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Scott Loftis

From the Editor

Scott Loftis is editor for Carroll County Newspapers. His email address is SLoftis@cherryroad.com

Opinion

Change is here

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Monday morningís email included a kind note from Jon Rust, publisher of the Southeast Missourian in Cape Girardeau and president of Rust Communications.

Jon called it a bittersweet day, and he was exactly right. Monday was Carroll County Newspapersí final day as a subsidiary of Rust Communications. Beginning Tuesday, March 1, weíll become a part of CherryRoad Media, a swift-growing company in the newspaper industry.

I worked for Rust for more than seven years ó ever since I came to Berryville in June 2014. Ironically, Iíd been scheduled to interview for an assistant editorís position at the Missourian just a few months before but canceled that interview after being promised a raise and some other improvements to remain as managing editor of the daily newspaper in Pine Bluff. That promise was never fulfilled, which is part of what led me to Berryville.

Another part of what led me here was the opportunity to do good, meaningful work while also having a sense of balance in my life. I was burnt out from working 10 to 12 hours a day, six days a week, for a boss who didnít seem to appreciate or even understand what I was doing. That changed when I came to Berryville. I was able to have a life outside the office, with a boss who understood and appreciated my work. And the results speak for themselves: This newspaper has won first place for general excellence in the state press associationís annual contest four times in the past five years. We cover local news, and we cover it well. Thatís our commitment to our community and our readers, and it wonít change.

As managing editor here, I didnít have much direct contact with Rustís leadership until I was promoted to general manager starting last October. Since then, however, Iíve leaned heavily on Rust CFO Bob Kinder and Iíve very much appreciated the occasional correspondence with Jon. Rust was good to me and I believe theyíve been good to Carroll County.

At the same time, Iím excited about the future of our publications under CherryRoad. Everything Iíve read and heard about our new owners has been extremely positive, and Iím very impressed by their commitment to local news and to continuing to produce a print newspaper.

During an introductory Zoom call with CherryRoad CEO Jeremy Gulban, a publisher from one of sister papers asked Jeremy if he wanted to see our stories reporting the change in ownership before they were published.

No, Jeremy said, the stories needed to be told in our voice.

That said a lot about his philosophy and it wasnít insignificant to a sometimes cynical old editor. I believe Jeremy wants us to continue our mission of keeping our community informed.

Change, as they say, is inevitable ó especially in the newspaper industry. So, yes, it is a bittersweet day but also an exciting one.

I love coming to work every day. Thatís been true since the first day under Rust Communications and I expect it will continue to be true under CherryRoad Media.