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Newspaper CEO Larry McDermott closes out Journalism Alumni Speakers Series

Oct. 29, 2008 -- Larry McDermott, a 1970 graduate of Arkansas State University and current publisher of the Springfield (Mass.) Republican, is the final speaker in theMassachusetts newspaper CEO Larry McDermott is the final speaker in the Journalism Alumni Speakers Series, Monday-Tuesday, Nov. 10-11. Journalism Alumni Speakers Series hosted by ASU’s Department of Journalism. He will be on campus Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 10-11. For a copy of the schedule, click here.)

McDermott is also the chief executive officer of The Republican and the Sunday Republican of Springfield, Mass., a regional newspaper with 320,000 readers in western Massachusetts.

A former editor of ASU’s school newspaper, The Herald, and an ASU graduate with a journalism degree, McDermott also worked as a reporter at The Jonesboro Sun.

He served in the U.S. Army for two years, during which he worked for the United Nations in Seoul, Korea and made 10 trips inside the demilitarized zone (DMZ) as an information specialist. He also was a copy editor at The Korea Times, an English-language daily newspaper.

McDermott spent 18 years with The Associated Press, rising through the ranks as a reporter, political correspondent, bureau chief, and general executive. He held assignments in Arkansas, Virginia, Minnesota, Michigan, and New York City.

He left AP in 1988 to join Advance Publications as editor of the group’s statewide news operations in Michigan. Advance owns 26 daily newspapers in cities around the country, including Cleveland, Portland and New Orleans. McDermott became publisher of The Times in Bay City, Mich., in 1990. He was named executive editor of the Springfield newspaper in 1991 and publisher and CEO in 1999.

McDermott oversaw modernization of the newspaper’s printing and production operations while also leading the newspaper in several battles with public officials to gain access to information the newspaper had sought, prevailing before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in the case of a pedophile priest.

The newspaper has been awarded the New England Newspapers Association First Amendment Award twice in the past three years, and McDermott was awarded the profession’s highest individual honor in New England, The Yankee Quill Award, in 2007 for his work on behalf of the public’s right to know.

The Springfield Republican publishes not only the daily and Sunday newspaper but also eight weekly newspapers in the region, as well as the area’s only local Spanish-language newspaper, El Pueblo Latino.

McDermott serves as co-chairman, along with Supreme Judicial Court Justice John Greaney, of the state Supreme Court’s Judiciary-Media Committee; is a member of the Hampden County Literacy Cabinet; and is president of the Massachusetts Newspaper Publishers Association.

He was born in Parkin, Ark., and is a graduate of Parkin High School. McDermott is single, and has three children and two grandchildren. He is also an avid fisherman, outdoorsman and golfer.

For additional information, contact Dr. Joel Gambill, chair, Department of Journalism, at (870) 972-3075.         



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