Thursday, December 12, 2013
Your Non-Stop Source for News in Nodaway County!
PO Box 188 • 111 E. Jenkins • Maryville, MO
Volume 103 • Number 241
Bringing it all back home Maryville ownership returns to Forum By The Daily Forum staff A new dawn broke for community journalism in Nodaway County early Wednesday as the reconstituted staff of the Maryville Daily Forum arrived at the newspaper’s offices at Main and Jenkins for what promised to be a long, hectic day. Long and hectic but also historic and full of promise and hope. For the first time in decades a team of editors, reporters, salespeople and tech specialists gathered to put together a paper that would be published under the masthead of local ownership. Sold earlier this month by GateHouse Media, which recently emerged from bankruptcy, the Forum is now solely owned by Cobb Publishing LLC, an organization forged into being by the paper’s former general manager and longtime Nodaway County resident Phil Cobb. Cobb left the Forum in March 2012 after months of deep budget and staff cuts implemented by the struggling GateHouse chain, which operates several hundred papers in about 20 states. Frustrated by mounting pressure from his bosses to allocate an ever-increasing share of the paper’s profits to the GateHouse bottom line — money that never touched
(KEVIN BIRDSELL/DAILY FORUM) Executive Editor Jim Fall, left; Publisher Phil Cobb, center; and News Editor Tony Brown are pictured during a Wednesday morning meeting following the acquisition of the Maryville Daily Forum by Cobb Publishing LLC. The acquisition means that the Daily Forum is publishing under local ownership for the first time since the 1960s.
Maryville’s local economy — Cobb decided he’d had enough, and that it was time to strike out on his own. “He lived for this paper, and he was disgusted by what had happened to it,” said former GateHouse reporter Tony Brown, now Cobb’s news editor. “We all were.” Immediately after his departure,
Cobb − who was followed out the door by several key staff members − set up shop on the south end of Main Street and founded The Post, a free shopper that quickly attracted a wide customer base of local advertisers. His success was not lost on GateHouse managers, one of whom declared that the multi-mil-
lion-dollar publishing chain was being victimized by a “David and Goliath strategy.” And, just as in the Bible, David won. Cobb is now back in the Forum’s executive office, not as general manager but as owner and publisher in his own right. Considering his pedigree, that’s not really surprising.
Cobb’s father was noted northwest Missouri publisher, teacher and coach Robert Cobb, who earlier this year was posthumously inducted into the Missouri Press Association Hall of fame. His mother, Lana, now the Forum’s business manager, was fully involved in her late husband’s newspaper career,
See LOCAL, pg. 3
New staffers help launch local paper Lana Cobb
STAFF REPORT Maryville Daily Forum The following personnel have joined Owner/Publisher Phil Cobb and Executive Editor Jim Fall as members of the Daily Forum team. ∙ Lana Cobb, the Forum’s business manager, grew up in Richmond and began her newspaper career working for the Richmond Daily News, where her husband, Robert Cobb was editor. The couple later moved to King City, where they owned and operated the Tri-County News where Lana focused on such areas as composition, circulation and advertising sales and design. The Cobbs were joined in the business by their son, Phil, and ultimately acquired the Stanberry
Headlight and Albany Ledger under the banner of Tri-Cities Publishing. Robert Cobb died in 1997, and Lana later followed Phil to Maryville, where he was an ad salesman for the Daily Forum. Lana joined the Forum staff as well, working as a compositor until joining Phil in 2012 at The Post, a shopper owned by Cobb Publishing LLC. ∙ Tony Brown, news editor, started his publications career after graduating with a degree in English from Truman State University. He has worked at newspapers in Missouri and California and served for several years as the news editor of the Sedalia (Mo.) Democrat. He also has experience as a writer and publications
manager at the University of Central Missouri, Northwest Missouri State University and Northrop Corp. ∙ Rita Piveral, office manager, began with Maverick Media in Maryville in 1984, working as a secretary and assisting with classified advertising. She later joined the staff of the Maryville Free Press before moving to Liberty Group Publishing, which owned the Daily Forum. She stayed with the paper after it was acquired by GateHouse Media and followed local publisher Phil Cobb to The Post in 2012. She and her husband, Richard live east of Maryville. ∙ Twyla Martin, account advertising representative, has spent 20 years serving customer accounts for the Daily Forum and associat-
OFFICE NUMBER 660-562-2424
ed publications. A native of Braddyville, Iowa, Martin and her husband, Tom, are both members of the Nodaway County Fair Board of Directors. The couple also organizes the annual Haunted Campground at Mozingo Lake Recreation Park, which takes place in October just before Halloween. ∙ Jason Lawrence, sports editor, is a 2012 graduate of Northwest Missouri State University, where he majored in journalism. Since earning his degree, he worked for the Platte County Citizen covering both sports and news. Lawrence is engaged to a fellow Bearcat alum, and will be married in Nov. 2014. His fiancé, Kay-Leigh Scheffler, is currently working on her master’s degree in nursing at Saint Louis University. In his spare time, Law-
Today High: 32° Low: 15°
rence enjoys movies, video games and basketball. ∙ Kevin Birdsell, reporter, is from Stanberry and graduated from Stanberry R-II High School in 2007. He studied journalism at Northwest Missouri State University and graduated in 2011. Birdsell will cover both news and sports and is also a photographer. He is an avid comic book reader. ∙ Kaity Holtman, account advertising representative, began with The Post in March 2013 and also has significant responsibilities for online communications. Holtman graduated from the University of Missouri with a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Journalism and spent two years as director of communications for the Mis-
Record....................... 2 Agriculture............... 6 Sports.................... 7, 8
See STAFF, pg.3
Classifieds................. 9 Comics.................... 10 Entertainment........ 11