Columbia Daily Tribune changing ownership, staying in family

Tuesday, December 21, 2010 | 6:46 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — The Columbia Daily Tribune is changing hands but will remain in the Waters family.

Andy Waters, son of editor and publisher Hank Waters, said Tuesday that a succession plan has been in the works for a long time. Now vice president for interactive media, Andy Waters will become president and general manager.

Hank Waters will become publisher emeritus on Jan. 1 but continue writing the Tribune's editorials.

Hank Waters' wife, Vicki Russell, will become publisher, the fourth family member to fill the position.

Although Russell will be publisher, Andy Waters said his father "will still be here consulting with us."

"His responsibilities aren't changing," he said. His father will still be involved in big picture issues and meet with the board to discuss editorial policy.

Andy Waters and his sister Elizabeth — Hank Waters' youngest children — are buying out four family members to assume full ownership on Jan. 1.

Elizabeth Waters lives in Atlanta and works in the national advertising sales department for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago.

Two other children of Hank Waters will also retire — General Manager Jack Waters and Vice President Mary Waters, who heads up the human resources and circulation departments. Their responsibilities will be distributed between Russell and Andy Waters.

"We'll be a little busier than we used to be," Andy Waters said, laughing, "but we all have a pretty good understanding of each others' responsibilities."

The Tribune has a 109-year history in Columbia. First printed in 1901, it has been owned by the Waters and Watson families since 1904.

Ed Watson was editor and proprietor until ownership passed in the 1930s to his nephew, Henry J. Waters Jr., father of the current editor and publisher.

The publication has a circulation of about 20,000.

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Derrick Fogle December 21, 2010 | 10:50 p.m.

After the institution of the Trib's paywall, I think Andy can drop the word "interactive" from any titles there. They're putting all their eggs back into the one-way, dead-tree basket.

(Report Comment)
Ramon Mercader December 21, 2010 | 10:59 p.m.
This comment has been removed.
Walter Lane December 21, 2010 | 11:06 p.m.

The trib is dead online. It's the same group of people commenting on stories. AKA: Boring.

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle December 21, 2010 | 11:22 p.m.

It was the "same group" posting before, too, but it was a big enough group that it was fun to socialize. Now, it's not even worth the effort to delete cookies (and I'm a techie, it's trivial) to get around the paywall.

(Report Comment)
Robin Nuttall December 22, 2010 | 9:33 a.m.

IMO the Tribune is trying to prop up its big printing plant using this online subscription model. Their new tiered plan makes it advantageous to subscribe to print. But then they want to charge print subscribers to be able to view the same thing online, and want to charge online-only subscribers $96 a year just to access content.

The NYT does not charge for any of its online news stories, but the Trib wants that kind of money for theirs? Given their generally shoddy reporting practices and recent foray into yellow journalism, I am quite happy to turn to the Missourian for my primary news source.

(Report Comment)
Clara Allen December 22, 2010 | 11:01 a.m.

The NYT does not charge for any of its online news stories, but the Trib wants that kind of money for theirs?


That is set to change after the first of the year.

(Report Comment)
Nathan Whitaker December 22, 2010 | 12:45 p.m.

Clara Allen December 22, 2010 | 11:01 a.m.

"That is set to change after the first of the year."

And if the NYTimes paywall is as trivial to bypass as the Tribune's (cookie-based), then I doubt anything will really change.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire December 22, 2010 | 7:12 p.m.

Send them to IRAQ!!!

(Report Comment)

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