Newsmakers

STEPHEN FARRIS

GROESBECK – Stephen Farris is the new general manager of the Groesbeck Journal.

Farris previously served as the sports editor for both The Mexia News and Groesbeck Journal. He will balance both positions until a replacement can be found to take over the sports department.

He brings with him 15 years of experience in the newspaper business, beginning as a route carrier for the Corsicana Daily Sun in 2001, then as a reporter in 2004. He became the Daily Sun’s full-time photographer in 2005.

Farris left the Daily Sun in 2007 to become assistant news editor at the Navarro County Times until the weekly newspaper folded in 2011. He ran his own news website covering Navarro County until 2012, when he began covering writing for The Mexia News, going fulltime in 2014, covering all Limestone County schools for the News and the Journal. His experience also includes work as page designer for the Hubbard City News. Farris has won three Texas Press Association awards for photography.

Originally from McDade, his family moved to Corsicana in 1965 and he graduated high school there. He also attended Navarro College.

He has been active in many civic and service organizations, including the Boys and Girls Club and Rotary Club.

PAUL BRYANT

NACOGDOCHES – City Editor Paul Bryant is the new managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.

He succeeds Debi Ryan, who was named publisher.

In the past four years, Bryant has won 29 awards from three press associations, including Star Reporter of the Year in 2016, Star Investigative Report of the Year in 2015 and 2013, and Journalist of the Year in 2014 and 2013.

A New Orleans native and son of a retired newspaper publisher, Bryant joined The Sentinel as a beat reporter in May 2012 and was named city editor in September of that year.

Bryant’s 22-year career has included newspapers in Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas. Before joining The Sentinel, he was an editor for Bluebonnet Publishing, managing newsrooms in Chandler, Bullard and Lake Palestine.

Bryant’s wife, Ericka, is a kindergarten teacher at Brooks-Quinn-Jones Elementary School. He has three daughters: Emma, 11, Savannah, 10, and Madison, 4.

JOHN PACHECO

DRIPPING SPRINGS – John Pacheco, a 20-year area resident, has been named the editor of the Dripping Springs Century News.

As a businessman and in the military, Pacheco has been a volunteer for numerous organizations and has a keen insight into the community, General Manager Dalton Sweat said.

Pacheco said he started as a military journalist right out of high school. “In a sense I never really left writing,” he said. “It seems I’ve always been authoring something, whether it was a training program, a compliance document or business promotional material.”

As a service member for 10 years and a veteran of Desert Storm, he served as both noncommissioned and a commissioned officer. He also has business experience, serving as a financial consultant for Fortune 500 companies, sales and operations positions and starting his own business.

Pacheco currently serves on the board of Central Texas Returning Heroes, which raises funds for the Returning Heroes Home at Brooks Army Medical Center in San Antonio. He is also active in area VFW activities, Toast Masters and is a lector at St. Martin de Porres.

Sweat said Pacheco’s goals of “informing in an entertaining way and engaging with the growing community” reflect the mission of the Century News: to be a Dripping Springs-focused community newspaper.

MIRANDA WILCOX

SHERMAN – Texoma Marketing and Media Group, publishers of the Herald Democrat daily newspaper in Sherman and the Van Alstyne Leader, Anna-Melissa Tribune and Prosper Press weekly newspapers, has named Miranda Wilcox interim managing editor of the Tribune.

She succeeds former managing editor Rodney Williams, who moved on to other endeavors after five years with the newspaper.

In more than two years at the Herald Democrat, Wilcox has worked in a number of capacities, including page designer and reporter. The highlights of her work include several in-depth reporting projects, such as an article about the drain of educators from Oklahoma into Texas and a series on the problem of suicide in the region.

The change in leadership coincides with the closure of the office that served the Anna-Melissa Tribune, as well as the Van Alstyne Leader and Prosper Press, in Van Alstyne. Senior Publisher Nate Rodriguez said the closure of the building will give the group time to evaluate the needs of its customers of all the publications and seek a solution that best meets them.

“Anna and Melissa are growing burgeoning communities that deserve a continued top-notch local news and information source,” Rodriguez said.

Tribune Executive Editor Jonathan Cannon said the staff remains dedicated to the Anna and Melissa communities and will continue to provide news and information that is important to its members.

“As we move forward, we will work to better utilize our online presence to provide breaking news while also enhancing what we currently offer in our print edition, and Miranda is a great fit to spearhead that effort,” Cannon said.

JIMMY POTTS

OLNEY – Jimmy Potts has joined The Olney Enterprise as managing editor.

Potts began his career in Bossier City, La., after resurrecting the Bossier Parish Community College newspaper, The Kaleidoscope, following a two-year hiatus. Following an internship with The Bossier City Press-Tribune, Potts joined the daily full time and eventually became lead reporter, covering courts and crime as well as state, local and federal government.

After his tenure in Bossier City, Potts shifted to covering sports for the Natchitoches Times, covering three high schools as well as Louisiana State University, Northwestern State University and other sports teams based around Shreveport, La.

Potts later returned to his home state of Kansas as a general assignments reporter with the Chanute Tribune. At the Tribune, he covered a variety of beats, including local and state government and the St. Paul High School eight-man football team.

In 2014, he took another general assignment position with the Princeton Daily Clarion in Indiana, where he was later promoted to sports editor.

Potts began his new position with the Olney Enterprise in September.

IAN PRIBANIC

MINERAL WELLS – Ian Pribanic has joined the Mineral Wells Index as sports editor.

A graduate of Plano East High School and the University of North Texas Mayborn School of Journalism, he is originally from Washington, DC. However, he has spent the majority of his life residing in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. He has experience as a participant and as a fan of a variety of sports, including golf, tennis, softball and wresting.

Following college, he spent two years working for three weekly newspapers in Western Oklahoma, serving as staff reporter, photographer and later as sports editor and news editor.

Index general manager and editor David May said he is confident Pribanic can maintain the newspaper’s solid local sports coverage as well as his predecessors, Clint Foster and Tony Eierdam.

MEGAN HUSTON

MADISONVILLE – Megan Huston recently joined staff of The Madisonville Meteor as a sports writer.

A native of Macomb, Ill., home of the Western Illinois Leathernecks, Huston graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, and later received her master’s degree in journalism from Columbia College Chicago.

Huston has been a sports writer for The Chicago Tribune, Bleacher Report and Rant Sports, covering various collegiate and professional teams. She is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists as well as the Online News Association. Most recently she worked as the promotions coordinator and social media specialist for CBS Sports Chicago.

Publisher Gary Cook said that Huston’s expertise will be an asset for the newspaper.

DILLAN PAYNE

CENTER – Dillan Payne is the new sports editor of The Light and Champion in Center. 

Payne grew up in Mineola, where he and his siblings were active in sports, music, art and writing. In high school he participated on the school yearbook staff, journalism department and other school activities, earning recognition in UIL competitions. He was also lead tenor for the high school choir. In 2005 he went on to study journalism at Texas A&M-Commerce, then completed studies at the University of Texas at Tyler. During his years in college, Payne was on the school newspaper staff and held the title of Grand Scribe for Kappa Sigma Fraternity during his sophomore and junior years.

The Light and Champion sports department covers five high schools in Shelby County.

HOLLY GALVAN

SEALY – In her new position as general assignments reporter, Holly Galvan brings a second generation to the staff of The Sealy News.

She is the daughter of Jimmy Galvan, who served as the managing editor for The Sealy News from 1995 through 1999.

Galvan is a broadcast journalism major and has attended San Jacinto-Central and Lamar University.

While a student at SJC, Galvan was the editor of the San Jacinto Times, an award-winning junior college newspaper. Prior to working for The Sealy News, Galvan worked for Inside Deer Park, an online publication covering the local events. Galvan was a 2013 graduate of Jasper High School, where she was honored as a Texas Scholar.

Karen Lopez, publisher of The Sealy News, said Galvan “brings new life to our social media side of news reporting.”

QUINTON LILLEY

JOSH SULLIVAN

KYLE BLANKENSHIP

KILLEEN – Three journalists have recently joined the Killeen Daily Herald newsroom staff, Managing Editor Rose Fitzpatrick announced.

Quinton Lilley is the education reporter, Josh Sullivan is the police reporter and Kyle Blankenship is Copperas Cove editor.

Lilley, 23, is originally from San Bernardino, Calif. He graduated from St. Edward’s University in Austin with a bachelor of arts degree in communication and media arts/broadcast journalism in 2015.

A lifelong athlete, Lilley played collegiate basketball during his time as an undergraduate.

He joined the Herald in September and covers Killeen and Copperas Cove school districts, Central Texas College and Texas A&M University-Central Texas.

Before joining the Herald, Lilley was a news intern for KXAN NBC Austin. He was also a sportswriter for three years for the Hilltop Views newspaper at St. Edward’s University.

Lilley said he hopes to bring his sports background to the education beat by using a unique perspective on how students view the world today.

Sullivan, 24, also joined the Herald in September. He was previously the sports editor at the Berkshire Record in western Massachusetts, where he co-hosted a weekly radio show and community access television show in addition to writing, editing and taking photos for the paper.

In addition to many high school games, Sullivan has covered the NCAA Hockey Tournament and the U.S. Tennis Open. He occasionally contributed to The View, a monthly alternative newspaper also published by his previous company.

Previously, Sullivan was a general assignment reporter for The Woonsocket Call in Rhode Island, where he covered crime and local government.

Originally from Dartmouth, Mass., he is a 2015 graduate of the University of New Hampshire, where he covered football and hockey for the student newspaper. Sullivan said he is looking forward to watching college football at Kyle Field, McLane Stadium and Darrell K. Royal–Texas Memorial Stadium.

Blankenship joined the Herald in August and has been planning and editing the Cove Herald, as well as writing numerous stories for the daily and weekly papers.

Blankenship, 26, comes to the Herald newsroom from the University of North Texas, where he served as a teaching assistant, instructing undergraduates in courses focusing on mass media theory, as well as technical editing, Associated Press style, news production and story construction. Previously, he served as a copy editor for The Eagle in Bryan-College Station.

Blankenship originally hails from Houston and has degrees from Texas A&M University and the University of North Texas.