Times Media Co. Publisher Bill Masterson Jr. has earned the prestigious Publisher of the Year award from Editor & Publisher magazine.
The award was announced in late October, and Masterson is featured in the publication's November edition. The recognition, which garners entries from around the world, honors publishers who not only are successful in their roles, but also have participated in efforts outside of their day-to-day tasks and are committed to the industry's survival.
Masterson, who last month was promoted to vice president of publishing for The Times' corporate parent Lee Enterprises Inc., said he was surprised to learn about the honor and was thankful employees thought to nominate him. The 52-year-old Valparaiso resident has been publisher of The Times since 2006 and he has worked 25 years as a newspaper publisher.
Kristina Ackermann wrote in the magazine that Masterson earned the nod for his work in "bringing together local business leaders, leading a capital campaign to raise funds for charity, working to preserve jobs, offering high-quality content, and fostering a spirit of innovation."
Times Executive Editor William Nangle recommended Masterson for the award and said the publisher represents "the best the industry has to offer."
"He is a leader in the changing media landscape," said Nangle, who has spent 48 years working in newsrooms. "At the same time he has proven a strong force for positive change in our community.”
Masterson said his success lies in the ability of Times employees to provide the best service to customers and the community. He said leading a paper during the current industry downturn hasn't been easy, "but we've worked hard together to evolve." Also, Masterson said it's important for the company to be involved in initiatives such as One Region and the effort to build the John W. Anderson Boys & Girls Club in Gary.
"Our success is obviously based on the success of the community," Masterson said. "If the community dies, the paper dies. It's in our best interest to make sure both financially and morally to be an active member of the community."
Editor & Publisher is a trade publication that covers the newspaper industry.