Tom White, publisher of the Advance-Monticellonian and the Eagle Democrat has announced he is stepping down as publisher of the newspapers and as president of the parent organization, Drew County Newspapers, Inc. The effective date is September 30, 2023. Long time employee and current General Manager/Advertising Manager Ashley Hogg will be named publisher and president of the corporation upon White’s departure. He will remain with the organizations on a part-time basis as a consultant.
White came to the Monticello newspaper in 1996 when Frank and Mary Jackson retired and sold the newspaper to Smith Newspapers, Inc. In 2022, he stepped in to keep the Warren newspaper from closing by purchasing it from Danny and Pam Cook who were also retiring. Prior to the move to Monticello White was co-publisher of the McGehee-Dermott Times-News.
As a child and teenager, he worked at the Eagle Democrat when his late grandfather, W. L. Love and later his late father, James P White Sr were publishers of the Warren newspaper.
“I am very proud of what we have accomplished at the newspapers since taking over the operations in Monticello over 27 years ago and more recently in Warren. Any success we had has been due to the outstanding employees that I have had the pleasure to work with over the years. They are the ones that made it all happen, but we would not have been able to accomplish anything without our avid readers and the businesses in the area that have supported us with their undying loyalty and advertising dollars,” White said.
“As I have aged and started contemplating retirement, my goal has been to make sure I leave the newspapers in better shape than I found them and that includes leaving them in capable hands. I am confident that I have found that with Ashley Hogg. She has worked with us for several years in most positions at these newspapers. She started in 2012 when she was not long out of high school and excelled in our advertising sales department. Since then, she has also been a reporter, editor, bookkeeper, advertising manager and general manager. At times she has stepped up to handle multiple positions simultaneously. I think she is as well versed and prepared for the challenges ahead as anyone I have ever known. She has earned this opportunity.”
“It is my sincere hope that our readers, advertisers, and our communities will support her and the talented individuals that make up the team here for many years to come,” White added. “After 57 years in a business that doesn’t know when it is time to “clock out”, I am looking forward to having more time for family and friends, but these newspapers, our employees and these communities have been so very good to me and my family. I can’t fathom where my family would be if we had not taken a chance and made the move to our hometown 27 years ago, and it was an honor to come back to my original hometown, Warren, even if it was for a much briefer time. Thank you is not enough but thank you all.”
“I am overwhelmed with this amazing opportunity that I have been trusted with,” Hogg added. “It has been a joy to work in this industry and I am excited about the future. Tom took a chance on me when I was very young and over the years, I have learned many valuable lessons from him that I will hold on to. The staff at The Advance-Monticellonian and The Eagle Democrat have been committed to providing a quality product that is factually accurate and timely, that is not going to change.”
Hogg is a graduate of Drew Central High School and the University of Arkansas at Monticello. She has one daughter and is married to Brandon Hogg.
“On behalf of the staff of The Advance-Monticellonian and The Eagle Democrat, we would like to wish Tom well in his upcoming retirement. He has served this community for many years, and more than deserves to have the ability to spend time with his family and devote more time to the hobbies he enjoys,” Jeff McDonald, Editor of The Advance-Monticellonian said. “We are also looking forward to the future with Ashley at the helm. We are excited to see what the future holds, and hope to continue bringing our communities the same level of quality news for years to come.”