Joe Coates, who joined the weekly newspaper in 1996 as advertising director, is a graduate of Mississippi State University and also serves as advertising manager for The Meteor, an affiliated newspaper in Crystal Springs. He and his wife, Karen, have six children and five grandchildren and reside in Wesson.
“I’m humbled to have been nominated and elected to this prestigious board, and I look forward to working with other newspaper publishers from across our state to promote our industry and expand our reach,” Coates said. “We are not through telling our story.”
The publisher of the Starkville Daily News was elected president of the association.
Don Norman, 69, who has served as publisher of the newspaper since 2000, is a native of Natchez and longtime newspaperman. After beginning his career in advertising at The Natchez Democrat, he later served as general manager and vice president of Natchez Newspapers before being named publisher of The Atmore (Ala.) Advance.
Also elected as officers of MPA-MPS were Paul Keane, publisher of The Wayne County News in Waynesboro, who will serve as first vice president, and Kevin Cooper, publisher of The Natchez Democrat, who will serve as second vice president. James Arrington Goff, executive editor of The News-Commercial in Collins, was re-elected treasurer.
Joel McNeece, publisher of The Calhoun County Journal in Bruce, becomes immediate past president of the organizations and chairman of the board of the Mississippi Press Association Education Foundation.
Founded in 1866 and celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2016, MPA is the trade group for Mississippi newspaper media. MPS, founded in 1978, is an affiliated advertising and marketing service. The MPA Education Foundation, founded in 1983, provides internships and scholarships to in-state students of journalism and communications.