Grindstaff, LaPorte, Rickman join WNA Board of Directors

Three seasoned media executives have been elected to the Wisconsin Newspaper Association Board of Directors after being nominated to fill three vacancies.

Joining the WNA Board are Robb Grindstaff, general manager of Hometown News Limited Partnership in Fort Atkinson; David LaPorte, general manager of the Ashland Daily Press; and Randy Rickman, publisher of the Kenosha News.

The WNA Board of Directors is made up of eight directors and seven officers. Four weekly newspaper representatives – one from each region of the state – and four at-large daily newspaper representatives are elected to three-year terms.

Grindstaff, who will represent weekly newspapers in the Southeast Region, has been general manager of Hometown News since early 2015. Hometown publishes eight weekly newspapers and one twice-weekly paper covering 14 communities in Southern Wisconsin. Grindstaff is also the general manager of the Daily Jefferson County Union in Fort Atkinson, a position he has held since 2012. The Daily Union is owned by Hometown’s sister company, W.D. Hoard & Sons. Previously, Grindstaff was the executive editor and general manager of Stars and Stripes, the U.S. military’s independent newspaper.

LaPorte has been the general manager of the Ashland Daily Press and Price County Review since July 2014. He previously worked as the advertising manager of the Sawyer County Record. Both publications are owned by Adams Publishing Group (APG), which owns 63 community newspapers in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio, Maryland, Idaho, Wyoming and Virginia.

Rickman has been the publisher of the Kenosha News since July 2016 and has a lengthy background in the newspaper industry. Prior to joining the Kenosha News, Rickman was a regional publisher for Wick Communications, based in Sierra Vista, Ariz., after having worked for Lee Enterprises for 24 years. The Kenosha News is owned by United Communications Corporation, which has three daily newspapers, several weekly newspapers and three television stations across Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

The vacant seats were previously held by Steve Lyles, who resigned April 28 as senior sales director, group publisher and general manager of the Journal Community Publishing Group; Watertown Daily Times Publisher Kevin Clifford, who moved into an officer position as the WNA Board treasurer in February; and publisher Scott Johnson, who left the Green Bay Press-Gazette in October.