Southern Standard Publisher Patricia Zechman announces the appointment of Dale Stubblefield as the newspaper’s general manager. Dale began his journalism career 20 years ago as an editorial reporter.
Zechman stated, “It’s a privilege to recognize the diligent and hard work of a talented individual such as Dale. The ever-changing news industry creates an interesting challenge to the classic news gathering efforts, and Dale’s willingness to learn and grow within this changing landscape has kept the Standard at the forefront of the information industry.
“As the news gathering process evolves, Dale helps keep the Standard in its traditional place as the leading source for accurate and informed news, whether government, community or sports. I appreciate his willingness to assume additional responsibilities as the Standard continues the role it has held for 141 years as this community’s connection to factual and informative news,” she concluded.
“I’m very humble and appreciative to accept this new position, and looking forward to helping our current customers and a new generation of readers,” Stubblefield said.
“Coming on staff in 2001, I spent seven years in editorial. It was a big learning experience. I had no background in writing or the newspaper business, but Editor James Clark took a chance on me. He helped me with the ins and outs of what it took to be an informative reporter, and I appreciate that,” he added.
In 2009, he took on the role of developing the newspaper’s website.
“Our Publisher Mrs. Patricia Zechman asked if I would be willing to take on a challenge and help get our new website up and going. It was a slow start but with the help of the advertising department, we got things moving. I believe we have one of the top websites today, and there is so much added value advertising on the website now than there was 10 years ago.”
He advanced to advertising manager in 2011 and held that position until 2013.
“Taking over the advertising department was an easy transition. I’ve always been business oriented and enjoy that aspect of the paper very much. When you have a great product like the Southern Standard, business professionals understand the value of advertising in our paper.”
Since 2013, he has been circulation director.
“Circulation was a whole new eye opener. I never knew how complex that department was. I’m not sure if I could have understood it all without the help of Susan Newby and Vickie Scott. It has been a real challenge over the past several years. So much has moved to electronic customers, people getting their news from their laptop or phone. We still have a large hard copy base and always will, but the website has really taken off this past year,” he stated.
While his time at the newspaper started out with a hesitant step, Stubblefield quickly found enthusiasm for the business of news reporting.
“I never thought I would stay here this long, but here I am 20 years later. This is a great place to work and I enjoy it very much. We are one big close family up here and you have to support each other. It’s not all good news, unfortunately there is a lot of bad news out there and you need thick skin to be in the news business.”
Stubblefield credits Zechman for teaching him the ropes.
“The one person who has taught me so much about this business is Mrs. Zechman. She has so much knowledge about the newspaper industry and I’m very thankful she has passed some of that on to me. She is a great leader and a very understanding person who has entrusted me over the years with many challenging task. I owe her a lot. She is a true professional and I thank her for all she does for the paper.”
As general manager, Stubblefield will be working to improve efficiency and increase profits, while handling the overall operations of the company. His duties include helping Zechman manage staff, oversee the budget employing marketing strategies, and many other facets of the business.