Veteran newspaper executive and Middle Georgia native Donald W. Bailey has been named president and publisher of The Telegraph in Macon, Ga.
Bailey arrives from The Times in Shreveport, La., where he has been president and publisher since January 2012. He was president of The Augusta Chronicle in Georgia from 2004 until 2011.
Bailey, 51, begins work at The Telegraph on April 8. He replaces George McCanless, who left the newspaper in January.
Bailey returns to The Telegraph where he began his newspaper career as a summer advertising intern in 1984. He spent eight years at The Telegraph, rising to sales and marketing manager. He moved to The Augusta Chronicle in 1992 as classified advertising manager. He left to work for the Savannah Morning News in 1996 as the director of sales and marketing and rejoined The Augusta Chronicle in 2002 as general manager. Two years later, he was appointed president.
“It’s hard to imagine a more perfect fit,” said McClatchy president and CEO Pat Talamantes. “Don has overseen the transition from print-oriented news and sales operations to digital publishing at two daily newspapers. And now he marries that invaluable experience with his knowledge of The Telegraph and his deep affection for the community.”
Bailey was born in Thomaston, Ga., just west of Macon, and moved to Macon in his early teens. He earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and an MBA from Georgia College.
“Don is a talented publisher. He’s smart, energetic and creative,” said Mark Zieman, McClatchy vice president, operations, who oversees McClatchy’s newspapers in the South. “Just as important, he and his wife, Chelle, are from Middle Georgia and love the area and its people. We’re delighted to welcome Don back to The Telegraph as the leader of Macon’s premiere multimedia company.”
As a publisher, Bailey said he was most proud of his newspapers sustaining quality journalism even while transitioning to new digital platforms and products. Bailey has also been active in the community, serving on a variety of charitable, nonprofit and civic boards in Shreveport and previously in Augusta.
Bailey and his wife have three children, two of whom were born in Macon.
“We are not just returning to Macon or The Telegraph. Chelle and I see this as coming home to where our lives began together,” Bailey said. “I’m excited about rekindling some of the old relationships, but even more excited about continuing the great tradition of The Telegraph as it serves Macon, Warner Robins and the surrounding communities on the various print and digital platforms every day.”