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Managing editor shares history of newspaper business

posted Aug 14, 2013, 11:42 AM by Debbie Brewster   [ updated Aug 14, 2013, 11:43 AM ]
Kevin Brown, Managing Editor of the DeForest Times-Tribune, spoke to the Club on Wednesday, August 14. 

Kevin has been the managing editor of the DeForest Times-Tribune since August 2012. He has been in the newspaper world since 1968 when he served as student editor of the Harriet Beecher Stowe Elementary School “paper” in Des Moines, Iowa. He has degrees in journalism – newspaper emphasis and accounting from Iowa State University (ISU), Ames. 

His first professional job was with 13-30 Corporation/Esquire Magazine in Knoxville, Tennessee. He started as an intern in the business group and promoted up to assistant editor. He then moved back to Des Moines and purchased his own paper, “The Urbandale News,” along with a small printing company, “Rapid Printing, Inc.” He owned the company for 10 years taking it from one paper and a staff of seven to 13 papers and a staff of 68 at its largest. The company also ran two shoppers and a home delivery, custom marketing firm. He sold the company in 1996 and entered public relations for both a community college and ISU. In 2006, he re-entered the newspaper industry by joining the Omaha World-Herald’s Western Iowa Newspaper Group. He also has worked for a newspaper chain in Ohio. 

Kevin has seen the newspaper and printing industries completely reinvent themselves in the last 40 years. It has gone from hot wax, Xacto knives and border tape for layout to comprehensive content management on the computer. He used to spend $1,000 a month on film alone in 1990. Today, the DTT spends nothing for film – it is all digital photography now. 

He discussed all of these changes and more on the industry.