Sumter publisher to lead state press association
Jack Osteen, publisher of The Item in Sumter, was elected president of the S.C. Press Association at the group's annual meeting Saturday at The Westin Poinsett Hotel.
Other officers elected were: Morrey Thomas, publisher of the News and Press in Darlington, as weekly vice president; Judi Mundy Burns, publisher of the Index-Journal in Greenwood, as daily vice president; and Ellen Priest, president and publisher of The Summerville Journal Scene, The (Goose Creek) Gazette and The Berkeley Independent in Moncks Corner, as treasurer.
Elected to two-year terms on the SCPA Executive Committee were: Barbara Ball, publisher of The Voice of Blythewood and Fairfield County, Dan Cook, editor of the Free Times in Columbia; and Jane Pigg of Cheraw, publisher of The Link. Also, Gayle Smith, director of advertising for The Post and Courier in Charleston.
Re-elected for continuing terms on the SCPA executive committee were: Debbie Abels, publisher of The Herald in Rock Hill, and Mike Smith, executive editor of the Herald-Journal in Spartanburg.
Osteen succeeds Susan Rowell, publisher of The Lancaster News.
Osteen is the fourth member of his family to serve as SCPA President. H.G. Osteen was president in 1922, H.D. Osteen was president in 1953 and Hubert D. Osteen Jr. was president in 1977.
He is also co-owner of Osteen Publishing Company and OPC News, LLC, which owns newspapers in Northern Florida and Southern New Mexico. Osteen has more than 20 years of newspaper experience having worked at various newspapers in both Texas and South Carolina in virtually all areas of the business.
"It’s truly an honor to serve as the first fourth generation Press Association president. I’m very proud of my family’s legacy and it’s humbling to have the confidence from this board and my peers to take on this important role,” Osteen said.
The election came as part of a two-day meeting attended by nearly 400 newspaper journalists from across the state.
The press association is 161 years old and includes the state's 16 daily newspapers and more than 90 of its weekly newspapers.