Darling named

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 14, 2007

publisher of Greenville Newspapers LLC

From Staff Reports

Ed Darling, a native Alabamian and veteran newspaper executive, has been named president of Greenville Newspapers LLC, publisher of The Luverne Journal and senior vice president of Boone Newspapers Inc.

He assumes his new role March 1.

Darling comes to Greenville from Cullman where for the past nine years he has been editor and publisher of The Cullman Times, an award-winning, six-day daily newspaper and the reigning recipient of the Alabama Press Association's general excellence honor.

He replaces Dennis Palmer, who was recently named publisher of The Selma Times Journal, an affiliate of The Advocate. The Advocate and The Times-Journal are part of the Boone Newspapers organization.

&#8220We're thrilled at the opportunity of moving into a community with the southern charm and grace of Greenville,” Darling said. &#8220We look forward to getting involved and to helping an already good place become even better. We sense there is a bright future for the area and our hope is that we can quickly earn the chance to be a part of that, both through The Advocate and personally.”

&#8220I am delighted Ed and his family are returning to our organization and doing so in a place that means so much to me and to our organization,” said Todd Carpenter, president of Boone Newspapers and publisher of The Greenville Advocate from 1994-1998. &#8220Ed and Julie are people of high integrity and are good friends.

They will benefit from and contribute much to the community.”

The move to Greenville is a homecoming of sorts for Darling and his wife, Julie, an accomplished newspaper executive in her own right.

He published Boone newspapers in Natchez and Picayune, Miss. earlier in his career and served the company as a vice president and group manager. She was advertising director at Natchez and was director of sales and marketing at Cullman before becoming a stay-at-home mom after the birth of their son Grant, now a four-year-old.

&#8220Leaving a place that meant much to us was difficult,” Darling admitted, &#8220but the chance to return to our professional home, to work with quality people like Todd Carpenter, Jim Boone, Dennis Palmer and the talented staff in Butler County, to embark on a new family adventure and, frankly, to live in Greenville excites us.”

&#8220Ed Darling is an exceptional newspaper publisher, community and newspaper industry leader,” said Carpenter. &#8220He understands the important obligations of a community newspaper, its publisher and staff.

He is a person of high energy, enthusiasm and experience who will work hard to fulfill those obligations.”

The Darlings bring an active and diversified community-oriented background to the new role.

The Cullman Times twice earned general excellence honors from the Alabama Press Association during their time there and for the past six years has been named winner of the state's advertising sweepstakes award. It was also recognized last year as one of its corporation's Top 12 papers nationwide, competing with 94 other papers.

Key milestones over the past nine years included the addition of a Saturday morning paper, redesign of the paper and its affiliated products, remodeling of the Times' building, expansion of the annual Profile edition, creation of the magazine Classic Cullman, annual recognition of a Distinguished Citizen and Unsung Heroes, selection of Readers Choice awards, development of area senior resource guides, sponsorship of the city's Concerts in the Park series and events like the U.S. Army Field Band and Soldiers Chorus and Homemakers Cooking School.

The Darlings have been heavily involved in civic activities, too.

He is completing a year as chairman of the 1,300-member Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce and served on its board eight years. He also served on the boards of the United Way and Rotary and held leadership positions in a variety of other local and state groups.

He is currently president of the Alabama Associated Press Managing Editors, is a member of the Alabama Press Association board and served the APA as both chairman and president of its journalism foundation. He is a past member of the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association (SNPA) board. His weekly columns have been recognized for excellence in three states. He is a graduate of the University of Alabama where he earned two letters as manager of the basketball team. He was named Outstanding Journalism Alumnus by the university in 2000, is a member of the Board of Visitors for the University of Alabama's College of Communication and Information Sciences and is a graduate of Leadership Alabama.

A publisher for 31 years, he guided newspapers in Meridian and Natchez, Miss., Duncan, Okla. and Picayune, Miss. before the Cullman role, earning 12 other general excellence awards. He started his career as a 12-year-old sports correspondent at The Tuscaloosa News and later served that paper as sports editor, assistant managing editor, city editor and advertising sales representative.

He served as president of three chambers of commerce, an economic development agency, two United Way organizations, Rotary, two Main Street programs and is a Paul Harris Fellow. His role in building an $11 million multi-purpose activities center and theater earned him both Distinguished Citizen and Outstanding Citizen honors while in Duncan and he was a member of the charter Leadership Oklahoma class.

She is on the board of directors at Sonshine Preschool and has been active in leadership roles for the Cullman Women's League, Cullman City Schools Foundation and especially First United Methodist Church where they have been active members.

A graduate of the University of Mississippi, she was an award-winning advertising director at The Natchez Democrat before moving to Cullman. She also worked for the Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Miss.

They have two older sons, Scott, a Washington, D.C.-based finance manager and former fund raiser in presidential and gubernatorial campaigns; and Chris, who is director of special projects at Georgetown University and a doctoral student at George Washington University, also in Washington D.C. Both boys, and Chris' wife Shelly, are graduates of the University of Alabama.

Boone Newspapers Inc. is a Tuscaloosa-based company that owns and manages newspapers in 29 communities in Alabama, Mississippi, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, Minnesota and Michigan.