The Federal Way Mirror’s new publisher is not a stranger to the community.
Sound Publishing has hired former Federal Way Mirror editor Andy Hobbs as the new publisher, beginning May 1. He takes over for Rudi Alcott, who was promoted to lead Sound Publishing’s digital sales team at the beginning of March.
Hobbs worked as the editor of the Federal Way Mirror from June 2006 to November 2013, when he went to work for The Olympian as a city reporter.
He said he is looking forward to returning to community journalism and the Federal Way Mirror.
“Papers like the Mirror make life richer,” Hobbs said. “They give not just what readers want, but what they need. … I feel like they’re an indispensable part of the community.”
Hobbs said the Mirror is an integral part of the Federal Way community, and he is ready to return to that. He said he appreciates the city’s diversity and the newspaper’s ability to build relationships with readers and people in the community, as well as spark discussion, debate and impact the city in a positive way.
“That’s what I’m excited to come back to,” he said.
As a publisher, Hobbs is entering new territory, but he believes he will be successful in his new role. He said he has “lived and breathed newspapers” his entire career.
He graduated from journalism school at Franklin College in Franklin, Indiana, a suburb of Indianapolis, in 2000. He worked briefly in New York after college before moving to Arizona to help launch three weeklies in the Phoenix suburbs.
“I really got to see the value of community journalism in the sense that they were publishing stories that the daily wouldn’t or couldn’t cover,” he said.
After moving to Washington in January 2006, when Hobbs’ wife got a job in Tacoma, he worked briefly at the Puyallup Herald before becoming the editor of the Mirror. Hobbs said he left the Mirror to strengthen his writing and has since gained more insight into the newspaper industry, specifically about the business and digital side. He said, while working at the Olympian, he has honed his digital engagement skills and looks forward to advancing the digital relationship between the newspaper and community at the Mirror.
“We’re going to continue being a relevant source of news for the community,” he said. “We’re going to continue being a voice for the community. We’re going to continue to deliver news that matters. We’re going to continue to be a conduit for the business community, as well.”
Polly Shepherd, regional publisher for Sound, said Hobbs will be a good fit as publisher.
“We are all excited to have Andy back on our team,” she said. “With Andy’s knowledge of Federal Way and the industry, the Mirror will continue to be the leading voice of the community.”
Shepherd invites community members to join editor Jessica Keller and Mirror staff welcome Hobbs back at a reception from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., May 1, at the newspaper office, 31919 First Ave. S., Suite 101. Appetizers and beverages will be served.