IL publisher appointed NNA Region 4 director

May 9, 2016

SPRINGFIELD, IL—John M. Galer, publisher of the Journal-News in Hillsboro, IL, has been appointed Region 4 director for the National Newspaper Association by NNA President Chip Hutcheson. Region 4 comprises Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Galer was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Keith Rathbun, the former owner and publisher of The Budget in Sugarcreek, OH, the nation’s largest Amish and Mennonite newspaper. Rathbun died earlier this year.

Hutcheson, publisher of the Times Leader in Princeton, KY, said the NNA board was deeply saddened when it learned of Rathbun’s death in January. “NNA is a strong and resilient organization dedicated to helping community newspapers thrive. We were thankful that John was able to step in and take over the regional director’s position. His experience and energy will be assets to NNA. All of our regional directors—and the entire board—put forth a lot of effort on behalf of the members. We all work together for a stronger organization and for stronger newspapers.”

The Galer family came to the Journal in 1945 when John’s grandfather, Del, took over production management duties. John’s father, Phillip Galer, purchased the Journal’s first offset press in 1968. He and John, along with numerous others, helped expand the business during the ’70s and ’80s. Two weekly shoppers, Macoupin County Journal and M & M Journal, were started during that time. They also bought the  Raymond News, and in 1996, John took over the responsibilities of publisher for the operation.

In 2004, John and his wife, Susan, bought the Montgomery County News, also in Hillsboro, and merged that publication and staff into the Journal operation. That decision helped meld the traditions and journalistic history of both papers for the benefit of the entire county and helped the company advance technically, including the establishment of the website, The Journal-News, a 6,000 circulation, twice weekly, has been well received throughout the community and is a community advocate.

John is a past president of the Illinois Press Association and now serves on the Illinois Press Foundation board of directors; he is also active with IPA’s Government Relations Committee.

Established in 1885, the National Newspaper Association is the voice of America’s community newspapers and the largest newspaper association in the country. The nation’s community papers inform, educate and entertain nearly 150 million readers every week.