Observer-Dispatch editor to run State Journal-Register
Jon Broadbooks, editor of the Utica Observer-Dispatch and UticaOD.com in Utica, N.Y., since 2005, has been named editor of The State Journal-Register, publisher Scott Bowers announced Thursday.
Broadbooks, 41, begins work Jan. 7.
“I'm very excited about the opportunity to help guide coverage at the state's oldest newspaper,” Broadbooks said in a statement. “The State Journal-Register has a wonderful history of community service, and that's something that I found very attractive about coming to work in Springfield.”
The State Journal-Register and Observer-Dispatch are both owned by GateHouse Media Inc., based in New York.
Broadbooks, who began his career as a staff writer at the Bluefield Daily Telegraph in Bluefield, W.Va., in 1989, also has worked as an editor in two other state capitals. He was named assistant metro editor in 1995 of the Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Miss. and in 1998 became assistant managing editor of the Montgomery Advertiser in Montgomery, Ala.
He also worked as managing editor and later executive editor of the Hattiesburg American in Hattiesburg, Miss.
“Jon's diverse journalism experience, his idealism and passion to lead a newsroom when readers crave more information - both in print and online - set him apart. He understands the state capital culture, and his style seems to fit the community,” Bowers said in the announcement.
Donna M. Donovan, president and publisher of the Observer-Dispatch, said the move provides Broadbooks with the opportunity to be top editor at a larger newspaper in a state-capital community.
“Since joining the O-D, Jon has led our newsroom through dramatic change,” said Donovan. “He’s integrated online and non-daily media into our portfolio of publications, and helped shepherd our newsroom through a successful, and positive, transition from Gannett to GateHouse Media. Most important, Jon understood the importance of connecting with our readers, and providing thoughtful, insightful and engaging coverage of the issues and events that matter to them.”
Donovan said the process of recruiting a new editor will begin shortly. In the interim, managing editor Mike Kilian will function as editor in charge.
Broadbooks is a member of the national board of directors of the Associated Press Managing Editors. He also has served on advisory boards for mass communications for the University of Southern Mississippi and the journalism school at the University of Mississippi.
He is a graduate of King College in Bristol, Tenn. with a bachelor's degree in history and political science, and of the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, where he obtained a master's degree in communications.
Broadbooks is a native of Athens, Ga. He and his wife, Catherine, have three children.
He succeeds Barry Locher, who left The State Journal-Register Dec. 14.
State Journal-Register and Utica Observer-Dispatch