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City of Jonesboro hires new communications director

Roy Ockert
City of Jonesboro


Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin has hired a new communications director.  Longtime newspaper reporter and editor Bill Campbell is set to take the job March seventh.  It is subject to the approval of the salary, which will be reviewed through the City Council’s Finance and Administration Committee on Tuesday.  Campbell is a Camden native and was most recently information technology, business and entrepreneurial reporter and editor for the Tennessee Valley Publishing Company.  He also worked for the Dallas Morning News, the News Star in Monroe, Louisiana, and the Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi.   Learn more about Campbell below:

Bill Campbell, a longtime newspaper reporter and editor, will become communications director for the City of Jonesboro on March 7, Mayor Harold Perrin announced Monday.

The appointment is subject to approval of a salary proposal, which will be submitted to the City Council through its Finance and Administration Committee on Tuesday.

“Jonesboro has long been a city I’ve found charming, as I am a frequent visitor with family on three sides of town,” Campbell said. “The chance to use my media background, in a job that seems like I’ve been preparing to do for several years, feels absolutely perfect. I will help the mayor and all city leaders as they work to keep Jonesboro progressive and growing, and I will offer another set of ears to help understand what residents want and need.”

A native of Camden, Campbell most recently was information technology, business and entrepreneurial reporter and editor for the Tennessee Valley Publishing Co., which has newspapers in Florence and Decatur, Ala.

“We’re pleased to have someone as talented and experienced as Bill to join our staff, and we look forward to his work in improving communications between the citizens of Jonesboro and their city government,” said Mayor Perrin.

Campbell replaces Roy Ockert, retired editor of The Jonesboro Sun, who has filled in as interim communications director during the search for a permanent director. Almost 50 people applied for the position.

After obtaining a journalism degree from Louisiana Tech University, Campbell worked for the Dallas Morning News from 1997 to 2004 as a senior writer covering mostly sports. During that time was also a regular analyst on a Fox Sports Southwest weekly television program and occasionally for ESPN.

In 2004 he became a city editor of the News Star, a Gannett newspaper at Monroe, La., leading a team of young reporters, designing pages and writing editorials. He also hosted a drive-time radio talk show while selling and recording much of its advertising.

He moved to Jackson, Miss., in 2009 as an assistant city editor and communities for the Clarion-Ledger. He also was involved in developing and maintaining the newspaper’s Web site and social media. Because of his work at City Hall and in the state Capitol, he received a “Lifetime Citizen of Jackson Award” from the City Council.

He was there for two and a half years before accepting a position as metro editor at Decatur.

His wife Ashwini is working on a master’s degree in occupational therapy. He has two sons —Stephen, 26, who is in the Army, and Jordan, 23, a set technician for a touring production company out of Los Angeles.

His sister, Barbara Bennett, and her husband Herbert retired in Jonesboro. Two nieces and their families also live here.

Johnathan Reaves is the News Director for KASU Public Radio. As part of an Air Force Family, he moved to Arkansas from Minot, North Dakota in 1986. He was first bitten by the radio bug after he graduated from Gosnell High School in 1992. While working on his undergraduate degree, he worked at KOSE, a small 1,000 watt AM commercial station in Osceola, Arkansas. Upon graduation from Arkansas State University in 1996 with a degree in Radio-Television Broadcast News, he decided that he wanted to stay in radio news. He moved to Stuttgart, Arkansas and worked for East Arkansas Broadcasters as news director and was there for 16 years.