Horne reflects on groundbreaking TPA membership as paper enters 30th year

As farragutpress begins its 30th year as the newspaper of record for Farragut and Concord, while also serving Hardin Valley and selected areas of West Knox County, the newspaper broke new ground when it joined Tennessee Press Association earlier this summer.

With free-distribution newspapers such as farragutpress previously not allowed to join, “Tennessee Press Association realized many community newspapers had gone to free distribution. And some of them, like farragutpress, are excellent newspapers. The board finally came around to accepting it,” said Doug Horne, owner of Republic Newspapers, Inc., parent company of farragutpress, and owner of Horne Properties, Inc. and Horne Radio, LLC.

“The first one voted in by the Tennessee Press Association Board was the farragutpress,” he added. “After that, that same day [July 20], I think there were five more that they voted in.”

Pointing out a growing trend, “The dailies in print media are struggling more than the weeklies,” Horne said.

“We focus more on covering the community,” he added. “It’s kind of a vote of confidence for community newspapers, and it makes me feel real good about the future for community newspapers.”

Originally named Press Enterprise, this paper’s first issue rolled hot off the press with the dateline of Sept. 13, 1988.

However, Horne said a defining moment for the newspaper’s success came in April 2002.

“We started focusing pretty much on Farragut community news, the schools and the churches; we hit the right button covering the heartbeat of Farragut. And we called it the farragutpress,” he said.

“Since then we’ve had an excellent newspaper and an excellent staff,” he added. “We’ve had excellent advertising people and excellent news people. I think we’ve been good stewards in the community and we’re real proud of that, of course.”