Turner takes the reins of Alaskan Publications

Mark Turner, formerly the editor and publisher of the Homer News, has been appointed general manager of Alaskan Publications. In his new position, he will oversee publication of the Journal, the Alaska Star, the Alaska Oil & Gas Reporter, the Alaskan Equipment Trader, the Alaska Military Weekly and two base newspapers.

The Homer News and Alaskan Publications are owned by Morris Communications Corp. of Augusta, Ga. Its other Alaska holdings include a group of Anchorage radio stations, the Juneau Empire, the Peninsula Clarion, Alaska Magazine and the Milepost.

Turner joined the Homer News as editor in 1991. He was chosen editor and publisher in 1993. During his tenure, the Homer News was selected as Best Weekly Paper by the Alaska Press Club three times. Morris Communications Corp. bought the Homer News in February 2000.

Turner, 49, was born in Mississippi and grew up mostly in Nashville, Tenn. Planning to study engineering, he attended Georgia Tech in Atlanta for three years. His interests changed, however, and he transferred to a small liberal arts college, Hanover College, in Hanover, Ind. He graduated in 1975 with a bachelor’s degree in biology.

He spent two years working as a chemist at Gulf South Research Institute in New Orleans before moving to Starkville, Miss., to build and start a family-owned hog-raising operation with his father, a veterinarian, and his mother, a biologist.

In 1979, he moved to Tucson, Ariz., where he took a part-time job working for the Arizona Daily Star, a Pulitzer chain newspaper, covering junior college baseball and girls high school volleyball. He also entered a master’s degree journalism program at the University of Arizona, but later chose to accept a full-time reporter position at the Star instead. Between 1981 and 1989, his various beats included school districts, consumer affairs, police and emergency, and state and federal courts, along with feature writing.

He left the Star in 1989 and began free-lance writing, settling into scientific subjects for various publications. He also taught part time as adjunct faculty in the University of Arizona’s journalism department.

He moved to Homer in December 1990 and joined the Homer News the following March.

Turner replaces Craig Johnson, who resigned in December.

01/13/2002 - 8:00pm