LIVINGSTON – General Manager Kelli Barnes has been promoted to the position of publisher of all Polk County Publishing Company (PCPC) newspapers, including the Polk County Enterprise, company owner Alvin Holley announced.
The change will take effect immediately.
Holley has been an owner of the publishing company since 1972 and served as its general manager or publisher since that time. While he has been semi-retired since 2018, he will remain an active participant in the operation of the company and its newspapers.
In addition to the Polk County Enterprise, other newspapers in the group are the Tyler County Booster, the Houston County Courier, the San Jacinto News-Times and the Trinity County News-Standard. PCPC also publishes a quarterly magazine, the East Texan. Additionally, it offers commercial printing services and operates online news sites dedicated to East Texas events.
“Kelli has proven herself to be a qualified leader, and I firmly believe she will continue to do so as she leads Polk County Publishing Company into the future,” Holley said in announcing the promotion.
Barnes has been employed by PCPC since September 1992, when Holley purchased the Woodville-based Tyler County Booster. At that time, she was an advertising sales representative. She later served as the advertising manager and manager for the Woodville newspaper before being promoted to the general manager position for the entire PCPC newspaper group.
“I have been witness to such change in the newspaper industry over the past 30 years, and look forward to the next 30 years with much anticipation. Change is not always comfortable, but inevitable, necessary, exciting, and in many cases, refreshing,” Barnes said. “I am honored to take on the future as publisher of Polk County Publishing Company.”
A native of Corsicana, Holley has been involved with newspapers since age 10, starting as a newsboy selling copies of the Corsicana Daily Sun on the street for a nickel each. He later worked his way up to the post of circulation manager, advertising sales representative, advertising manager and general manager.
In 1972, after a friend and fellow Corsicana Daily Sun employee David Durham purchased the Livingston-based PCPC, Holley joined him and purchased a half interest in the company. The two remained partners until 1995 when Holley purchased Durham’s interest in the newspaper group.
Holley is a past president of the Texas Gulf Coast Press Association and the Texas Press Association. He has been an active member of the Texas Press Association since the late 1970s, serving on numerous committees and panels. He was inducted into the Texas Newspaper Hall of Fame in 2008.
Holley was also heavily involved in several organizations in his local community over the years.
Barnes began her newspaper career in 1990 when she joined the staff of the Tyler County Booster, starting out typesetting, taking pictures, working in the darkroom and attending community events and ribbon cuttings. This developed into advertising sales and designing newspaper print ads.
She is a graduate of Angelina College in Lufkin and Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches with a bachelor of business administration.
Barnes is a past president of the Tyler County Chamber of Commerce and the Texas Gulf Coast Press Association as well as a past Texas Press Association board member. She currently serves as a board member of the Texas Gulf Coast Press Association, the Gloria Russell Children’s Ministry and Victory Camp Colmesneil. She is a member of Agape Church in Colmesneil.
The new publisher has been married for 29 years and has four adult children and eight grandchildren.