Jeremy Cooley learned to drive in the 1980s while helping his mother deliver a rural newspaper route for The Herald Journal, a role that eventually led him to a job in the circulation department at the paper.
Now, after two decades away from Cache Valley, Cooley is returning to become general manager of the company whose product he used to roll up and stuff into roadside boxes on the north end of the valley.
Cooley’s appointment as general manager of Cache Valley Publishing was announced Thursday by Travis Quast, Eastern Idaho-Utah regional president for Adams Publishing Group, the newspaper’s parent company. In addition to The Herald Journal, Cache Valley Publishing oversees operation of the Preston Citizen, Tremonton Leader and Montpelier News-Examiner newspapers.
Cooley comes to the job from another Adams newspaper, the Rexburg (Idaho) Standard Journal, where he has worked for the past 18 years, most recently as the general manager. In addition to his responsibilities in Rexburg, he has also overseen circulation operations for several other Adams newspapers in the Eastern Idaho region.
“Jeremy is a proven executive with a strong track record of success in our industry,” Quast said in making the announcement. “He is the right person to lead our operations and deliver strong products to our readers and even stronger results to our advertisers.”
Cooley is a Cache Valley native with pioneer roots going back to William F. Rigby, the founder of Newton. He grew up in Newton and graduated from Sky View High School in 1989. After a three-year stint in The Herald Journal circulation department in the late 1990s, first as a mailroom employee and then as single-copy manager, Cooley joined the Twin Falls (Idaho) Times-News staff in its Burley office before moving on to join the Rexburg newspaper.
Like The Herald Journal, the Standard Journal in Rexburg has experienced reductions in delivery days, and he credits a strong community connection with keeping the newspapers vibrant in both communities.
“The key is being involved in the community and reminding people that we’re still the biggest media provider in the areas we serve,” he said. “Community newspapers like The Herald Journal make the biggest difference in the community because local news is king. Newspapers have a crucial role no matter how many days of the week they come out. And businesses are a big part of that, too, because we have the audience that they want to reach.”
Cooley said the perception that local news is less relevant and less available than in the past is simply false.
“Knowing what your city council is doing impacts you more in more ways than a lot of things that are decided in Washington, and we’re the eyes and ears for holding public officials accountable,” he said. “When people say the news business is dying, that’s weird because we reach a larger audience than we used to in multiple ways when you factor in the internet and social media.”
In Rexburg, Cooley was active in the community, serving on the board of directors for the Chamber of Commerce and the Family Crisis Center. He said he plans to make similar outreach efforts as general manager of Cache Valley Publishing.
“I am excited about the opportunity to return to Cache Valley and be able to join the talented staff at The Herald Journal and our weeklies,” Cooley said.
He will begin his new job on Feb. 3 and be available by phone at (435)752-2121 Ext. 1000. Readers are also welcome to come to the Herald Journal offices, 1068 W. 130 South in Logan, for a visit.