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Darling takes helm of Mississippi Business Journal

A familiar face has returned to the Mississippi newspaper scene.

Ed Darling has been named editor and publisher of the Mississippi Business Journal, returning to the state after an absence of nearly 12 years.

Formerly publisher of The Meridian Star, The Natchez Democrat and the Picayune Item, he assumed the new role July 7, moving to Jackson from Greenville, Ala. where he was president and publisher of Greenville Newspapers LLC and senior vice president of Boone Newspapers Inc.

Prior to that, he spent nearly a decade as editor and publisher of The Cullman Times.

“Mississippi has always been a special place to our family,” he said. “It’s good to be back and it does indeed feel like coming home. We look forward to working with a talented staff in Jackson, to renewing old friendships and making new ones.”

The MBJ, in its 30th year of operation, publishes a weekly newspaper with statewide distribution and a variety of business-oriented niche products, produces msbusiness.com and sponsors a series of business recognition events throughout the year.

It is part of Dolan Media Co., a publicly traded business-to-business information company with similar newspapers in New Orleans, Oklahoma City, Colorado Springs, Minneapolis and St. Paul, Baltimore, Long Island, Phoenix, Portland and Boise.

“Ed Darling brings so much professional integrity and leadership to this newspaper,” said Mark Singletary, group publisher of Dolan Media’s business publications. “We are delighted to have him with us, and all of us are looking forward to great things happening for the Mississippi Business Journal and the state of Mississippi.”

Darling brings an active and diversified newspaper and community background to the new role.

In addition to leadership opportunities in Mississippi and Alabama he was also executive editor and general manager of The Duncan Banner in Oklahoma. Newspapers he published have won 13 general excellence awards over a career than has spanned 31 years.

He was slated to become president of the Mississippi Press Association in 1998, but the move to Alabama preempted that. Ironically, he was just elected treasurer of the Alabama Press Association and would have been its president in 2010.

He served as chairman and president of the Alabama Press Association’s Journalism Foundation, president of the Alabama Associated Press Managing Editors and the Oklahoma AP News Council and has served on the board of the 14-state Southern Newspaper Publishers Association.

Twice, in Duncan and Cullman, Darling was named citizen of the year for his community work.

A 32-year Rotarian and Paul Harris Fellow, he has been chairman or president of three chambers of commerce, three United Way organizations, two Main Street partnerships and an economic development authority.

In 2000, he was named the Outstanding Journalism Alumnus for the University of Alabama. He is a member of the College of Communication and Information Sciences Board of Visitors at Alabama and is a graduate of both Leadership Oklahoma and Leadership Alabama.

He is a native of Tuscaloosa, a graduate of the university where he earned two letters as a basketball manager. He wrote his first article for The Tuscaloosa News at age 12 and was later assistant sports editor, sports editor, city editor, assistant managing editor and advertising consultant for The News.

Darling is married to the former Julie Moss, a native of Natchez, a graduate of the University of Mississippi and an award-winning journalist herself.

She served as director of sales and marketing for The Cullman Times, was advertising manager of The Natchez Democrat and worked on the sales staff of The Clarion-Ledger.

They have a five-year-old son, Grant, who will enter kindergarten this fall and two older sons, Scott, who is married to the former McKaye Hudson of Natchez and works as a financial planner and political fund raiser in Washington, D.C., and Chris, who is married to the former Shelly Kincaid of Birmingham, and is special projects director for Georgetown University in Washington while also pursuing his doctorate.

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