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April 2, 2020

2/3/2020 1:58:00 PM
Editor is retiring; veteran colleague succeeding

The editor of the Daily News is retiring after a 37-year journalism career, handing the reins of the award-winning newspaper to an experienced colleague.

The new editor will be Tom Osborne, who has served as copy editor and online editor of the Daily News since 2001. His name is familiar to many readers as writer of the long-running "Crawford County Wanderer" series on local history. He also wrote for the Daily News about his journey with the Corps of Discovery reenacting the Lewis and Clark expedition.

Retiring is Greg Bilbrey, who succeeded long-time editor Byron Tracy in 2001. A Central Illinois native and journalism graduate of Western Kentucky University, he previously was news editor for a group of non-daily newspapers based in Clark County.

The Daily News earned more than 100 state and regional awards during his tenure as editor. Bilbrey is a recipient of the Master Editor honor from the Southern Illinois Editorial Association, as well as a journalism hall of fame honoree at both WKU and Eastern Illinois University.

"It has been an honor to serve Crawford County and a continuing challenge to maintain the high standards the Daily News has always set as one of the premier community newspapers in the state," Bilbrey said. "But I am equally honored and pleased to be turning over the editor's chair to a colleague who is more than capable of taking on the challenge, and building upon the Daily News legacy."

Bilbrey will continue as an active member of the boards of the Illinois Press Foundation and Illinois Journalism Education Association. He will also continue his work as an adjunct instructor in the EIU School of Communication and Journalism.

His retirement is effective Friday, Feb. 7. He and his family will be relocating to Charleston in the near future.

Osborne will be taking over in a newsroom that is being reimagined and revitalized. The look of the newspaper and the website is being redesigned and the emphasis on reaching readers through social media will be increased.

A native of Southern Indiana, Osborne was part of the journalism department at Indiana State University. After finishing his work at ISU, Osborne began his journalism career at the Tribune-Star in Terre Haute and then the Vincennes Sun-Commercial before coming to the Daily News in April 2001.

"I've been a news junkie for as long as I can remember and was always reading and re-reading the newspapers that my father made a part of his daily routine," Osborne said. "Our focus here has always been, and will remain, community journalism. Crawford County is a wonderful place to live and to work and it is an honor to tell the story of our community."

He is an active member of the community as the Scoutmaster of Scouts BSA Troop 901 and is a member of the Robinson Kiwanis Club and Robinson First United Methodist Church.

Osborne said he is looking forward to improving and increasing the platforms where local news is delivered.

"I want to thank Greg for all the guidance that he gave me though the years, and I'm looking forward to putting those lessons to good use as we move this company forward into the future."

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