A business editor before he became publisher
Rick Thomas of Business Insider profiles former Charlotte Observer publisher Rolfe Neill.
Thomas writes, “The Observer hired him to open a bureau in Gastonia. One year later, he was offered a promotion as ‘business editor’ at the newspaper’s downtown office. It was a one-person department, so he was also the business writer.
“Neill went home and told his first wife, Rosemary Boney. ‘She said, ‘Business editor? You hate business,’’ Neill recalls. ‘I said, ‘Well, I thought maybe I could learn something about it because I sure don’t know anything about it.’’
“He started reading The Wall Street Journal. (It’s still his favorite national newspaper.) He wrote briefs about new companies, covered textile club luncheons and profiled people. Business news, he discovered, was a good fit. He connected well with people in business.
“Higher-ups took notice. When the Observer’s parent company, Knight Newspapers, purchased The Coral Gables Times in 1961, Neill was invited to manage the south Florida paper. There, he learned how to run a business.”
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