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December 4, 2008

From the Publisher's Desk: Publisher's job involves many facets

Have you ever thought, if I were in charge, I would do this or that?

Well, I have been with The Daily Star for almost a decade, the majority of that time serving as comptroller until I was promoted to publisher about a year and a half ago.

I find myself in the position to change the things I did not have the authority to before and adjust to the needs of those we serve.

In my travels, meeting our readers and advertisers, one of the most common questions I receive is, what does a publisher actually do?

Since it isn't top-secret classified information, I thought I would share what my responsibilities are.

My role is similar to a company president or CEO. I answer for our financial performance and maintain a certain profit level while offering an affordable product.

I guess it is fitting to say that the buck stops here. I oversee all the facets of this organization, including my senior management team.

These consist of our editor, Sam Pollak; revenue director Fred Schmidt, who is in charge of our advertising and circulation departments; Olin Benedict our prepress supervisor, comptroller Karen Chichester; and pressroom foreman John McCoy.

These team members and I collaborate to bring new features, opportunities and offerings to the community. I rely on them tremendously and trust them implicitly.

We steer this boat together, yet the ultimate decision on the direction we take is mine. That certainly does not make me the most popular person at times, so it is important to have broad shoulders to carry the weight!

For example, our editor oversees the newsroom staff, directs his team based on our company's objectives and his expertise, and reports directly to me.

I can attest that we do not agree 100 percent of the time, but when the time comes, I must make the decision and stand by it _ good or bad.

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