Jack McNeely, publisher of the Herald-Citizen, Cookeville, and the Cleveland Daily Banner, is the new president of the Tennessee Press Association (TPA).
“I am honored to serve as the next president of the Tennessee Press Association,” McNeely said. “I cannot think of a time in our 150-plus years when our mission of helping publishers of news and information achieve greater success has been more important. I look forward to working with my peers in a collective effort to turn challenges into opportunities.”
TPA is the trade association of the state’s daily and non-daily newspapers. It is composed of 17 daily newspapers and 116 non-daily newspapers.
McNeely succeeds Rick Thomason, publisher of the Kingsport Times-News and Johnson City Press, and president of Six Rivers Media, LLC.
Other officers elected at TPA’s Business Session during the Concurrent Board of Directors Meeting and Business Session on June 23 are Daniel Williams, general manager of The Paris Post-Intelligencer, elected first vice president; Darrell Richardson, advertising director of The Daily Times, Alcoa, elected second vice president, Chris Sherrill Vass, public editor of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, re-elected secretary; and Eric Barnes, publisher of The Daily News, Memphis, re-elected treasurer.
Directors elected for two-year terms representing District Two are: David Plazas, editor of opinion and engagement of The Tennessean, Nashville; Dave Gould, owner of Main Street Media of Tennessee, Gallatin; and Keith Ponder, publisher of The Tullahoma News.
Rick Thomason will continue on the board for one year as immediate past president. Also continuing on the Board as directors are Calvin Anderson, publisher of The New Tri-State Defender, Memphis; E. Scott Critchlow, co-publisher of the Union City Daily Messenger; Sandy Dodson, publisher of The Bledsonian-Banner, Pikeville; Dale Gentry, publisher of The Standard Banner, Jefferson City; Paul Mauney, publisher of The Greeneville Sun; and Victor Parkins, publisher of The Mirror-Exchange, Milan.
The TPA Board of Directors elected trustees to serve on the Tennessee Press Association Foundation (TPAF) Board of Trustees for three-year terms. Daniel Richardson, Carroll County News Leader, Huntingdon, was elected and Janet Rail, The Independent Appeal, Selmer, was re-elected.
TPAF officers elected at the June 16 TPAF Board of Trustees meeting are Victor Parkins, publisher of The Mirror-Exchange, Milan, re-elected president, and R. Michael Fishman, publisher of the Citizen Tribune, Morristown, re-elected vice president.
About Jack McNeely
Jack McNeely joined the board of the Tennessee Press Association in 2016 as a director.
McNeely, 55, is a native of West Virginia. He began his newspaper career in 1986 as a sportswriter and photographer for his hometown weekly newspaper, the Coal Valley News, in Madison, West Virginia. In 1990 he accepted the sports editor position at a sister daily newspaper, the Logan Banner, in Logan, West Virginia. During the 1990s at the Banner, he worked his way up from sports editor to news editor and finally to general manager.
A U.S. Army veteran, McNeely served 14 years in the West Virginia Army National Guard (1985-99). He graduated second from his multi-services Print Journalism (71Q) course at the Defense Information School in 1986. While in Logan, his public affairs detachment was called up for an 11-month active-duty peacekeeping tour during Operation Joint Guard in Bosnia-Herzegovina (1998). As a staff sergeant, he was team leader of a mobile public affairs detachment, and earned multiple U.S. Army and NATO awards for his service.
Upon his return to Logan, he was notified that newly formed Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc., had purchased the Banner and other titles from Smith Newspapers. Not long after, CNHI offered McNeely his first publisher’s role, with oversight of the Morehead (Ky.) News Group, which consisted of the twice-weekly Morehead News and weekly Grayson Journal Enquirer, Olive Hill Times, and Greenup County News.
While with CNHI, he was also publisher of the Americus (Ga.) Times-Recorder (2003-04) and Commonwealth Journal in Somerset, Kentucky (2004-12).
In 2012, McNeely joined Walls Newspapers as publisher of the Daily Mountain Eagle in Jasper, Ala. (2012-16). He was also publisher of the Herald-Citizen in Cookeville, Tennessee (2016-21), before being named group publisher of the Cleveland (Tenn.) Daily Banner, the Herald-Citizen, the Daily Tribune News in Cartersville, Georgia, and the weekly Chatsworth (Ga.) Times. The Daily Mountain Eagle was recently added to his oversight.
While McNeely attributes much of his success to his military training, he also has a communications degree from Bluefield State College.
His community service includes being a Rotary Club member since 1995, a Paul Harris Fellow and a past president of the Somerset Rotary Club. He also served as vice president of the Somerset-Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce.
He is a former president of the Alabama Press Foundation.
McNeely resides in Cleveland with his wife of 34 years, Nora. They have two grown daughters.
The TPA was founded in 1870-71 for the purpose of creating a unified voice for the newspaper industry in Tennessee. Today, TPA continues to provide assistance to its 133 member newspapers by monitoring legislative activities, providing training programs, issuing press credentials, and providing regular meetings and forums to foster the exchange of information and ideas.
The TPA presidency rotates among TPA’s three divisions of Tennessee – East (District 3), Middle (District 2) and West (District 1).