SEMO Times Announces Re-Launch Date After Merger With SEMO.NET
POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. – The SEMO Times, a name already familiar to many Southeast Missouri readers, is set to re-launch on July 31 in an effort to provide in-depth news and feature articles with online and print products aimed at filling a gap in news coverage that has existed in the region for years.
A launch party to unveil the new web site and first edition of the new newspaper has been set for 6 p.m., July 31 at Las Margaritas in Poplar Bluff.
The announcement comes on the heels of the completion of a merger between the SEMO Times, which is owned and published by former Poplar Bluff Mayor Scott Faughn, and SEMO.net, operated by C.E.O Brian Becker. Faughn is now the owner and publisher of the Missouri Times in Jefferson City, Mo.
In the new arrangement, Faughn is to assume the role of president of the SEMO Times and Becker will be the CEO and publisher of the weekly newspaper that will include daily news in its online edition at SEMO.net. The print edition will be published on Thursdays.
SEMO.net will continue offering Internet services, web hosting, WordPress-designed web sites and email services.
The paper has hired former Southeast Missourian reporter Scott Moyers as its editor and investigative reporter. Moyers has worked in the field of journalism for more than 15 years, including stints with the Columbia Daily Tribune and as editor of the Columbia Business Times. Reporter Tammy Hilderbrand has also been hired to round out the editorial staff.
“The goal is to bring another news source to Poplar Bluff, Kennett, Dexter and the surrounding region,” said Becker, who has operated SEMO.net for nearly two decades.
Readers can expect several news stories each day at the newspaper’s website, Becker said. The site will also feature multiple columnists to provide perspective and opinions about the day’s events, he said. The print edition, a 16-page, full-color newspaper, will provide additional original coverage and not simply be a printing of the online stories, Becker said.
“We really expect the print and online edition to complement each other,” Becker said. “We’re really excited to be able to provide legitimate news to our readers. This entire region has needed another news source for quite some time. We intend to be that, while adhering to the principles of quality journalism and good, fair, accurate reporting.”
Faughn said that shutting down production of the SEMO Times was heart-breaking for him, but became necessary as the Missouri Times required more of his time and energy. So he was ecstatic that he and Becker were able to come to terms to revive it.
“I am thrilled that the people in Poplar Bluff area are finally going to have a news outlet that they can be proud of,” Faughn said. “The entire area will be getting quality news now.”