Brandon Cox is a busy man, and he likes it that way.

Cox, 32, assumed the publisher’s role at The Messenger shortly after the first of the year, replacing Rick Welch, who announced his retirement after 39 years in the newspaper business — including 12 in Madisonville.

Cox also serves Paxton Media Group as publisher for several other newspapers — including the Kentucky New Era, The Journal Enterprise, The Dawson Springs Progress as well as papers in Cadiz, Russellville, Franklin and Oak Grove.

Cox began his newspaper career with PMG in 2009 as a graphic artist at the Messenger-Inquirer in Owensboro after graduating from Kentucky Wesleyan College, where he studied journalism and graphic design.

He continued work in advertising design and editorial page production before moving to advertising sales and later transitioning to advertising director at The Courier-Times in New Castle, Indiana.

Cox joined Southern Newspapers Inc. in June 2014 as publisher of The Bay City Tribune in Bay City, Texas, before assuming the role of editor and publisher of the Jackson County Sentinel of Scottsboro, Alabama, in September 2017.

Cox said his love of newspapers began when a high school government and history teacher assigned his class read two Washington Post articles each morning for discussions about current events.

“I became interested in journalism and subscribed to the hometown paper. In college, I was involved in the student newspaper at Kentucky Wesleyan and that helped me begin a professional career at the Messenger-Inquirer,” he recalled.

Cox said he looks forward to engaging the community and keeping people aware of what’s going on through the newspaper.

“I believe in community journalism,” he said. “People want and need to be engaged with what is going on around them. We are still their source, and we will continue to be their go-to source. It is also our job, the only one protected by the United States Constitution, to speak truth to power and shine light on the issues that affect our communities.”

Cox’s philosophy when it comes to managing a newspaper focuses on why journalists do what they do.

“We are building a community,” Cox said. “Today, more than ever, it is important that we focus on that important work by fostering the community’s identity, setting the agenda for local dialogue, encouraging both personal and economic growth in the community, and finally, recording the history of our time.”

In the coming weeks, Cox plans to reach out to readers, business partners and community stakeholders to introduce himself and share his vision for The Messenger.

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