Four generations of family leadership continues under the Cooke family with Ken Esten Cooke and his wife Christine Granados taking over as co-publishers of the Rockdale Reporter.
“I am thrilled at the opportunity to keep the newspaper in the family as it has been family owned and operated for 107 years,” Cooke said.
Cooke also publishes the Fredericksburg Standard-Radio Post. Granados is editor of Rock & Vine magazine, also published in Fredericksburg, and continues to teach writing courses at the University of Texas - San Antonio.
Cooke previously published The Reporter from 2008 to 2010. His sister Kathy Cooke published the paper from 2010 until her death last year.
Cooke’s parents Bill and Peggy Cooke continue as publishers emeritus.
“Although Christine and I can’t move back to the Rockdale area, readers will be seeing a lot more of us around town. We are actively looking for a general manager to help run the newspaper,” Cooke said.
The newspaper has been in operation since 1874. It was purchased in 1911 by Cooke’s great grandfather, John Esten Cooke, who served as TPA president in 1920-21. Following him was W.H. Cooke, who joined the staff in 1930 and became publisher in 1936. Cooke’s father, Bill Cooke, became publisher in 1981 after serving as editor since 1961.
All generations of the Cooke family have been active in TPA as well as in the South Texas Press Association. Ken Cooke currently serves on the TPA board and is a past president of the South Texas Press Association, as are his mother, Peggy Cooke and his sister, the late Kathy Cooke Martin.