Industry news

Silsbee Bee sold to Hicks Media

Hicks Media has acquired The Silsbee Bee from Reneau Publishing.
Jay Williams, Hicks Media president, assumed publisher duties at the newspaper. 
The Bee was founded in 1919 and Hicks Media is the fourth other of the newspaper, according to the announcement published April 7. Former owners Danny and Jan Reneau said they would help with the transition for the next few months.
Williams said The Bee is a perfect fit for the company, which is focused on community newspapers.
Hicks Media merged with LK Media Group in February and the group also includes The Red River Sun, The Post Dispatch and The Knox County News-Courier in Knox City.

TDC releases new household, labor force projections

The Texas Demographic Center has released the first two of a series of special projections – Texas households trends and civilian labor force projections.
The projections utilize the TDC 2018 vintage population projections and the 2018 American Community Survey data and are produced at the state level and the county level, where journalists can find local information for business and economic stories.
To accompany the data, the Demographic Center also released a brief, Texas Households Trends and Projections, and an infographic, Who Makes up the Texas’ Labor Force: Past, Present, and Projected.
Visit to read more and download the data.

Press Freedom Accountability Project seeks grant applications

Newsroom grants are available for reporting on press freedom violations and accountability in the U.S.
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), in collaboration with the News Leaders Association (NLA), launched the U.S. Press Freedom Accountability Project in light of the unprecedented attacks on journalists around the United States.
The U.S. Press Freedom Accountability Project, funded by CPJ, is providing grants between $2,000 and $5,000 for newsrooms reporting on threats to journalists in the U.S., with a priority to pieces that can be published in one to three months. 
CPJ and NLA are seeking applications from newsrooms across the country. News organizations can apply, with submissions accepted on a rolling basis. Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible. A panel of experts organized by NLA and CPJ will review applications.
For more information and to download a form, visit the website,

Texas journalist wins national award

AUSTIN – Journalist Tony Plohetski was named the broadcast recipient of the 2021 Hillman Prize for his work with KVUE-TV and the American-Statesman covering the death of Javier Ambler II and practices of the Williamson County sheriff’s office.
The award honors “journalists, writers and public figures that pursue investigative journalism and public policy in service of the common good.” The $5,000 prize was announced by the Sidney Hillman Foundation in New York, which has administered the awards for 71 years. Honors are granted in categories that include books, newspapers, magazines, websites, broadcast, and opinion and analysis.
Statesman Executive Editor Manny Garcia said the impact of Plohetski’s reporting — on air on KVUE, in print in the Statesman and on the websites of both outlets — highlights that “there is strength in unselfish collaborations and that our community is better for it. Tony’s investigation is the very definition of public service, local journalism.”
In June, Plohetski was the first journalist to reveal details of Ambler’s death after Williamson County deputies chased him in a pursuit that started because he failed to dim his headlights in March 2019. The chase ended in North Austin with deputies using Tasers on Ambler several times as he gasped that he could not breathe and had a heart condition — all while crews from the reality TV show “Live PD” filmed.
Plohetski’s subsequent reporting on policing practices in Williamson County helped trigger investigations that led to the indictments of former Sheriff Robert Chody and an assistant county attorney on evidence tampering charges and the proposed Javier Ambler Law in the Texas Legislature.
The law would ban Texas law enforcement agencies from signing deals with reality TV shows.