M. Roberts Media, the family owned company that owns and operates the leading community daily newspapers and associated digital properties in South and East Texas, today announced new and expanded roles for the publishers of the Victoria Advocate and Longview News-Journal and creation of a new position to oversee its growing publishing business.
Stephen N. McHaney, president of the family owned company and publisher in Longview, and Dan Easton, publisher in Victoria, announced they have been elected to the board of directors and are taking on broader roles. Beginning this week, day-to-day operations of the publishing companies will be overseen by Dick Franks in the newly created position of chief executive officer.
“This is a new chapter in our long company history,” McHaney said, “one that I believe positions us well to continue to grow and evolve.”
McHaney and Easton will retain their respective publisher titles and their involvement in the editorial voices of the Longview and Victoria newspapers. McHaney, who will continue as president of M. Roberts Media Finance and Services, will focus on mergers, acquisitions and finance. Easton’s focus, meanwhile, will be on the digital services and agency side of the business as president of Advocate Digital Media, which is being spun off as an independent operating division.
Franks, who began this week with M. Roberts Media, has a long history in the media industry and has been instrumental in the growth of multiple organizations. As CEO of M. Roberts Media Publishing, he will oversee the print and digital publishing and events operations in Victoria, Longview, Marshall and Carthage. He will also oversee the commercial printing division, TCM Printing. Franks said, “With the help, ideas, the involvement and support of the family and board, we will strive to insure the growth and success of these important properties in these challenging times. We will continue the important mission; we have to provide interesting, important, credible and accountable products to our readers, our advertising partners, and the greater communities we serve.”
Franks most recently was president and CEO of Open Sky Media, a magazine publisher in Austin. Previously, he was CEO of American Community Newspapers and has been with other newspaper companies across the nation, including Dispatch Printing Co. in Ohio; the Eagle Tribune Cos. in Massachusetts and Westward Communications in Houston.