Apparently, the sleeping giant is about to be kicked from two directions.
Liberty Group Publishing's Joplin weekly, ramrodded by former Globe reporter John Hacker is preparing for a January 2006 launch, the Turner Report has learned.
The paper is still looking for a sports editor and has been running advertisements in trade publications, including the Missouri Press News.
Former Carthage Press lifestyles editor Kaylea Hutson returns to the area to a similar position with the new publication, with an emphasis on education coverage, something at which she excelled during her tenure with The Press.
Michelle Pippin, who was a top reporter for several years at the Neosho Daily News, and who most recently as been writing for Liberty's free niche publications, will cover government.
Hacker, in addition to his duties as editor, will continue to do the type of reporting that he has done during his two stints with the Globe and during his time at The Carthage Press.
The Globe's recent launch of The Joplin Herald, a poorly conceived, half-baked cannibalization of the mother ship, was obviously designed to blunt the impact the new weekly will have. My guess is any impact the Herald has will be negligible. It has everything that a good weekly newspaper should have...except for good writing, good columns, hard news, and a reason to exist.
As mentioned earlier in The Turner Report, the owners of the Springfield Business Journal are also readying a new publication, reportedly to be called the Joplin Business Journal. Former Joplin Globe Editor Tom Murray will be the ramrod for the weekly. Rumors are circulating that another former Globe stalwart, Gloria Turner, may be involved in the project.
The more voices a community has, the better. Joplin readers will now have a variety of sources of information. If things work out as they should, that could force the Globe into improving its product. The steps Globe officials have taken so far have been ill conceived, but perhaps they will get their act together. I am looking forward to this. I hope the new weeklies enjoy scooping the Globe as much as I do.