Sound Publishing has hired former Federal Way Mirror editor Andy Hobbs as the new publisher beginning May 1, 2017. He takes over for Rudi Alcott, who was promoted to lead Sound Publishing’s digital sales team at the beginning of March.
Hobbs graduated from journalism school at Franklin College in Franklin, Indiana, a suburb of Indianapolis, in 2000. He worked briefly in New York after college before moving to Arizona to help launch three weeklies in the Phoenix suburbs. Hobbs worked as the editor of the Federal Way Mirror from June 2006 to November 2013, when he went to work for The Olympian as a city reporter. He said he is looking forward to returning to community journalism and the Federal Way Mirror.
“Papers like the Mirror make life richer,” Hobbs said. “They give not just what readers want, but what they need. … I feel like they’re an indispensable part of the community.”
As a publisher, Hobbs is entering new territory, but he believes he will be successful in his new role. He said he has “lived and breathed newspapers” his entire career.
“I really got to see the value of community journalism in the sense that they were publishing stories that the daily wouldn’t or couldn’t cover,” he said.
After moving to Washington in January 2006, when Hobbs’ wife got a job in Tacoma, he worked briefly at the Puyallup Herald before becoming the editor of the Mirror. Hobbs said he left the Mirror to strengthen his writing and has since gained more insight into the newspaper industry, specifically about the business and digital side. He said, while working at the Olympian, he has honed his digital engagement skills and looks forward to advancing the digital relationship between the newspaper and community at the Mirror.
“We’re going to continue being a relevant source of news for the community,” he said. “We’re going to continue being a voice for the community. We’re going to continue to deliver news that matters. We’re going to continue to be a conduit for the business community, as well.”
Polly Shepherd, regional publisher for Sound, said Hobbs will be a good fit as publisher.
“We are all excited to have Andy back on our team,” she said. “With Andy’s knowledge of Federal Way and the industry, the Mirror will continue to be the leading voice of the community.”