The New Tri-State Defender Regroups After Passing of Publisher Bernal E. Smith

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The members of the Board of Directors l-r are: Treasurer Dr. L. LaSimba M. Gray Jr., Towanda Peete-Smith, (widow of Bernal E. Smith II), Secretary Atty. Vanecia Kimbrow, Esq., Vice President Deidre Malone and President Calvin Anderson Photo submitted

MEMPHIS, TN — The New Tri-State Defender (TSD) has a rich and inspirational legacy. This year the newspaper celebrated 66 years of continuous publishing in Memphis. During this time, the TSD has been a major journalistic voice in the Greater Memphis region, first under the leadership of the Sengstacke family, then Real Times Media and most recently the local ownership and operation under Bernal E. Smith II.

The investment group that constitutes the board of directors very much respects the TSD legacy and is committed to the continuity and mission of the publication.

As an independent press outlet, the TSD’s focus on local news has proven to be essential for the Memphis/Mid-South community. It historically has amplified the voices of those who often are overlooked, serves as a conduit for those seeking righteous engagement with the powerful and continuously advocates for truth. This multi-pronged tradition must be sustained.

The New Tri-State Defender Board of Directors is committed to ongoing excellence in reporting and timely production of news that informs, inspires and elevates readers. There are plans to make the Daily Digital, the weekly print edition and TSDMemphis.com even better vehicles for delivering that news.

The path forward in 2018 also will include continuing with signature events such as Women of Excellence, Men of Excellence and Best in Black, which now are a part of the brand DNA.

During this period of transition, we are reviewing and auditing business operations and connecting with advertising and vendor partners. Meanwhile, we will continue to rely upon the guidance of Dr. Karanja A. Ajanaku as Associate Publisher and Executive Editor.

The board will direct business operations in the interim and search for administrative leadership for the newspaper.

Our message to the community, subscribers, advertisers and partners is this: we have a responsibility to uphold the legacy and continuity of this historic African-American independent publication and we are committed to its growth, development and success.

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