Richard A. "Rich" Jones, Assistant Managing Editor of The Greeneville Sun since September 2007, will retire from that position at the end of work on Friday, Nov. 15.
He will be succeeded in that position by Michael S. Reneau, a native of Ooltewah and a former News Editor of The Herald-News of Dayton, who has been working for the past two years in Manitou Springs, Colo.
40-YEAR NEWSPAPER CAREER
Jones's retirement Friday after six years as Assistant Managing Editor at the Sun actually marks his second retirement from a newspaper career that has spanned just over four decades and has included major leadership roles with daily newspapers in three states -- especially the nationally-known Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, the most widely-circulated newspaper in South Florida.
In 2007, at the age of 56, he took early retirement from the post of Production Editor at the Sun-Sentinel and he and his wife, Barbara, moved to Greene County to live near one of Barbara Jones's daughters, Greeneville chiropractor Stephanie Frost, her husband, Bill Frost, a chiropractor in Greeneville and Newport, and their children: Connor, 8, Collin, 4, and Cara, 2.
At The Greeneville Sun, Jones has taken a key leadership role in directing the efforts of the approximately 15 members of the Sun news, sports and lifestyle staff, and helping shape the news content of the paper on a day-to-day basis.
Most of his duties have involved hands-on coordination of staff and numerous aspects of the creation and editing of the daily newspaper, but Jones has also served as a senior-level news reporter when needed.
His reporting at the Sun has especially -- though not exclusively -- focused on local business news, including all stages to date of the development of US Nitrogen at Midway and coverage of the Greene County Partnership.
In addition to Jones's other duties, he has served as Business Editor of the Sun for the last three years, and his news articles on both business and environmental matters have won major awards in statewide newspaper competitions in the Sun's circulation category.
Jones (who is not related to the family that owns and operates the Sun) has also been the primary planner, coordinator, and editor of the newspaper's annual Benchmarks edition and Salute to Industry edition, as well as the Sun's annual Greene County Guidebook.
'HAS BEEN INVALUABLE'
"Rich came to Greeneville after more than 30 years as a reporter and editor at The Sun-Sentinel, of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., an outstanding newspaper," Sun Editor John M. Jones Jr. said today.
"Needless to say, his decision to retire early from the Sun-Sentinel and move to Greene County with his wife Barbara in 2007 turned out to be definitely our gain," John Jones continued.
"The timing was perfect. We needed an assistant managing editor. Rich -- who incidentally is no relation -- was a career newspaperman, very qualified for the position, of course, and he wanted to continue doing news work for several more years.
"He has been invaluable to me and to our whole news operation ever since that time, and we have been especially glad to have a newsman of his skill and versatility during the very challenging period of the 'Great Recession.'
"We will miss him very much, but I -- and we -- deeply appreciate all he has done, and wish him the very best in a retirement which he certainly has earned."
RETURNING TO JONES MEDIA
Michael Reneau's acceptance of the Assistant Managing Editor position brings him to an important editorial position with Jones Media, Inc., for the second time.
A graduate of Bryan College, Reneau, 26, majored in Communication Studies/Journalism and served as editor of the college newspaper, the Bryan Triangle.
He made an outstanding record at the college in other ways as well, and was selected by the senior class and the faculty as the sole commencement speaker for the class.
He began his post-college career as a general assignment reporter for The Herald-News of Dayton, a sister newspaper to The Greeneville Sun. Both papers are part of Greeneville-based Jones Media, Inc.
Approximately nine months after Reneau joined the staff in Dayton, the position of News Editor of the twice-weekly newspaper came open, and he was named to the post.
In that capacity -- essentially, the role of editor -- his responsibilities included not only news and sports staff coordination and direction but also intensive hands-on news reporting/writing of all kinds, feature writing, photography, copy-editing, editorial-writing, page-design, column-writing, pagination, and special-section production.
His work at the Herald-News resulted in Tennessee Press Association awards in multiple categories.
SUMMIT MINISTRIES WORK
In the fall of 2011, Reneau moved to Manitou Springs, Colo., to accept the position of Communications Manager with Summit Ministries, a national nonprofit Christian organization based in that community.
In that role, Reneau has been heavily involved in issue-related research, analysis and writing, as well as in social media communication, marketing, etc.
In addition, he has done regular freelance writing for both print and digital outlets, including World, a national news magazine of about 100,000 circulation, and its website, both of which, according to the magazine's mission statement, strive to reflect a Biblical worldview.
Reneau and his wife, Julie, who is also a Bryan College graduate, are the parents of two young sons: Jesse, 2, and Miles, 1.
"Those of us here at the Sun are delighted that Michael Reneau, who did an outstanding job as both editor and reporter for The Herald-News a few years ago, has returned to East Tennessee and to a key role with a Jones Media newspaper," Editor John Jones said today.
"Michael has shown himself to be highly capable in a variety of responsibilities, and we were naturally sorry to lose his services at Dayton in 2011, when he moved to Colorado to a new position there.
"His work at Summit Ministries, however, has simply deepened and broadened his skills in areas very applicable to both print and digital journalism, and we are very happy to welcome back both him and his family," John Jones said.
"We are confident that he will do an excellent job as Assistant Managing Editor of The Greeneville Sun."