From an original story by Michael James of The Tuscaloosa News.
The Tuscaloosa News has promoted Bobby Rice to general manager. Rice, 50, joined The News in July as advertising director and will continue in that role. As general manager, however, he will be involved in all of the newspaper’s operations.
“I’m honored and humbled to be part of this iconic and award-winning newspaper,” Rice said. “This is a fast-moving and shifting business, but we are as committed as always to delivering quality local journalism across all of our platforms and providing local marketing solutions to our business partners.”
Patrick Dorsey, regional vice president for GateHouse Media, which owns The Tuscaloosa News, said Rice made an immediate, positive impact upon his arrival in Tuscaloosa. “I have known Bobby for many years and have always admired his overall leadership abilities, as well as his strong sales acumen,” Dorsey said. “I was very happy we were able to bring him into GateHouse and to Tuscaloosa, and the results of his hard work over the past few months have validated that decision. Bobby has jumped into the Tuscaloosa community with both feet and I am very confident his leadership will be beneficial to Tuscaloosa and to The Tuscaloosa News for many years to come. I am thrilled we are able to reward him by promoting him to general manager.”
A graduate of Troy University, Rice has extensive experience in newspaper advertising in both sales and managerial roles, and also owned and operated a small business in Pensacola, Florida. He has worked for papers in Florida, Texas, Alabama and Louisiana, including the Montgomery Advertiser and the Dallas Morning News. He accepted the position of advertising director at The Tuscaloosa News after selling his business. “Having owned a business, I have a special appreciation for the challenges our business partners face every day,” Rice said.
“Bobby has demonstrated exceptional leadership since joining our Tuscaloosa News team,” said Jim Doughton, regional publisher for GateHouse Media. “He is an astute advertising professional and a forward-thinking leader who embraces innovation and change. We are extremely pleased to be able to promote someone from our Tuscaloosa staff to general manager to lead this great team.”
Although Rice joined The News this summer, he is no stranger to Tuscaloosa. His father, Bill Rice Sr., played football for coach Paul W. “Bear” Bryant at the University of Alabama from 1958-1961, and his uncle, Bobby Rice, who was married to the former Carolyn Burchfield of Tuscaloosa, was director of athletic facilities at UA for more than 30 years.
Rice said his connections to Tuscaloosa make the opportunity to lead The News especially rewarding.
“Growing up in the state of Alabama, I’ve visited Tuscaloosa often, and I’ve read The Tuscaloosa News my entire life,” Rice said. “Being the youngest of three boys I always thought it was unfair that I got the sports page last. I think about that and smile as I walk past our sports department every morning.”
Rice and his wife, Molly, have two children, Will, 12, and Eleanor, 9.
Read the original story here.