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Change is often a good thing, and I believe a good change has come into my life recently.
For those of you have not met me, I am Jeff Moreland, the new publisher/editor of the Central Kentucky News-Journal. I've been on the job about four days as you are reading this, and it has been an exciting transition. I've met many new people, and I've learned their names, at least in most cases. For those of you whose names I haven't committed to memory yet, please be patient. I'm working on the rest. As I've told my wife and son, everybody we meet will be learning three new names, but we have a whole new community full of people to learn.
My wife, Betsy, and I have one son. Michael is a freshman at Washington County High School, where he plays football. We are all native Kentuckians, and we all spent our younger days in Irvine in Estill County.
I grew up in that small town with my life revolving around anything to do with sports. When I wasn't playing baseball, basketball, football or anything else going on in my small hometown, I was watching a sporting event on TV or in person.
That love for sports quickly mixed with my desire to write, and my first newspaper "job" was a natural next step, and I was put on the staff as a sports writer for The Ravenna Blue Devil. Now, if you haven't heard of this publication, that's understandable. It's no longer in operation, and it had a circulation of about 200 people in the early 1980s. Most of the readers were my fellow students at Ravenna Elementary School. It wasn't the big time, but I was writing about sports, and my work was published! Could there be a better feeling for a fifth grader?
I continued to write for my school newspapers in middle school, high school and in college at Eastern Kentucky University. I had no doubt this was something I could find myself doing for a long time. Out of college, my career began with some freelance work. If there's one aspect of my job I enjoy more than writing, it's sports photography, and that's where I got my start. I did some work covering University of Kentucky basketball recruits for The Cats Pause, and then moved on to my hometown newspaper, The Citizen Voice & Times.
After a stint in sports, I became a full-time reporter, and later editor of the CV&T, where I worked for seven years.
Looking for bigger and better things, I took a position as sports editor of a daily newspaper, The Richmond Register, in Richmond, Ky. I covered Eastern Kentucky University sports, traveling with the teams around the Ohio Valley Conference.
In 2003, my family and I let go of our Kentucky roots a bit and made a move to Maryland. We were ready for something bigger, and boy, had we found it. We lived a short distance outside both Baltimore and Washington, D.C., where I was editor of three agricultural publications. My work took me up and down the Eastern Seaboard, covering issues in Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and of course, Washington, D.C. One day would find me touring an apple farm in New York, and the next would have me at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It was definitely a change of pace from life back in Kentucky.
This trip east was a learning experience for all of us. The entire time there felt like we were on vacation, which was a good thing. As a sports-oriented family we had our pick of professional teams to watch, and we took advantage of the opportunity. For our son, who was still into dinosaurs at the time, it was a healthy dose of The Smithsonian. If we visited the Museum of Natural History one time, we must have visited 100 times, and we knew those dinosaurs like old friends after a while.
One of our infrequent visits to Kentucky in 2005 showed us that while life in the big city was nice, it wasn't the same as being back home with family. Some of our young nephews hardly knew us, and after our visit, my wife and I had a long discussion about this problem. Our solution was simple. We enjoyed life in Maryland, but we loved our family, and we needed to make a change.
The search for some possible newspaper jobs near home was a short one. After only three days back in Maryland, I learned of a position in Springfield, Ky., and I contacted Richard RoBards, who was then in charge of the Springfield newspaper, and submitted my resume.
A flight to Kentucky for an interview set the wheels in motion for our return to our home state, and it was a pleasant homecoming.
I accepted the role of editor/general manager at The Springfield Sun at the end of 2005, and until last Friday, I had been there since.
Now, with some exciting new challenges ahead of me, I'm getting to know Campbellsville and Taylor County a little better. It's been a whirlwind experience, but a very positive one.
If I haven't met you yet, I would welcome the opportunity. I will be out in the community with members of the CKNJ staff, and they will be introducing me to more of you each day.
As I have told the staff here, my door is always open. I welcome you to contact me if there is anything I can do to be of service to you. If there is nothing you need, that's OK, too. Feel free to just drop by, phone or send me an e-mail and introduce yourself. I love to talk with people in my community, and I never meet a stranger.