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Perry named Democrat, Star-Journal publisher

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Jim Perry has been named publisher of the Sedalia Democrat and Warrensburg Star-Journal, as announced this month by Phillips Media Group, the Democrat’s parent company.

Perry has a long history with Phillips Media and most recently was the publisher of the Harrison (Arkansas) Daily Times from 2015 to 2021. During that time, he also became the publisher of other Phillips publications, including the West Plains Daily Quill, Baxter Bulletin, and Newton County Times. 

Perry served as the Phillips Media special projects manager and worked with several Phillips newspapers, including the NEMO Trader, Kirksville Daily Express and Crier.

“I wanted to get back into publishing for Phillips, so when the Sedalia properties became available, I jumped at the chance to come here,” Perry said. “This is a great community and I look forward to getting to know the folks here.”

After a short stint at KTUL-TV in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Perry began his career in the newspaper industry as a graphic designer at the Eureka Springs Times-Echo in the late 1970s. Since then, he has spent most of his career serving as the publisher of community newspapers in Arkansas, Missouri and Florida for Phillips and in Gainesville, Texas, for Community Newspaper Holdings Inc. He has also served as an advertising director and editor.

“I’m excited to have Jim on board to continue the improvements that have been taking place in both markets in Sedalia and Warrensburg,” said Jim Holland, president of Phillips Media Group. “Jim will be able to bring his experience from other newspapers and his familiarity with Phillips Media to the Democrat and Star-Journal.”

Perry said he wants to continue the Democrat and Star-Journal’s position as two of the primary news sources in West Central Missouri.

“I believe in the importance of community newspapers like the Democrat and Star-Journal,” Perry said. “Local news outlets provide coverage that no one else does. I hope to use my experience to help these two newspapers continue supporting the communities they serve.”

Perry is a native of northeast Oklahoma and is a graduate of the University of Tulsa, where he studied broadcast journalism. He and his wife, Lisa, have three sons and five grandchildren. His wife will be joining him in Sedalia later this summer.

Perry has been an active member of the Rotary Club since 1983 and is a member of the Arkansas Press Association Board of Directors. He said he is looking forward to working with the community and intends to get involved with the Sedalia Area Chamber of Commerce and other area organizations.

“I’ve read the Sedalia Democrat since it was purchased by Phillips Media five years ago and have always thought highly of this newspaper,” Perry said. “I’m looking forward to becoming more familiar with the Sedalia community as well as the Warrensburg community.”

Perry replaces former Publisher Will Weibert, who left the Democrat in May to pursue other career opportunities.

Perry can be contacted at 660-826-1000 ext. 1503 or jimp@phillipsmedia.com.

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