Publishing Group Announces
Hire of New General Manager
Iron String Press, the parent company of “The Freeman’s Journal,” “Hometown Oneonta” and “AllOtsego.com,” has hired Darla M. Youngs as general manager. Youngs joins Publisher Tara Barnwell and her team as the organization seeks to revitalize its newspapers, revamp its website and reestablish its connection with the communities it serves.
“We are so fortunate to have Darla join us,” Tara Barnwell, Publisher, said. “She brings a wealth of knowledge from her previous newspaper experience, everything from design and production to sharp editing skills.”
Youngs, who hails from Bouckville originally, has a long history covering the news and addressing issues important to Otsego County.
Upon graduating from SUNY Morrisville with a degree in journalism technology, Youngs spent 11 years on Long Island, where she was the editor of a Pennysaver chain and later production manager of the Richner Publications newspaper group, now Richner Communications.
Youngs returned to her upstate New York roots in July of 1994, accepting a position with The Journal Co. in Cooperstown, where she was production manager until March of 1997. Youngs was hired as production manager of Otsego Templeton Publishing Co. Inc. in November of 1997, and later took over as general manager until she left in 2006 due to an illness in the family.
“My father was diagnosed with cancer of the lungs which later spread to the brain, and we were working extremely late hours back then—pasting up the newspaper pages by hand on deadline night until all hours of the morning,” she recalled. “I needed to find a job that allowed me to spend more time with my family.”
Youngs then took a hiatus from the newspaper field, working for environmental organizations including the Otsego County Conservation Association, where she eventually was named executive director in July of 2011. Most recently, Youngs can be found at the Susquehanna Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, where she is currently transitioning out of her role there as operations manager.
“This will be my third time working for ‘The Freeman’s Journal’ in its many lives and versions, and I am happy to be back,” Youngs said.
“I firmly believe that even in this age of sound-bites and social media, the weekly community newspaper still plays an important role.
“The media can paint a bleak picture for newspapers, especially daily papers, but the fact is more than 150 million readers are still informed, educated and entertained by community newspapers every week. We are committed to finding new ways to serve Otsego County communities, our readers, and our advertisers, both in print and online,” Youngs added.
Youngs and the publications she has managed have been recognized professionally multiple times, winning New York Press Association awards for overall graphic design, best advertising idea: multi-advertiser page, and best color ad, among others. She received a NYPA first-place nod for circulation promotion with “The Freeman’s Journal” in 2003.
It is great news that Darla Youngs is back at the Freeman’s Journal. I think she has always done a great job.
Finally! Get the Freeman’s Journal back to the gem that it was! Congratulations Darla.