Due to the weather, some customers may experience late delivery of The Roanoke Times. We apologize for the delay.
Debbie Meade brought vigor and integrity to Roanoke and its newspaper.
Friday, May 31, 2013
Debbie Meade leaves The Roanoke Times as its president and publisher at midnight today, some 30 years after joining the newspaper as a reporter in its New River Valley bureau.
She’s had many careers here over the intervening years — in news, circulation, human resources, advertising. In each, she proved to be a strong leader who could be trusted.
As publisher, those qualities have served the newspaper and the region well.
Meade has operated on the dual premise that a newspaper should be a force for good in its community, and make money so it can continue its essential role of keeping people informed.
Success hinges on doing both, an increasingly tough challenge in a time of tectonic technological shifts in communications. Survival requires a nimbleness that welcomes change — lots of change — and unswerving clarity of purpose, lest we lose sight of why we’re here.
Her confident, caring leadership has seen the newspaper safe thus far. With its sale to Warren Buffett’s BH Media Group, though, comes a new publisher, Terry Jamerson.
Loyal readers — some of whom have been subscribers since The Roanoke Times and the old World-News were family-owned operations — can be assured their newspaper will not become a stranger to them.
Jamerson comes to Roanoke from the Lynchburg News & Advance, practically a next-door neighbor. And she was a fan of the Roanoke paper when she was growing up in Martinsville.
Buffett’s record as a newspaper magnate who believes in strong, locally controlled journalism is reassuring, as well.
When the sale of the newspaper was announced Thursday, Meade told the gathered staff that she was sad to leave, but change at the top makes sense with the change in corporate ownership.
We trust she is right. She usually is. But she’ll be missed just the same.
Weather JournalMidday update: More ice likely later