3 candidates nominated for NNA regional directorships

Jun 9, 2014

COLUMBIA, MO— Matt Paxton, Susan Rowell and Tom Mullen have been nominated for National Newspaper Association regional directorships.

Paxton, who is currently Region 3 director (Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia), is being nominated for his first three-year term. Paxton is president of The News-Gazette Corp. in Lexington, VA, which publishes The News-Gazette. Paxton was appointed to the board in 2013 to complete the unexpired term of Chip Hutcheson, publisher of the Princeton (KY) Times-Leader, who was elected NNA treasurer.

Rowell has been nominated for her first three-year term as Region 4 director (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina and Puerto Rico). She is publisher and regional manager for the The Lancaster News/Carolina Gateway in Lancaster, SC. She was appointed to the board to fill the unexpired term of Bill Jacobs, the former owner and publisher of the Southwest Publishers Inc. in Brookhaven, MS.

Mullen has been nominated for his second three-year term as Region 9 director (Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington). He is owner of the Philipsburg Mail in Philipsburg, MT.

Paxton’s News-Gazette Corp. also publishes The News-Gazette, a weekly print and online newspaper, the News-Gazette’s Weekender, a weekly news and feature free-distribution paper and several print and Web niche publications. He grew up in a newspaper family and represents the fourth generation involved in his family’s paper.

He is a 1976 graduate of the University of Virginia, where he earned a BA in economics. After four years in banking, he returned to the family business in 1980, where he started in advertising sales. After stints as advertising manager and business manager, he became publisher in 1994, when he bought the business from his father.

As publisher, he managed the growth of the paper from one publishing day a week to twice a week in print, and daily online. The company has also added several niche publications, “Visiting Lexington and the Rockbridge Area,” and “Valley of Virginia Properties.” The paper’s online edition at TheNews-Gazette.com includes top stories and breaking news, arts and entertainment, obits and classifieds available without subscription. The paper’s e-edition is available as a stand-alone subscription and as an added value to print subscribers. 

Paxton is a past president and current board member of the Virginia Press Association. He had been on NNA’s board in the late 1990s when the association’s headquarters was based in Virginia.

Rowell brings 29 years of community newspaper experience to the board, beginning her career at the Lancaster (SC) News in 1985. Starting as an advertising sales rep she was promoted to advertising manager in 1993. Graduating from the Landmark Newspaper Management program in 1996, she continued her newspaper management training as she was named strategic development director for the newspaper in 1998 and then circulation manager in 1999.

Rowell was named publisher in September 2002. She is also publisher of Carolina Gateway, a free weekly newspaper. In her role as regional manager for Landmark of South Carolina, Rowell provides management oversight for the Chester News & Reporter and the Pageland Progressive Journal. She served as president of the South Carolina Press Association in 2012.

Tom Mullen began his professional newspaper career in 1983 as a copy editor for the Omaha World Herald. In 1984, he sold circulation, door-to-door for the Arkansas Democrat. In 1986, he and his wife, Annie, returned to their home in Sioux City, SD, where he worked for the Daily Reporter as ad manager (they purchased that newspaper in 1999).

In 1994, he trained to be a community newspaper publisher with Les Mann in Wayne, NE. In 1996, they moved to Newcastle, WY, to buy into the News Letter Journal. Three years later, owner Robb Hicks sold them a majority interest in that paper.

In addition to those newspapers the Mullens have owned and operated (with and without partners Robert H. Hicks and Jen Sieve-Hicks, and Gary and Sue Stevenson of Wyoming) the Philipsburg Mail, Silver State Post, Glasgow Courier and the Havre Daily News all in Montana, the twice-weekly Weiser Signal-American and the Teton Valley News in Idaho, the Seaside Signal in Oregon, and the Mason County Journal in Washington.

Any NNA member may submit additional nominees. A petition signed by at least 10 NNA members within that region must support each nominee. The nominee must not be from the same state as the current or outgoing director. Send nominations to: Chairman, NNA Nominating Committee for either Region 3, 4, or p, P.O. Box 7540, Columbia, MO 65205-7540. Nominations must be received by no later than July 15, 2014.

Eligible persons will have their names added to the ballot. Ballots will be mailed July 18.

For more information, contact Lynn Edinger at 573-777-4982 or at lynn@nna.org.