Leadership changes announced for Troy Publications

Published 5:27 pm Friday, December 11, 2020

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Bobby Rice, 52, has been named publisher of The Messenger and president and director of Troy Publications, Inc., which is owned by Boone Newspapers, Inc. [BNI]. Rice will also serve as a regional publisher of BNI’s newspaper in Bainbridge, Georgia, and group manager for BNI-managed Alabama newspapers in Andalusia, Atmore, and Brewton, and Cordele and Americus, Georgia.

He succeeds Stacy Graning, who has been named Mississippi Regional Editor and general manager of BNI’s newspapers in Brookhaven and Prentiss, Mississippi.

Rice previously served as general manager of The Tuscaloosa News, which is owned by Gannett, but also spent 16 years working for Gannett newspapers in the southeast.

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A 1992 graduate of Troy University, Rice grew up in Troy and is looking forward to returning to and serving the town he grew up in.

“I started my newspaper and media career in Troy and I am very excited I get to come home to finish my career in this wonderful community,” Rice said. “I look forward to reconnecting with old friends as well as making new ones. Troy and Pike County have so much to offer. It’s my hope that I can bring along some of the things I’ve learned in my media journey that will benefit the Messenger and the community it serves. I look forward to getting started.”

Rice and his wife Molly have two children; Will, 14, and Eleanor, 11.

“I am excited to welcome Bobby back to Pike County and to Troy Publications,” said Graning, who has served as publisher of The Messenger for nearly 20 years. “I have been blessed to be a part of Troy and Pike County’s growth and its stories for nearly two decades and am confident Bobby will be an exceptional leader and steward for the years ahead.”

Graning is returning to her home state of Mississippi, working with newspapers in Natchez, Vicksburg, Oxford, Batesville, Brookhaven and Prentiss. “I look forward to the opportunity to lead development of the editorial content in our Mississippi newspapers and websites, as well as lead growth at our Brookhaven and Prentiss papers,” she said. The move puts Graning closer to family in Natchez, Vicksburg and Oxford.

“Bobby Rice’s return home with his wife, Molly, and their children, Will and Eleanor, will be good for Troy, The Messenger and Boone Newspapers’ operations in Southeast Alabama and Southwest Georgia,” said Jim Boone, chairman of Boone Newspapers, and Todd Carpenter, president and CEO in a joint statement. “This also enables Stacy Graning to return to Mississippi, where she has family and Boone Newspapers needs what she can provide. She is appreciated for 20 good years invested in Troy and The Messenger. Bobby brings skills and abilities to us that will strengthen our company, and it is nice to have a friendship of 10 or more years culminate in him joining us,” they concluded.

”We are pleased Stacy is coming home to southwestern Mississippi and our readers soon will be as they see the positive difference she quickly makes in our products and contributions to the communities we serve,” said Tim Prince, senior VP of BNI in a joint statement with Boone and Carpenter. “Stacy is an award-winning and respected leader in our industry who brings much to this new opportunity.”

Rice will begin work in Troy Dec. 28, and is in the process of getting his family moved to Troy where they will live. Graning will stay in Troy for a short period to aid Rice as needed in the transition.