Best wishes to my pal, Trent Knuckles, on his future endeavors now that he has left the News Journal.
As many of you know, Friday was Trent’s last day as publisher. He is leaving after 24 years to pursue other interests. A part of me will miss him, while another part of me is happy for him to be making a fresh start, and taking on new endeavors in life.
There are two things that are certain regarding Trent’s departure.
The first is that our Corbin office will definitely be a lot quieter with Trent gone. The second is that it should be much easier to get through on the office telephone lines. I swear it felt like Trent spent half the day talking on either the landline or on his cellphone.
He is good at talking though, and people love to argue with him. I always told him that he was missing his calling not going into talk radio. I still say that he could make a fortune at it. As far as I know, this is not the endeavor he is pursuing though.
It is going to feel oddly strange walking into the office each day, and not having anyone to argue with. Believe it or not, I am not sure how I feel about that.
In light of Trent’s departure, our Publisher Emeritus Don Estep, is coming out of semi-retirement and will be helming the newspaper again.
I will be taking over as managing editor, and several of our other employees are stepping up taking on additional duties. One of those employees is Sports Editor Trevor Sherman, who will also be taking over the business and editorial pages. I look forward to seeing what he does with those.
Without going into great detail, one change you will be seeing in coming weeks are some tweaks to our sports coverage, as the News Journal tries to move away from a lot of coverage of past sporting events, which many people are seeing on social media immediately after the games. Current plans are to focus more on previews of upcoming sporting events, and include more features on our sports pages. However, I will let Trevor who is debuting a new column this week on the editorial page write more about that.
Ironically, our staff held two meetings Friday discussing future sports coverage, which is the same day it was announced that the Advocate-Messenger, Jessamine Journal, Interior Journal and the Winchester Sun were largely scaling back their sports departments.
My condolences go out to the journalists and their families, who were affected by the changes and layoffs. I can understand the business decisions behind those moves, and the need for newspapers to adapt in an ever-changing climate.
So how should newspapers adapt? What do people want to see in newspapers in the 21st century, and more particularly what do News Journal readers want to see in their newspaper?
Do readers want to see more or less sports coverage? Do they want to read about more crime news? Do they want to know more about what local governments are doing? Do they want to read more feature stories? Do they want to hear from more columnists?
Be thinking about such things News Journal readers.
There will be more on this topic in a few weeks.