UNION – A desire to return to South Carolina and once again work with the staff of a daily newspaper is what led Patricia Edwards to seek the position of general manager of The Union Daily Times.
A native of Greenwood, Edwards has 22 years of experience in the newspaper industry that began in June 1990 when she went to work as an intern at The Index-Journal in Greenwood. In August 1990, Edwards was hired as a staff reporter with the paper, holding that position until October 1994 when she became an assignment editor/reporter. From February 1995 until May 1996 she served as The Index-Journal’s copy editor/assignment editor.
After leaving The Index-Journal, Edwards worked for six months as editor of The Arcadian, a weekly newspaper in Arcadia, Fla., before joining the staff of The Rome News-Tribune in Rome, Ga., in December 1996 as assistant city editor. She was promoted to city editor in September 1997 and in June 1999 became the paper’s lifestyles editor, a position she held until June 2000.
Edwards next worked at The Daily Tribune News in Carterville, Ga., where she served as features editor for one month before being recruited to serve as the editor of The Union-Recorder in Milledgeville, Ga., a newspaper owned by Community Newspaper Holdings Inc. in Montgomery, Ala.
In November 2005, Edwards was hired as publisher and editor of The Randolph Guide in Asheboro, N.C., another CNHI property, and remained there until August of this year when she was hired by Heartland Publications CEO Michael Bush as general manager for The Union Daily Times.
Edwards said coming to Union as the general manager of The Union Daily Times was the fulfillment of two dreams she’s had for some time.
“It’s been a dream of mine for a number of years to get back to South Carolina,” Edwards said. “My background is in daily newspapers. In Asheboro, I was publisher of a weekly for seven years. It taught me the business, advertising and circulation aspects of newspapers. Still, I wanted to get back into a daily newspaper. One thing that really attracted me to this job was being able to work at a daily newspaper again. Once you get it in your system, it stays with you forever.”
In addition to being general manager of The Union Daily Times, Edwards is also Heartland’s regional editor in South Carolina. In that role she will oversee the editorial staff and content of The Union Daily Times, the Newberry Observer, The Herald-Independent of Winnsboro, The Easley Progress, The Pickens Sentinel and the Powdersville Post.
“The other thing that attracted me to working for Heartland Publications was the opportunity to work with editorial staff over a broad range of publication cycles,” Edwards said. “The one thing that I learned early on in my career is that I loved working with reporters, helping them improve themselves, hone their skills and improve the quality of the newspaper. I wanted to work here because I wanted to work with people who are already skilled at what they do and improve the quality of the content of these newspapers.”
Edwards said her years in the industry have taught her the importance of community newspapers to the communities they serve and it is this lesson that will guide her during her tenure with The Union Daily Times and the other Heartland papers for which she is responsible.
“Community newspapers, when they are presented to the public like they should be, are the backbone of any community,” Edwards said. “Our job is to be the vehicle that the community uses to find out about their world. We are the daily newspaper of Union County and our job is to be there every day for our readers, to become involved in our community and to make a difference.”
Edwards is a 1991 graduate of Lander College in Greenwood with a bachelor of arts degree in English and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. Her mother still lives in Greenwood and she has an older brother who lives in Simpsonville. A deceased brother lived in Union in the 1980s and worked for Torrington.
“All of the newspapers in my group are strong newspapers staffed with people who live in their community, spend money in their community and invest in their community,” she said. “We are going to build on that, become stronger and better and make us the one thing that everyone in each county has to have – hands down. I am looking forward to getting to know our readers and to welcoming back former readers who might have been away for a while. My door is always open and I welcome readers to stop by.”
Edwards can be reached at (864) 427-4242 or at email@example.com.