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April 17, 2010

Palmer named Times editor

David Palmer, a native of Tuscumbia, has been named editor of The Cullman Times.

Palmer, who brings nearly 30 years’ newspaper industry experience to the role, will start the job on Monday. He replaces outgoing editor Derek Price, who departed in March to assume the editorial position at the Herald Banner, a Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc. (CNHI) sister publication in Greenville, Texas.

Bill Morgan, Publisher of The Cullman Times, expressed enthusiasm at Palmer’s selection.

“I am extremely pleased to announce David Palmer as our new editor,” said Morgan. “He’s not only a perfect fit for our newspaper, he’s also a perfect fit for Cullman. With his outgoing personality and involvement in the communities where he’s lived, we think Cullman area residents will find him a welcome addition to the community.

“David is an Alabama native who knows community journalism like the back of his hand and understands its importance to the residents and businesses within our coverage area,” Morgan said. “Our previous editor, Derek Price, raised the bar for our local news content and David will continue raising it.”

Palmer said the Cullman area provides fertile ground not only for quality news coverage, but for quality of life as well.

“Cullman and Cullman County comprise a series of great communities,” said Palmer. “I’m familiar with some of them, and they seem to be a point of pride for people here. There are good schools here. It looks like there’s a healthy business community here. And it’s a beautiful place. I can’t wait to begin.”

Digging into the community-focused civic life that drives local news is one of the passions Palmer said he will bring to his new role.

“I'm one of those editors completely devoted to local, community news,” he said. “I'm always looking for a way to get more of that, and to get more depth into it. I like to know what issues are facing each of our communities, and how we can best report on it.”

Morgan said Palmer’s involvement in shaping local coverage will provide The Cullman Times with top-down leadership.

“We will be asking a lot of David,” he said. “One of the first things I’ve asked him to do is get an opinion page in every issue of the newspaper rather than just twice a week, and to get plenty of local editorials on those new pages.

“He’ll also be focusing on making sure our website is updated regularly throughout the day with fresh news. We want our readers to know they can go to  www.cullmantimes.com to find the latest updates on breaking news and weather.”

Palmer said the changes will make a good thing even better.

“It's a good news product we have in The Cullman Times,” Palmer noted. “There is a lot of potential in terms of what we can do to enhance it. One of those enhancements involves the paper’s website. Having both print and Web editions of our paper will afford us some opportunities to bring the community closer into the publishing process. It’s certainly a trend that’s afoot now, and it can add a lot of value to the news product by getting the community involved.”

Most recently, Palmer served as managing editor of the Jackson County Floridian in Marianna, Florida. Previous editorial stints took Palmer to the Panama City News Herald and the Daily News in Palatka, Fla. He preceded his editorial career by working for eight years as a beat reporter at the Florence TimesDaily, where he eventually became Editorial Page Editor and, later, Features Editor.

Palmer received his Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of North Alabama.

* Benjamin Bullard can be reached by e-mail at bbullard@cullmantimes.com or by telephone at 734-2131 ext. 270.

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