Roseburg is a conservative lumber town — home of Roseburg Forest Products, one of the nation’s largest privately held lumber companies. The city is 94 percent white. And the newspaper — securely planted behind a pay-wall — is a monopoly.
While tucked away in the Pacific Northwest, Roseburg’s tea party recently made national headlines for its bullying tactics. Last summer tea partiers invaded a quiet MoveOn picnic, breaking it up — and the video went viral.
“The Tea Partiers themselves proudly posted the video of their invasion of the MoveOn picnic,” according to Crooks and Liars. “Moreover, it clearly documents how they effectively broke it up — by threatening the attendees with intimidating speech and making it clear they wanted the group to clear out.”
The video is here. You’ve got to watch it.
In short, Roseburg is in a “time warp” in one of the nation’s most progressive states.
SWIFT’S MUSICAL CHAIRS
Rumors have been circulating for months that Ackerman was going to be leaving The Union. This was passed onto me by former “Swifties,” who work at other papers now.They noticed a game of corporate musical chairs afoot. Mark Raymond, who had been publisher of the Roseburg newspaper, was transferred to the privately held chain’s Carson City “mothership,” creating an opening in Oregon. The Roseburg publisher position still is posted on Swift’s website.
Swift’s chief executive is Bill Toler, a former Procter & Gamble executive with no newspaper experience. He replaced longtimer Arnie Hoel, a friend and ally of Ackerman. Swift’s leadership team is here.
WHO IS THE UNION’S NEW PUBLISHER?
The Union’s new publisher is Dave Schmall. He had quietly joined Swift earlier this year after being hired by Bob Brown, Swift’s president and Ackerman’s boss. (Schmall and Brown seem rather similar in their styles and experience — lots of “bells and whistles” but you need to monitor the execution).
Schmall, 53, had been publisher of the Marysville Appeal-Democrat until last December. He’s been involved in innovative projects over the years — in print and online.
Schmall had been publisher of the Marysville newspaper since 2008 and “resigned to explore other opportunities,” according to the newspaper.
He was profiled in the newspaper in 2009. He showed a sense of humor: “If you were in charge, what would you change about the community? I would combine both cities and call it Yubaville, Marys City or perhaps, Bensonhurst.”
Schmall has a wife and two children. His favorite sports team is the Chicago Cubs, and his favorite television show is “Two and a Half Men.” His hobbies include a “lifelong pursuit of wine and better cheese.”
“What were your favorite/least favorite subjects in school? I enjoyed my political science curriculum in college. My favorite class was “The Effects of Global Thermo Nuclear War.” My least favorite was physics.” (Oh no. Wait until Dave meets our local “wingnut” bloggers, such as Dr. George Rebane).
“Favorite book: I refer to Sun Tzu’s “Art of War” a lot.” (Grass Valley gadfly and former council member Steve Enos likes that book too!)
Schmall is from Atlanta. He has more than 25 years of experience in the media industry, having served in key publishing and sales management positions, according to a press release.
“He most recently served as publisher for Creative Loafing in Atlanta, Ga., where he led the execution and business strategy of Atlanta’s largest weekly publication. Under Schmall’s leadership, Creative Loafing increased audience share and sales revenues beyond the core print product by introducing new online and mobile applications, including podcasts, video and blogs.”
All told, Schmall respresents the transition that is going on in our community and is discussed here regularly. He will be more of a uniter than a divider.
Here’s Schmall in a silly promotion with the Marysville baseball team:
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