Who we are
Leader Publications, Jefferson County’s only weekly newspaper company, was founded in 1994 in Festus, Mo.
It publishes two community weekly newspapers with a combined circulation of 55,000.
The first edition of the Jefferson County Leader came off the presses on Aug. 25, 1994. It was distributed free by direct mail to every home in the Missouri communities of Barnhart, Pevely, Herculaneum, Crystal City, Festus, Hillsboro and De Soto, as it still is today.
The Arnold-Imperial Leader, which served those two ZIP codes, began publishing on Aug. 24, 1995.
In 2008, the company earned eligibility for a Requester Periodicals permit from the United States Postal Service when it collected more than 35,000 requests for delivery from its 55,000 household deliveries.
Since then, the company has expanded its circulation on a requester basis beyond the nine core ZIP codes to every ZIP code in Jefferson County.
The company also publishes Grand Times, a magazine for senior readers which is inserted in both Leaders three times per year and numerous special sections that promote community events.
The company always has emphasized strong local news content, running a 40 percent “newshole,” an unusually high percentage for free newspapers.
That commitment to news has brought the company dozens of editorial awards over the years from both the Missouri Press Association and the National Newspaper Association.
It also has earned the company a loyal and large roster of advertisers, ranging from local merchants to nationwide retailers. Those strong relationships, for both ROP and insert customers, are reflected in numerous awards the company has earned from the Missouri Ad Managers Association.
Leader employees are actively involved in Jefferson County’s communities and civic organizations. The company sponsors events at major festivals and hosts popular events of its own such as its annual Wedding Fair and three Senior Expos each year.
With owners/operators on site who are Jefferson County natives, the company remains committed to its cornerstone values of strong local news coverage, customer service and community involvement.
Pam LaPlant, Publisher
Glenda O’Tool Potts, Advertising Manager
Peggy Bess, Editor
Patrick Martin, Editorial Page Editor
Kim Robertson, Arnold-Imperial Editor
Peggy Scott, News Editor
Gordon Bess, Sports Editor
Jeff Adams, Advertising Sales
Rob Schneider, Advertising Sales
Janet Wilkinson, Advertising Support
Debbie Skaggs, Production Artist
Michelle Engelhardt, Production Artist
Carol Thomure, Classified Advertising
Daina Nappier, Classified Advertising
Laura Marlow, Layout desk
Steve Taylor, Reporter
Kevin Carbery, Reporter
Sherree Fite, Photographer
Ted Howell, Photographer
Matt O’Harver, Photographer