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Advertising rep sees 40th anniversary of newspaper as daily

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Bill Anderson's career spans publication's history

By Robert Villanueva

In a work space near his computer at The News-Enterprise, advertising sales representative Bill Anderson keeps a Smith Corona typewriter that hearkens back to a time before Microsoft — a time in which he grew up.

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Anderson has weathered changes, just as the newspaper has.

Today, The News-Enterprise marks its 40th anniversary of publishing as a daily and Anderson has been there every step of the way.

Anderson was on staff Sept. 4, 1974, for the transition to a daily schedule and prior to that worked for The Elizabethtown News, which published twice a week. Ander­son began employment there in 1971.

Along with the transition from a bi-weekly to a five-day-a-week afternoon daily, Anderson saw the introduction of a Sunday edition in 1985 and later the conversion to a six-day-a-week morning newspaper.

“I feel like I’ve worked for four different newspapers,” said Anderson, 67.

When he went to interview for the job, Anderson recalled he was interviewed by Floe Bowles, who spent decades with the company before retiring as publisher. Anderson felt the interview didn’t go well, but Bowles later called him and told him if he cut his hair and trimmed his mustache, he would be hired.

“My dad told me to go to the barber,” An­der­son said.

When he started out, Anderson worked as an advertising rep and photographer, but he didn’t earn any extra pay for his role as photographer. Eventually, he came to work strictly in retail advertising and cultivated his clients, developing strong relationships with businesses of various types.

That changed when each advertising rep was designated a “pod,” or work team, for a specific area of advertising. In May 1999, Anderson was given real estate and auctions, which still is his area today.

Anderson said it was hard leaving clients he developed relationships with, but he got to work with many new clients he’s come to enjoy serving.

“I value those relation­ships,” he said.

The advent of the computer age meant a challenge for Anderson, but it was one he met. Regardless, he still used a typewriter for some tasks up until five or six years ago.

Anderson expressed enjoyment of his work, even when it means being at the office on nights and weekends.

“It’s not an 8-to-5 job,” Anderson said. “It’s one you do until you get the job done.”

Kenny Lewis, principal real estate broker and owner of Platinum Plus Realty and one of Anderson’s customers, can attest to Anderson’s statement. Lewis said he always sees Anderson’s car at The News-Enterprise regardless of the time of day.

“I think the main thing about Bill is he’s so dedicated to his job,” Lewis said.

Lewis said he has worked with Anderson for some 25 years and has known him even longer. He noted Anderson’s professionalism — how he almost always wears a dress shirt and tie — and said Anderson is dependable, easy to work with and is a “people person.”

“He’s one heck of a nice guy,” Lewis said.

Former co-worker and advertising sales representative Judy Martin worked with Anderson for 36 years beginning in 1975. She described her former co-worker as loyal and someone who “puts his clients first.”

“I would do anything in the world for Bill Anderson,” Martin said. “Besides working with him, he’s just a very good friend.”

In addition to Ander­son being able to walk the fine line between satisfying customer needs and meeting production deadlines, she said he exhibited a dry sense of humor, such as hiding a co-worker’s cellphone on a ceiling fan.

Larry Jobe, retail and classified advertising manager, said Anderson makes his customers a priority and does what’s best for them and the newspaper.

“I’ve been doing this for 28 years, and Bill is by far one of the best account executives that I’ve ever had working for me,” Jobe said.

Co-worker Tina Bird, who works in the graphic design department, started working with Anderson in 1976 and described him as a professional who works great with his clients one-on-one.

“He always strives to give them what they want,” Bird said.

As a co-worker, she said, Anderson is easy to talk to.

“For me, personally, Bill is like a big brother,” Bird said.

For co-worker Duane McClure, who works in the pre-press department and has worked with An­derson since 1977, Anderson represents an employee who “puts himself in the place of the customer” and works to make sure the customer is happy. The office, McClure said, is like a second home to Anderson, or even a first.

“He’s not hard to find,” McClure joked.

Graphic design team leader Sandra Logsdon, who started working with Anderson in 1979, characterized him as “customer oriented” and echoed the description of him as “dedicated.”

“We keep telling him to retire, but he won’t listen,” Logsdon said.

Robert Villanueva can be reached at 270-505-1743 or rvillanueva@thenewsenterprise.com.