Former Franklin resident named publisher of Carolina newspapers

Published 9:40 am Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A former Franklin resident has recently been named publisher of The Daily Advance, Chowan Herald and The Perquimans Weekly, all in North Carolina.

Mike Goodman, who was born in Ft. Knox, Kentucky, came to Franklin when his father went to work for Union Camp after service in the Army. His parents are Gertrude “Skeeter” of Virginia Beach, and the late John Goodman.

The foundation for Mike Goodman’s future career in journalism was made during his time as a student at Franklin High School.

“All the great high school English teachers made me appreciate English,” he said, listing Iva Johnson, Prudence Thorpe and Elizabeth Evans in the early 1970s. “They were very strong and very demanding teachers. Very effective. I learned quite a bit from them and I wasn’t an easy one to teach.”

After high school, Goodman went to Wingate College in North Carolina for two years, and later to the University of North Carolina. Around that time is when a career path took shape.

“Later on I realized I wanted to take up journalism. It seemed to fit what my interests were. I did a little more traveling and became interested in public affairs,” he said.

An unexpected offer to work at the Penny Pictoral in Franklin gave him valuable experience in his two years with the small paper.

“It taught me a lot. I was just taking pictures and everything for them at the time. I even sold ads, got the paper published and delivered,” Goodman said.

After studies at UNC, he got hired to write sports for a newspaper in Mt. Airy, North Carolina, and also did other news. After two years there, he went to England and traveled for a second time. Back in the states, Goodman saw an ad and got the job as a copy editor in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.

“There were management changes and they asked me to do more and step up into a city editor role and I did that. I was promoted again, and before I knew it I’d been here quite a few years and then became editor,” he said.

In the meantime, he married and his wife, Martha, settled in Camden County. They have two children, John of Greenville North Carolina, and Elizabeth of Camden. The son is a web analyst and designer for the same company that owns the newspapers. The daughter is studying physical therapy.

The move to becoming a publisher started about five years ago with asking the publisher at the time — Ann Hoffman — and learning more about the work and becoming involved.

There’s been no single incident or story that solidified for him that journalism was the right track, Goodman said.

“I’ve felt over the years that the newspaper has made an impact on the people here in the area. You hear from people — your readers — and you hear that what you’re doing is affecting them,” he added.

John K. Cooke Jr., president of Cooke Communications North Carolina LLC, said, “Mike has excelled as interim publisher since Ann Hoffman retired last fall.”

Looking ahead, Goodman said, he has no specific goals for what he’ll be doing as publisher.

“As newspaper we’re always in touch with what’s going on. We’re always seeing how we can better do the work to inform our readers and serve our customers,” he said. “We’re trying to stay on top of trends that are affecting the newspaper. It’s day to day.”