Citizen of the Year

Mike Dean, left, who owns numerous island businesses, is congratulated Thursday, by Leonard Woolsey, publisher of The Daily News, after being named the paper’s Citizen of the Year for his charitable work through Yaga’s Children’s Fund.

One hundred and seventy-five years feels almost like an abstract number.

As I sit here, publisher of the oldest newspaper in Texas, I am sincerely humbled.

One realization you gain in leading a newspaper is that you are simply a steward of the time you occupy the role. Time and people march onward. Your time, however, is limited. In this case, regardless of the calendar, I will be but a blip on the history of The Daily News.

I’ve followed some big shoes, most recently Dolph Tillotson. The man still knows more in his pinkie finger than I will ever hope to learn. And if you ask him, he too will tip his hat to the talented leaders who came before him. We are passing a baton of sorts — one with responsibilities none of us ever dreamed of holding for a community. This is humbling, to say the least.

The Daily News is a storied newspaper around the state of Texas. Under the leadership of a long string of innovative leaders, the newspaper has continuously cut a powerful pathway for others to follow.

From having its own private rail car to deliver newspapers around the state to putting up the first telephone in Texas, The Daily News has always been an innovator. Even when it came to the digital age, The Daily News was on the internet before most people could even spell the word.

Today we continue to reinvent ourselves — most recently successfully moving into the magazine business with Coast Monthly. And the good news is we have other new items in the pipeline. Some will succeed, others may not. But we will never stop working to provide valuable services to the community.

This magazine is about a collective living history — one we plan on telling with the passing of each significant milestone.

Leonard Woolsey: 409-683-5207; leonard.woolsey@galvnews.com

President & Publisher of The Galveston County Daily News.

(1) comment

Bill Cochrane

I worked at The Galveston Daily News for 50 years. I’ve always said that if you can find a job that you love, you are lucky.
Of those fifty years, there was not a single day that I couldn’t wait to go to work. I loved my job.
I loved the people that worked there (especially the women, but that’s another story). I have always been extremely proud to have worked at the News since 1964.
Until now.
I just finished reading the 175 commemorative magazine. What a disappointing read.
It rightfully brags about the tremendous advances in printing technology accomplished after Mr. Walls bought the paper in 1967.
What was not even mentioned was that as soon as he bought the News, Mr. Walls hired Mr. Les Daughtry Sr., to be the publisher.
For the next 20 years I had the pleasure of working for Mr. Daughtry.
He, and he alone was the reason we advanced in technology more quickly than any newspaper in Texas.
He is the reason circulation was higher each year.
He was the reason the News became the most profitable of all 30 plus papers in the Southern group.
He was Mr. Walls go to man. He was instrumental in the purchases of most, if not all of the papers Mr Walls bought while he was the publisher.
Mr. Daughtry did all this and much, much more.
Not even a mention?
His photo is on page 26 of the magazine, on the right. (Not even identified)
What a shame.

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