PASO ROBLES — The Paso Robles Press and Atascadero News have named Brian Williams as editor of both publications.
Williams held the same position with the newspapers from 2013-16. Luke Phillips will be the Associate Editor of both newspapers.
“Brian brings a lot to the table,” Publisher Kevin Davis said. “His experience, leadership, skills, and commitment to community news are great assets for us. I’m excited to be working with him.”
Williams is happy to be back on the Central Coast after spending two years as managing editor of the Porterville Recorder, a six-day daily in the Central Valley.
“My wife and I are excited to be back in the North County,” Williams said. “I look forward to reconnecting with the communities and the readers.”
Williams began his career as a sports writer for his hometown newspaper, The Recorder, in Porterville, in 1999. Over the years, he has worked with community newspapers across the country — Yuma Sun in Yuma, Ariz., Appeal-Democrat in Marysville, Sun Journal in New Bern, N.C. — and worked nearly every beat in the newsroom. He transitioned from sports to news a little more than a decade ago.
Williams has won several newspaper association awards along the way for his writing, page design and photography. He was also a part of staffs that earned general excellence honors.
Williams said the honors are great, but knows what is really important is the community and its readers.
“Without them reading, the newspaper doesn’t exist,” Williams said. “We want to deliver stories and photos that tell the story of the community, good and bad. It’s what I like to do and everywhere I have been, it’s what I have found people want to see in print or online.”
In addition to the weekly newspapers in Atascadero and Paso Robles, Williams also will oversee their niche publications such as Morro Bay Life, a monthly; VINO Magazine, a wine lifestyle magazine published six times a year; and Equine Enthusiast, a quarterly farm and ranch publication.
“Some people may not be aware that we publish all of these products,” Williams said. “It’s amazing, really, the number of publications that are produced. I enjoyed the diversity when I was here before. More and more papers are cutting back on these types of publications, but I am glad to see that is not the case here.”
Williams said he believes newspapers are vital to the communities they serve and Atascadero News and Paso Robles Press are as good as any in the state.
“Nobody in the area is covering the North County like we are,” Williams said. “We live in the community and know how important it is to still cover festivals, concerts, and school board and city council meetings.”