2010 Frank W. Mayborn Leadership Award

James B. Boone Jr. honored


2010 recipient:
James B. Boone Jr., chairman and CEO, Boone Newspapers, Tuscaloosa, Ala.

James B. Boone Jr., chairman and CEO of Boone Newspapers of Tuscaloosa, Ala., was presented the Frank W. Mayborn Leadership Award Monday afternoon by SNPA at its annual News Industry Summit.

The Mayborn Awardrecognizes outstanding newspaper executives for their vision, community leadership and significant contributions to the newspaper industry.
The award, presented annually bySNPA, is named for Frank W. Mayborn, the former editor and publisher of the Temple (Texas) Daily Telegram and the Killeen (Texas) Daily Herald, who served as SNPA president in 1961-62.

As a committee member, committee chair and SNPA director, Mayborn provided key leadership throughout the 1950s and 1960s that formed the basis for the organization's future growth and success.

Until his death in 1987, Mayborn also served as one of the leading figures in broadcast and print media in Central Texas.

The award was announced byLissa Walls Vahldiek, vice president and chief operating officer of Southern Newspapers, Inc., Houston, Texas, who called Boone a “shining light in the newspaper industry.”

She noted that Boone was guided into his newspaper career by his father, Buford Boone, and her father, Carmage Walls.

Boone says he learned from them. “They instilled in me the privilege, the obligation and the pleasure of paying one’s ‘civic rent’ in the communities where I have lived and where we now work.”

In high school, Boone wanted to be a civil engineer. He became interested in newspapers at age 16 when he started work at The Tuscaloosa News, where his father was editor and publisher.

After college, he worked for Carmage Walls, and later, struck out on his own. He bought a weekly newspaper, then a daily paper – newspapers that were the starting point of Boone Newspapers. The company now owns or manages newspapers and free shopping guides in 38 communities in eight states.

“Throughout his career,” Vahldiek said, “Jim has provided opportunities to others. When Jim bought his first daily in 1970, he structured it – and most future acquisitions – to give those he worked with the opportunity to accumulate capital.”

Those values are reflected in the words found on the Boone Newspapers website:

“We seek to produce the highest quality product the economics of the community served can support. And then, by ingenuity and imagination, we strive for a higher quality in an effort to serve and build that community.

“Quality products, and quality profits, are inseparable over time. Achieving such requires being associated with quality people in quality facilities.

“Quality products relate to news and editorial content, advertising, composition, printing and distribution. Our aim, when our product is compared to another’s in a comparable market, is to be judged superior. The communities we serve deserve no less. Doing so is vital to the future of that community and our company.”

Frank W. Mayborn Leadership Award, Boone
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