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Springfield, MO

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Ozarks Profile

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Managing editor of the News-Leader, 651 Boonville. The News-Leader has a weekday circulation of approximately 65,000 and Sunday circulation of 101,000. It serves readers in a 34-county area. Marymont joined the News-Leader 20 years ago as a copy editor. Throughout the years, she's held a variety of jobs there, including news editor and city editor. She became managing editor four years ago and oversees the day-to-day operations of the newsroom.

Age: 44.

No. of years in Springfield/area: Raised on a farm near Willard that has been in the family 150 years.

Education: A bachelor of arts degree in communications from Southwest Missouri State University.

Early career: Marymont got interested in the news business when she became a news reporter at KWTO radio. She held that position from 1972 to 1975. "I was attending college, planning to be a math major, and on a lark took a job as a part-time, early-shift reporter. KWTO had a large, aggressive news operation at that time, and I learned news from some wonderful veterans. Within a short time I was hooked on news and changed my major," Marymont said. From 1976 to 1978 she worked in public relations for Drury College. Marymont had attended Drury during her freshman and sophomore years and believed strongly in its liberal-arts approach, she said. "I had an opportunity to help promote an institution that I cared about, but I always missed covering news." From 1981 to 1982, Marymont was a copy editor and assistant city editor for the Nashville (Tenn.) Banner. She then returned home, working for the News-Leader as city editor and assistant managing editor from 1982 to 1988. "Nashville had a newspaper war under way, and I learned about the value of head-to-head competition. But the offer to return home was too attractive, and we came back for a second stint at the News-Leader," she said. From 1988 to 1991, Marymont was city editor at the Arkansas Gazette in Little Rock. "The Gazette was a great crusading newspaper with a hard-news tradition. This was one of the pivotal points in my career because I had the opportunity to learn hard news from the masters," Marymont said. After spending 1992-1993 as executive news editor of the Wilmington (Del.) News-Journal, Marymont returned to the Ozarks, this time as managing editor of her hometown newspaper, the News-Leader.

Current projects: "The project I'm working on today is tomorrow's newspaper. Every day the newsroom staff and I get to put out a brand new News-Leader. We're also working on long-range special projects, but the primary emphasis each day is putting together the newsiest, most interesting newspaper for tomorrow."

Management philosophy: "Do the right thing. By that, I mean: Do the right thing for an employee who has a problem; do the right thing to serve readers' interests; do the right thing to always protect the News-Leader's credibility; do the right thing when it means tackling a tough issue or a tough personnel matter. In any given situation I try to be guided by the concept of doing the right thing."

Spare-time pursuits: Reading, gardening, cooking and entertaining friends.

Family data: Marymont's husband, Mark, is an entertainment reporter for the News-Leader and freelances for several national publications. Her daughter, Emily, 23, is a second-year law student at Harvard who plans to be a First Amendment specialist (keeping journalism in the family).

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