Travis Swann (from left), Sarah Fryar, Marie Kemph, Ron Fryar, Lindsay Poole and Michelle Willard are just a few of the MTSU graduates who comprise The Murfreesboro Post in Murfreesboro, Tenn. (TMP File Photos)
The Murfreesboro Post? Hmm, you might know that the locally owned newspaper delivers twice a week, and covers local news in the Rutherford County area, but who are the people behind the pages?
Let’s take a moment to get to know the people behind the publication that we have all come to love, the people who keep this paper running, current and a joy to read.
The most important feature of The Post’s staff is its local flavor.
“What I’m most proud of is the number of Middle Tennessee State University alumni we have on staff,” Publisher Ron Fryar said. “I think it’s important for us to support both MTSU graduates and students as much as we can.”
In fact, every full-time employee at The Post is an MTSU alumni and many of its freelancers and columnists – like Jonathon Fagan, Gloria Shacklett-Christie, John Bragg III and Gina Logue – are either Rutherford County natives or have ties to the university.
First off, no paper could run without a solid publisher and The Post has a guy who likes to consider himself a “decent and honest man.”
Ron Fryar wasn’t always a man about paper. He got his working start at his aunt’s service station and garage.
From there he went on to attend MTSU and pursue a degree in political science. After graduating in 1973, he eventually found his place in Murfreesboro as the publisher and president of The Daily News Journal until 2004. Fryar has held the same post at The Post for the last three and a half years.
His favorite place to visit in Rutherford County is Demos’ Restaurant. In his free time you can catch him relaxing, reading or hitting the green.
No paper can be successful without a strong editor and this Rutherford County veteran is in a league of her own.
Michelle Willard knows a thing or two about taking control, maybe because she is the oldest among her siblings. Willard started at The Post as an intern and worked her way into the editor’s office.
Or maybe, this product of the Rutherford County school system is just displaying the character gained from her hometown. Willard began her schooling at Christiana Elementary, from there she attended Riverdale High School and graduated from MTSU where she received degrees in anthropology and mass communication. She is a fan of good music, enjoys reading, gardening, cooking and her favorite color is green.
If you ask her to name a good place in Rutherford County, then most likely she will tell you the Square, which is like her second home.
No paper can grow without revenue and in the paper business revenue comes from ad sales.
Travis Swann, recently taken off of the market by the United Way’s Kristin Hampton, is responsible for managing the paper’s sales and marketing; selling ad space is practically what he lives for.
Swann cam to Rutherford County 10 years ago for Viola, Tenn., and has worked at The Post since the beginning in 2006. He graduated from MTSU in 2005.
He highly recommends visiting the Greenway because it stretches over a great deal of Murfreesboro and he enjoys movies like “Gladiator,” “Fantastic Mr. Fox” and the television series “Treme.”
Next to Swann, the face that’s been at The Post the longest is Classified Manager and Account Executive Lindsay Poole, who has worked at the paper since October 2006.
The soon-to-be mom handles ad sales, graphic design and the design of the paper. That’s right, all those cool covers you see every Sunday and Thursday are made by her.
Among other things she does she is a Mary Kay consultant so if a makeover and ad design is what you need feel free to stop by and or give her a call. At the end of the day she really is just like everyone else. She enjoys spending time with her husband, Josh Dillingham, hanging with her friends and of course shopping.
Staff Writer Marie Kemph, best known for her juicy scoops on crime around Rutherford County, began her work career as a hostess for Ruby Tuesday during her junior year at Vestavia Hills High School.
Kemph is an Alabama native and Auburn University fan who has been in Middle Tennessee since 2001 when she decided to attend MTSU, where she served as editor-in-chief of Sidelines prior to graduating. She majored in journalism and minored in economics and political science.
Kemph, a newlywed who enjoys spending time with her friends and husband, Ryan Burton, believes that Murfreesboro’s historic Square has to be one of the most beautiful places in the world.
She is the oldest of two and is a fan of all sorts of music from Buddy Holly, Lynyrd Skynyrd to Dashboard Confessional. She describes herself as “American by birth and Southern by the grace of God.”
The Post’s “modern-day Pocahontas,” Sarah Fryar may only have lived in Murfreesboro for four years but she been a regular here since childhood.
Fryar has ink in her veins; she grew up at her father’s knee at the Daily News Journal, but has worked on and off at The Post since she interned here in the summer of 2010 while a student at MTSU, worked as a staff writer until the summer of 2011 and returned as account executive in February 2013.
Fryar’s favorite season is football season. Every fall, she spends Thursday nights on the sidelines of Thursday Night Lights on MYTV30 as the program’s assistant director.
Last but definitely not least is a person everyone at The Post considers a pure sweetheart but when it comes to covering sports, he has no problem asserting his self where needed.
David Hunter, The Post’s most eligible young bachelor and sports fanatic is no stranger to Rutherford County, he is a graduate of Lascassas Elementary, Oakland High and MTSU.
He enjoys spending time at the Linebaugh Library and can get down to almost anything, except country music. He graduated MTSU in 2006 majoring in radio and TV communication.
He is the oldest of six and enjoys learning about the newest advancements from NASA. He is an all around guy, his favorite movie is “Facing the Giants” and the only celebrity he is dying to meet is the one and only Jesus Christ.