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20 and still going strong - People
farragutpress begins its third decade with this issue


Five employees and a prominent owner form the backbone of farragutpress history, combining for 90 years service that has extended into the weekly newspaper’s 20th anniversary, celebrated this week.

Nick Drewry, president of Republic Newspapers, Inc., parent company to farragutpress, led the way in forming the newspaper as publisher in 1988 leading up to the first issue that year, Sept. 13. He was hired by Doug Horne, founder/owner of Republic Newspapers, area real estate mogul and native of Blue Grass.


Tony Cox, Republic vice president, is a past publisher and ad manager on board 17 years, while Elaine Grove, associate publisher/advertising manager, has served in advertising since her arrival in 1991 — as manager since the early-1990s.

They join Linda Gildner and Carolyn Reid who have now served 18 years each.

“One the reasons that we’re still here, 20 years later, is because myself, Tony, Elaine, Linda and Carolyn are still here 20 years later,” said Drewry, Republic president since 2000. “You’ve got a major bookkeeper and accountant [Reid], you’ve a got a person who has served in classified ads, retail advertising in the front-office [Gildner], you’ve got the leadership in your advertising department [Grove], and Tony and I in the overall leadership and/or publisher roles and ad manager roles.

“There’s a lot of longevity there.”

Horne added it is “very unusual” for a community newspaper to have such personnel longevity, especially in management.

Cox said Drewry was a mentor of sorts helping him rise from a paperboy in 1991. “I didn’t have a love for newspapers when I first started,” Cox said. “When Nick took me to a coffee somewhere in 1992 he talked about ‘work ethic’ and ‘dedication’ and the fact that I could grow in this industry if I wanted to learn about the whole, overall operation of the newspaper.

“Act-ually tutoring me to actually read a newspaper,” Cox added. “Him saying I had a good place to grow and that I could retire here meant a lot to me.”

And if Cox made a mistake along the way, Drewry was “somebody who was going to show me where my mistake was and not let me make that same mistake,” Cox said.

Drewry labeled Cox “a critical part of the success of the newspaper,” whose rise from paperboy to vice president “is a story you just don’t get every day.”

Cox also has managed a number of farragutpress sister publications, including out-of-state, off-and-on since 1993.

Drewry labeled Grove’s contributions “very valuable to the newspaper,” while Cox labeled Grove “the face of farragutpress for so long. Elaine and I have worked really well together. … She is an amazing sales organizer. She just did all those little things to get staff motivated.”

Grove said she’s been at the paper 17 years “because I enjoy it, obviously. I think it’s fun working for a community newspaper because you’re more involved with the people you live with.

“I enjoy the interaction with the community,” she added. “Plus this paper has grown and improved so much, and that’s fun to watch.”

Positive interaction with staff, Grove said, “Is one of the other reasons I’m here because the people you work with, you have to enjoy being around them, and I do. I’ve got a great ad staff that works well together as a team. And they enjoy what they’re doing, which makes it easier and more fun.”

Coming over from West Side Story newspaper after the 1990 merger along with Reid, Gildner was a “successful” account executive, Cox said, before also taking on circulation responsibilities for farragutpress in recent years.

Reid was praised by Drewry and Cox for her tireless work, most recently as Republic accountant.

 

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