The Times-Standard has a new publisher. John Rollin Richmond of Eureka starts on Feb. 18 as General Manager/Advertising Director of the Times-Standard as well as Director of Print and Digital Sales at the divisional level for NorCal Community Media.
Jim Gleim, group head of NorCal Community Media, made the announcement this morning.
“Characteristic of [retiring publisher] Paula [Patton], when alerting me to an issue in Eureka there was always an attendant solution offered,” he said. “When presenting me with her retirement, the solution was to arrange a meeting with John — I couldn’t be more pleased with the result. John’s extensive content and sales experience across all manner of platforms will be a great addition to the Times-Standard and the balance of the division.”
“Leaving Eureka and The Times-Standard to be with family in Tennessee was one of the most difficult decisions of my career,” Patton said. “Over the years, I have come to know John’s talents and knew he would be a great fit as my replacement. I am delighted to leave the work of my last five years in John’s capable hands.”
Richmond recently served three and a half years as CEO of Lost Coast Communications, Inc. (KHUM, KWPT “The Point”, KSLG “K-Slug”, 94.1 “The Lounge” and the Lost Coast Outpost). Before then, he was an advertising account executive at the Washington Post, and director of sales training for the National Newspaper Group of Hearst Media, based out of the San Francisco Chronicle.
“The Times-Standard should be the most relevant and cutting-edge hometown paper in the state,” he said, adding, “we’re California’s oldest newspaper north of Sacramento and the flagship media outlet of the North Coast.”
“We’re very lucky in Humboldt to have several fine news outlets in our community, both print and digital,” Richmond says. “A healthy society depends on that. Over 20 years in this business, I’ve seen too many vital community newspapers across the country struggle and disappear. I’m proud to be part of keeping local journalism healthy and diverse.”
“Helping to maintain robust local journalism has become more than a career for me,” Richmond says. “It’s how I serve the community, my home.”
Richmond learned over 20 years in ad sales that no newspaper in this country has ever sustained itself on subscriptions alone. “At the same time, I’m all too aware that our authority depends entirely on the public’s trust that editorial is incorruptible and separate from the pressure of advertising sales. It’s an interesting dance, and one I take very seriously.”
One of Richmond’s favorite stories involves an elevator ride with Bob Woodward of the Washington Post.
“Mr. Woodward pushed the button for editorial on the fifth floor, and watched me press six for advertising. It was just the two of us. I’m a true believer in the fourth estate so, of course, I was star struck to share an elevator with the journalist famous for much of the original Watergate scandal reporting. At one point I turned to him and gushed, ‘Mr. Woodward, I just want to thank you for everything you’ve done for journalism and for the country.’ He grunted and faced away from me. I didn’t take it personally; he was keeping the ironclad firewall between editorial and advertising. I’ve never forgotten that lesson … and to this day it makes me smile to think of it.”
Author of several novels, dog lover, and motorcycle enthusiast, Richmond lives in Eureka with his wife Leila Roberts, who runs the North Coast Small Business Development Center, and their beloved rescue mutt Benny.
NorCal Community Media publishes 11 daily newspapers, six weekly newspapers and 44 digital platforms in Northern California.