graduate.
In 1981 James Roberts chose me to be the publisher of a pair of his papers, Azle News Advertiser and Springtown Epigraph.
Some of the other Texas publishers that came from Andrews are Jerry Tidwell, Hood County News; Marshall Day, The Gatesville Messenger; Don Ingram, Andrews County News; and Roy Bode, Highland Lakes Newspapers. In 1987 Charles Moser, publisher of the Brenham Banner Press, formed a group of publishers and bought The Cuero Record and selected me to be the publisher. A few years later we added Yorktown News-View to our county publications.
Charles Moser’s son, Jim Moser, formed Moser Community Media in 2005 which includes the Cuero and Yorktown papers and eight other Texas newspapers.
Tell us about your community. What’s it like to work at The Record?
Growing up I thought Andrews was the best, most proud and fiercely competitive town in Texas, until I moved to Cuero. Now I know there are two of them. Ironically, Andrews enjoyed most of its success due to the oil fields and now Cuero and Yorktown are seeing similar success thanks to the Eagle Ford Shale exploration. We have a great staff at The Record and News-View. Thankfully, they don’t mind dragging an old AHS grad into the 21st century.
What has been the best moment in your career so far?
There are about three. One was a long time ago when Rick Craig (Hood County News) gave some of us a demonstration of how to build ads on a Macintosh at a West Texas Press convention. It was a game changer.
Another was when we nailed the darkroom door shut because we converted to electronic publishing.
And more recently, being elected to the Texas Press executive board.
From my early days in the industry, I have always had great respect for Texas Press Association. So much of the success of Texas newspapers is due to the support of Texas Press members.
What do you think the future holds for newspapers?
Just as community newspapers in Texas never accepted the story that the industry is dying, we now see the future is looking brighter every year. Every Texas newspaper I know is evolving into a multimedia news and advertising generator.