Beginning a new journey in life

Beginning a new journey in life

BY: TIM EVANS

Last week, I began a new journey in life. 

As the new general manager of the Macoupin County Enquirer-Democrat, I thought it might be good to introduce myself to our readers.

I have a long history of managing weekly newspapers and shoppers and I’ve been hired to help take this newspaper to another level. 

This is now my fifth day in Carlinville after starting Jan. 2. I’d never been to Carlinville before I interviewed with owners Paula and Jay Endress and I was impressed with what the area offered. Its positioning between Edwardsville and Springfield makes it an attractive location.

I’ve been in the newspaper business for over 40 years – actually since I was a junior in high school when I started writing sports for our hometown family paper, The Atkinson-Annawan News, or as people in Annawan called it, The Annawan-Atkinson News. We called it the A-A News

Since, I’ve worked for many different newspaper companies including owning a piece of my own newspaper business at one time before settling into a position with the News-Gazette in Champaign, managing what eventually settled into nine weekly newspapers. My last gig was for about two years with my brother Greg’s operation in Sparta, Wis., running a twice-weekly as well as a small weekly that also offered a monthly publication. After accomplishing what we wanted to accomplish in training his sales people, making it an award-winning and profitable operation, it was time to move on and get closer to my personal family.

Greg is one of several family members (I have 14 siblings) who have been involved in some kind of printing or media business — everything from my youngest brother who is one of the head graphic designers for Mayo Clinic to a sister in Florida who owns a print shop with her husband.

I can truly say I learned from some of the best people in the business and my plan is to take all that knowledge and incorporate it into growing the Macoupin County Enquirer-Democrat into the best newspaper it can be. 

I take a lot of pride in producing award-winning and profitable newspapers. Through the years, my newspapers have won hundreds of awards including newspapers that was named the top small weekly in the state. Personally, I’ve won awards in just about every editorial category there is – from having the top sports, editorial and feature pages to being named a Master Columnist and even Advertising Director of the Year.

I’m also one for getting involved in the communities we serve. I’ve served as president of local Chamber of Commerce, Rotary and Lions clubs, social services organizations, festival committees and more. I even served on the Illinois Press Association Board of Directors. I also don’t mind giving presentations to organizations, helping local students learn journalism or anything of that nature.

I also want to thank my wife, Luanne, who has been by my side for over 40 years and has given me two great children and, as a result, four – and soon to be five – grandchildren, all under the age of 7. My son is a computer security expert at Argonne National Labs in Chicago area and my daughter is a pediatric nurse practitioner for St. Louis Children’s Hospital, living in Edwardsville.

So while I’ll miss the strong business climate of Wisconsin and its trusting, hard working and fun-loving people, I’ll make a home in the Carlinville area and build this newspaper. Despite what the main media might tell you, newspapers aren’t dead — especially weeklies — and the Enquirer-Democrat will be an important portable communication device for this county and Carlinville for many years to come.

Thus, I want your feedback. I want to know what you think we need to do to improve the Enquirer-Democrat. Yes, it’s a great paper, but we want to make it even greater and we can’t do that without your input, so write to me, call me or hopefully we’ll meet. We look forward to your feedback. 

Onward, upward.

Tim Evans is general manager of the Macoupin County Enquirer-Democrat and can be reached at tevans@enquirerdemocrat.com or by calling (217) 840-8704.