After a year as publisher, Rustan Burton has stepped down from his position at the Columbia Daily Tribune. Terri Leifeste, who has an extensive journalism background, has become the Tribune's newest publisher.
Leifeste, 57, who comes to the Tribune from the Texarkana Gazette, has almost 40 years of experience including as publisher of the Ada Evening News in Ada, Oklahoma, general manager of Middle Tennessee Community Newspapers in Nashville, and vice president of Horizon Publications in Wakefield, Rhode Island and Benton, Arkansas.
On Monday she will officially begin her role as senior group publisher for GateHouse Media. Leifeste will oversee the Tribune and eight other newspapers:
- Hannibal Courier-Post
- Chillicothe News
- Kirksville Daily Express
- Linn County Leader
- The Mexico Ledger
- Moberly Monitor-Index
- Boonville Daily News
- NEMO Trader
Leifeste's passion for newspapers began when she was editor of her high school newspaper. She said her favorite thing about the newspaper business is that "no two days are alike."
"You never know when you come to work what's going to happen," Leifeste said. "And sometimes you don't even know until the very end of the day what's even going to be in the paper the next day. It's a new day, every day."
From January 2013 to March 2017, Leifeste was vice president and general manager of Central Missouri Newspapers Inc. in Jefferson City. She added the role of president of Palmer Newspaper Group in Jefferson City in April 2014.
When she became general manager of Texarkana Gazette in Texarkana, Texas, in March, Leifeste stepped down from her position at Central Missouri Newspapers Inc. but remained president of Palmer Newspaper Group.
Marva Miles, human resource director at the Tribune, said Leifeste was being shown around the newspaper Friday. She will step down from the Palmer Newspaper Group effective Monday as she transitions into her new position.
No matter the difference in each work day, Leifeste said she tries to live by a simple life philosophy.
"I decided if I had five bad days in a row, that I would just walk away and do something else," Leifeste said. "Because life's too short not to be happy."