President's Message

Becoming a better newspaper

It’s January, and thoughts will turn shortly to spring – but before that, many a publisher will be considering contest entries.

It will be June before those coveted plaques are handed out, but the deadlines for entries will be much sooner, and I have a few thoughts (and pet peeves) to share about newspaper contests and participation therein.

Judgment, brains and maturity

But just as I say,

It takes judgment, brains, and maturity to score

In a baulk line game,

I say that any boob can take

And shove a ball in a pocket.

– Professor Harold Hill, 

The Music Man


By the time you read this I will have traversed my 60th birthday – or at least I hope I will have traversed it. I guess that remains to be seen.

President's Column September 2015

Our audience is our product

It was a little out of the comfort zone. Walking into a room full of newspaper people and we didn’t know any of them.

It was our first NNA meeting. It was in Washington D.C.

But, as soon as the session began, it became very comfortable. Newspaper brethren from across the country were talking about the same things we were talking about here.

President's Column August 2015

State of the Association

Just one month deep into this role, to quote Mike Hodges, “as the new, and arguably the best” current president of Texas Press, it’s about time for a ‘state of the association’ report.

President's Column July 2015

A wonder to watch, an honor to serve

Early on I had a mentor that was fond of telling his “young-uns” all good things come to those that wait. But you better work like #@*% while you wait.

That just about sums it up for me. I’ve been in the business close to 50 years. 

Not sure how many of the past 137 presidents of Texas Press Association had “president” as a goal in life. Certainly wasn’t on my radar.

President's Column June 2015

Newspapers and their changing times

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.”    -- Winston Churchill

The newspaper industry has changed a lot in the past two decades and the pace of change seems to be increasing.

President's Column April 2015

Newspapers facing headwinds from Austin to D.C.

While some lawmakers in Austin are trying to remove public notices from newspapers, our industry is also facing strong headwinds in Washington, D.C., where Congress is taking up the idea of tax reform. One proposal that seems to be gaining traction would involve limiting tax deductions for advertising expense. 

President's Column March 2013

As I write this, freezing rain is falling across much of West Texas and the roadways are coated with ice. It’s the fourth winter storm of the season and, quite frankly, I’m sick of it.

I might feel differently if the cold weather was accompanied by snow, but it rarely is. Eldorado is far enough south that the fluffy white stuff almost never makes it here. What we get is instead is ice, and for the past two years we’ve seen plenty of it.

Galveston meeting and First Amendment musings

I was delighted to see how many TPA members defied the inclement weather and traveled to Galveston for the TPA’s 2015 Midwinter Conference and Trade Show. At last count there were approximately 290 in attendance which was an increase over last year’s conference in Frisco.

It is always good to meet and see old friends, but this year I particularly enjoyed the opportunity to meet and visit with Joe Galloway. He spoke after our Friday night dinner and immediately before the Hall of Fame induction ceremony.