I arrived in Goldsboro in August and started my job as the editor on Aug. 6. It didn’t take long before I was thanking God that the former News-Argus owner, Hal Tanner III, thought enough of me to bring me in to run his newsroom. I have been an editor for more than 20 years and was a reporter for 12 years before that. In all that time, I have worked at nine different newspapers and lived in 10 different towns and cities. So I can say quite confidently that I am an authority on good and bad places to live. Let me tell you: Goldsboro is the best place yet. My wife, Cathy, and I could not be more pleased than to be living in Wayne County.
Some may ask, “If you came here in August, and the Tanners hired you, why are we just getting to meet you?” That’s a good question. My best answer is that we have spent so much time getting to know Goldsboro, and with my working, Cathy and I don’t seem to have enough time in the day. Knowing, however, that I can’t get out and meet every person I would like to, I will write a regular newspaper column so people can get to know me. And I can learn more about them through their feedback to my writing.
My writing is often an insight into my work as the News-Argus’ editor. Sometimes, though, my column will run a bit personal and include family stories and even some of my most embarrassing moments. As people say, “if you can’t laugh at yourself who can you laugh at?”
Well, I’ve come to at the point where I can tell you a little bit about me. I come from Los Angeles. Actually, I was born in Culver City, home of MGM, and lived with my family in Sacramento and a place called Palmdale, which is about 50 miles north of downtown Los Angeles. I always have felt connected to family, even at times when I have been alone. I like to say I am first and foremost Cathy’s husband, my kids’ dad, Linda’s son and Rose’s grandson. Mom and my grandma, who I called Mo, are gone now, but I feel a connection with them every day. Mo and I used to sit in her place when I was just a young kid listening to baseball games on the radio and saying prayers during each seventh-inning stretch. We didn’t think God minded if we rushed the prayers a bit to not miss any of the action. We indeed prayed hard for our team during the games. Hopefully, that earned us some credit when we rushed.
I delivered newspapers, actually two daily newspapers and a weekly from ages 10-13. When I broke my leg at 12 and was in a cast for several weeks, Mom would drive me on my routes, which I threw from the car. For close housing — apartment building and mobile home parks — Mom would get out of the car with a bundle of papers and run through the complex making sure that each newspaper landed on a porch.
Mom and Mo were great people. They taught me to be the person I became, and I miss them every day.
I wrote a junior high school article from ages 12-14 for a weekly newspaper and was a frequent contributor to the “Letters to the Editor” sections throughout high school.
I spent six years in the Navy and started writing for newspapers as a reporter in 1987. Ink has been running through my veins since.
For those of you who may not know, the Tanners sold the News-Argus to Paxton Media Group in November. I have worked off and on for Paxton since 2007 and say with full conviction that it is one of the best newspaper companies in the business. The late Fred Paxton, who led the company for many years, is credited with establishing the company motto, “First, be a great newspaper.”
In the announcement of the sale, Hal Tanner III wrote, “I am confident that the Paxtons will continue to support the high-quality journalism and advertising solutions Wayne County expects from this newspaper. In this way, the mission of the Goldsboro News-Argus continues to be the leading provider of accurate news and information in Wayne County while working to better the lives of all members of our community.”
Everyone reading this can believe what Tanner said. And I promise you; I will work each day to ensure that the News-Argus is first and always a great newspaper.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 252-676-6813, if you have any suggestions, questions or even complaints. I look forward to speaking with all of you.