Job Shadow: Randy Rickman— Publisher of the Leader-Telegram

By Hayley Jacobson

Randy Rickman at the Eau Claire Press Company checking up on the employees ©Hayley Jacobson 2019

Randy Rickman, publisher for the Leader-Telegram and the Country Today, said he lives by the quote, “Build the news upon the rock of truth and righteousness. Conduct it always upon the lines of fairness and integrity. Acknowledge the right of the people to get from the newspaper both sides of every important question.” by G.B. Dealey.

 “We are here to serve the readers” Mr. Rickman said when asked about the quote. “[It is] all about getting the local content”

The Leader-Telegram may be the main publication that Rickman works on, but there are roughly 25 targeted publications that go through his office daily, including the Country Today, Rickman said. As well as targeted publications, they have an online presence, with both a website and Facebook page.

One of the struggles of being a publisher is keeping it all balanced, Rickman said. One way Rickman is able to accomplish this is by making meaningful connections with his staff. Teamwork and reliability are high on his list of importance, said Rickman.

They are currently working on bringing the color comics back to the Leader-Telegram on a weekly basis, having them be a part of the Sunday newspaper.

“We try to do what’s interesting to the community,” said Brian Maki, director of advertising at the Leader-Telegram. He went on to explain that the goal was to design good content for the community to keep readership and give the community what they want.

Rickman’s journey in journalism did not start with publishing, Rickman said. After serving four years in the Marine Corps, Mr. Rickman got a job at the L.A. Times in the advertising department. He worked there for five years, in addition to a few odd side jobs, to support his growing family, he said. He started working at the Leader Telegram January 2, 2019 after working at Kenosha for 2 ½ years, and he said he believes this will be the final newspaper he will work for.

Though he does not have a degree, Rickman talked about the importance of college in this day and age. He has gone back and taken several college classes, one of which was marketing at North Western, said Rickman.

He said he is proud that The Leader Telegram is not only a business that is doing well, but it is something the community can be proud of and trust to get their unbiased news from. He said he hopes in the future that The Leader Telegram will be able to appeal to an even wider audience while remaining unbiased. The main focus is to keep pushing stories for transparency and truth, said Rickman.

“I hope you come up with your own thoughts” Said Rickman as a piece of advice.

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