Dec 27 2015
12:58 pm

Dean Stone, Editor Emeritus at the Maryville Daily Times, is retiring at the end of the year. A Blount Co. native, he has been with the paper since 1948.

Dean Stone is 91 years old and still hard at work up until his last day with the paper. As the Daily Times reports, "Stone has outlasted four owners and six publishers, while seeing the news move from hot type, to computer-generated type, to the Internet, all the while recording Blount County history."

He has received countless awards, was an inaugural inductee to the Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame, and has been involved in decades of community service on various boards and commissions.

I can attest from our personal experience with him that Dean Stone is tough but fair, and one of the nicest people you could ever want to meet.

For example, he personally approves every letter to the editor that gets published. And they must be printed on paper, and mailed or hand delivered (which we have done on occasion). He does not accept email submissions.

Every time we've sent a letter, he calls to verify our identity and that we actually wrote it. (He says you you wouldn't believe some of the stuff people try to pull around here.) He sometimes discusses the topic and our take on it, and more often than not he agrees with us which is somewhat surprising. Even when he doesn't, he has published every letter we ever sent.

One almost didn't get published. The Mrs. sent a letter with a lot of facts and figures and quotes, naming her sources. She had attributed one controversial quote to the wrong source publication (Knoxville News Sentinel instead of the Knoxville Business Journal, which is published by the KNS), and Mr. Stone was unable to verify it. He called to ask about it, she acknowledged the mistake, found a hardcopy of the quote, and offered to bring it over to his office. He told her in no uncertain terms that he didn't have time for that because he had already spent too much time on it. He eventually published it, though, without the quote in question.

The next time I sent a letter, it included copious footnotes with links to every double-checked source. When he called, he thanked me for that and said he wished everyone would make his job so easy.

Anyway, he's a great guy, a stickler for detail (obviously), and, as I said, tough but fair. He will be missed and we wish him the best in his retirement. I'm guessing we will still hear from him on a regular basis.


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