A new publisher is taking the reins at The News Herald and assuming leadership over the other newspapers and related websites across Halifax Media Group’s central region, it was announced Monday.
Alan Davis, currently the regional publisher for Alabama Community Group and publisher of The Dothan Eagle, owned by BH Media Group, will join The News Herald May 15.
“I’ve been interested in the Panama City area for several years,” Davis said. “Things are moving in the right direction at the right time and I like what’s going on down there.”
HMG chief operation officer, Rick Martin, who also was formerly publisher of The News Herald, said Davis’ commitment to community journalism, knowledge of the market and a skill set developed over decades in the business combined to make him the right choice.
“Alan has a reputation not only of making sure the community is reflected by its newspapers, but of embracing the challenges presented by rapidly expanding digital media platforms,” Martin said. “On the business side he recognizes that these are opportunities and we’re confident he shares our vision of the value these platforms offer.
“With his knowledge of the market and passion for the area, it is a good fit not just for us, but for the community.”
Davis, 56, who has spent his career in Alabama, said he’s very familiar with the market not just from a business standpoint, but from a personal one as well.
“Being only 80 miles away, I spent a good bit of time down there and I like the coast and the beach, and I like to fish,” he said. “My first saltwater fishing experience was out of Panama City when I was 8 or 9 years old and my grandfather took me out on a charter boat, so I’m looking forward to more of that.”
The timing is right, Davis said, as the younger of his two children just graduated college and she is taking a job out of state, leaving Davis and his wife, Nancy, as “empty nesters.”
“We stayed in one place for practically the last 25 years and we’ve come to a point in our lives where we’re looking forward to new challenges in a new place,” he said. “It’s important the community know we’re not just passing through, we want to be there.”
In addition to The News Herald, the central region includes nine other Florida properties: Northwest
Florida Daily News, The Port St. Joe Star, Apalachicola Times, Washington County News, Holmes County Times-Advertiser, Walton Sun, Destin Log, Crestview News Bulletin and the Santa Rosa Press Gazette.
It also includes the Tuscaloosa News and Gadsden Times newspapers in Alabama, and the Courier and Daily Comet in Houma and Thibodaux, La.
Prior to his role as a regional publisher for BH Media Group, Davis was vice president of sales and regional publisher Alabama Community Group for Media General, where he oversaw the operations and sales of four daily newspapers, four weekly newspapers, four shoppers 7 web sites, and WRBL TV in Columbus Ga.
He also has worked as a regional sales manager and interim publisher at the Opelika-Auburn News, associate publisher and owner of the Auburn Bulletin, and as a sales consultant/manager for Randall Publishing.
Davis and his wife, Nancy, have two children, Anna and Blanton.
Founded in 2010, Halifax Media Group is headquartered in Daytona Beach and consists of 35 newspapers and affiliated websites, published in five states, primarily in the Southeast.