- The Town Talk (Alexandria)
name = The Town Talk (Alexandria)
type = Daily
March 17, 1883
headquarters = 1201 Third Street, Alexandria,
Rapides Parish, Louisiana, USA
editor = Paul Carty (effective
July 7, 2008)
circulation =40,000 daily; 41,000 Sundays
website = [http://www.thetowntalk.com/apps/pbcs.dll/frontpage] |
"The Town Talk", formally the Alexandria Daily Town Talk, is the major
newspaperof Central Louisiana. It is published by Gannettin Alexandria, the seat of Rapides Parishand the regional hub city.
The paper has a circulation of some 40,000 daily and 41,000 on Sundays. It covers the news primarily in seven parishes with a population of approximately 400,000. The coverage area reaches from the
Mississippi Riveron the east to the Texasborder on the west.
"The Town Talk" was born on
St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 1883.cite web|title=The Town Talk|url=http://www.gannett.com/about/map/ataglance/alexandria.htm|accessdate=2008-05-19] It was owned by the original Irish-Americanfounders, including Edward McCormick, and their heirs until 1996, when it was sold to Central Newspapers of Indianapolis, then the fifteenth largest newspaper company in the United States. The parent company was called “McCormick & Company, Inc.” Central Newspapers, until it was purchased in 2000by Gannett of Arlington, Virginia, [ [http://www2.indystar.com/library/factfiles/star/history/2000/star_sold.html Star sold to Gannett ] ] was owned until his death by Eugene S. Pulliam, the maternal uncleof former Vice President of the United StatesJ. Danforth Quayle.
1962, Joe D. Smith, Jr.(1922-2008) became publisherof "The Town Talk". He was the husband of Jane Wilson Smith (1922-1992), a McCormick heir whose family owned the newsaper. Over the years, Smith was also the general manager, president, and chairman of the board. Under his tutelage, "The Town Talk" became the first daily newspaper in Louisiana to become computerized. He took the view that newspapers were expected to foster growth and improvement in the community as well as report the news. [http://www.thetowntalk.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080323/OPINION/803220327] Some four years after the death of Jane Smith, Smith sold to Central Newspapers for $62 million.
On the acquisition of "The Town Talk", Louis A. Weil, III, the Central Newspapers
chief executive officer, said that under Smith’s leadership, “the newspaper has become one of the premier medium-sized dailies in the South. It fits with our goal of acquiring newspaper properties with a strong position in their market area and a proven history of journalistic integrity." [ [http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0EIN/is_1996_Jan_10/ai_17999674 Central Newspapers to acquire Alexandria Daily Town Talk - Louisiana | Business Wire | Find Articles at BNET.com ] ] Weil's analysis was in sharp contrast to that of Adras LaBorde, who in 1945 launched a thirty-two career with the newspaper. At the time, LaBorde described "The Town Talk" as "an overgrown country weekly published on a six-day basis." The publication had indeed changed little in the years between 1925 and 1945. [Adras LaBorde quoted in Fredrick M. Spletstoser, "Talk of the Town:The Rise of Alexandria, Louisiana and the 'Daily Town Talk"', Louisiana State University Press, 2005, p. 130]
Paul Carty becomes the "Town Talk" executive editor on
July 7, 2008. He has been the managing editorof Gannett’s "Star-Gazette" at Elmire, New York, since 2001. Carty started his journalism career at the ‘’Sun/Jefferson-Pilot’’ in Clearwater, Florida, as a copy editor. He has since worked at various newspapers in Florida, Kentucky, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. [tp://www.gannett.com/go/newswatch/2003/june/nw0627-1.htm]
Richard Powell Sharkey (born ca. 1954) remains managing editor under Carty.
Under the McCormick heirs, "The Town Talk" considered itself a politically Independent newspaper and did not endorse candidates. In the 2000s, however, the paper has begun endorsing candidates. In
2004, it endorsed Alexandria Republican Jock Scottin his unsuccessful race for the U.S. House of Representatives. In 2007, it supported Republican Bobby Jindalin his successful race for governor. [ [http://centrallapolitics.blogspot.com/2007/10/alexandria-town-talk-endorses-jindal.html Central La. Politics: Alexandria Town Talk Endorses Jindal For Governor ] ]
Wallace Anthony -- editor of layout and wire services from 1963-2007
James R. Butler -- former managing editor
William F. "Bill" Carter (1928-1995) [ [http://ssdi.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/ssdi.cgi Social Security Death Index Interactive Search ] ] -- sports editor in second half of 20th Century
Jeff Cowart – press secretary to former
Governor Buddy Roemer, later consultant Nelder Dawson(1928-2006) -- advertising manager and director of personnel; on staff for fifty years
Helen Elizabeth Derr -- religion editor from 1957-1977
Michael P. Dunne(1949-2007) -- later environmental reporter for the "Baton Rouge Morning Advocate"
Ronald R. Grant – former regional editor and columnist
Tom J. Hardin – executive under Joe D. Smith, Jr., and publisher under Central Newspapers
Ethel G. Holleman (died 1979) – women’s editor in
Leandro S. Huebner -- chief
photographer; on staff since 1973
Cleo Joffrion -- first
African Americanreporter, 1975 Adras LaBorde(1912-1993) -- managing editor; total career spanned 1945-1977; wrote “Talk of the Town” column John LaPlante(1953-2007) -- later political reporter for "Baton Rouge Morning Advocate"
James Henry "Jim" Leggett -- former executive editor
Elizabeth Roberts Martin – first woman in an editor’s position , 1970s
Marilyn Miller, a former "Town Talk" staff member, is an industry
public relationsrepresentative in Minden and the author of "Sons of Darkness, Sons of Light: A True Crime Story" based on a crime in Webster Parish on Christmas1916. [Marilyn Miller, "Sons of Darkness, Sons of Light, a True Crime Story", Many, Louisiana: Sweet Dreams Publishing Company, 2000 ISBN 1-893693-09-0]
Rebecca Jo Tubb Mulkey (1949-1999) – features writer
Len Sanderson, Jr. – first director of ‘’Town Talk’’’s Baton Rouge bureau, 1974; later a business consultant
George W. Shannon(1914-1998) – later the editor of the since defunct ‘’Shreveport Journal’’
Cecil Williams (1922-2008) -- business editor and columnist; on staff, 1955-1987
"Talk of the Town: The Rise of Alexandria, Louisiana, and the Daily Town Talk". By Frederick M. Spletstoser. (
Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UniversityPress, c. 2005. Pp. xvi, 325. $27.95, ISBN 0-8071-2934-8.) [ [http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Talk+of+the+Town:+The+Rise+of+Alexandria,+Louisiana,+and+the+Daily...-a0149769093 Talk of the Town: The Rise of Alexandria, Louisiana, and the Daily Town Talk. - Free Online Library ] ]
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