The Times-Journal has named Glendon Poe its next sports editor.
Poe, who worked previously as the sports editor for the Clayton Tribune, replaced Cody Dowler on Oct. 31.
Dowler served as sports editor in a nearly four-year span at the Times-Journal. Dowler has taken a new position in the production department for WRCB Channel 3 Eyewitness News in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Poe is a Pisgah native. After graduating high school, he attended Northeast Alabama Community College and later transferred to the University of Alabama.
Poe said a career in journalism was not in the original plans, but when he transferred to UA, he made the decision to change majors.
“Originally my major was athletic training,” he said. “Shortly after I got to Alabama, I changed to journalism. I realized that athletic training was not for me and it wasn’t what I wanted to do.”
Poe said he went with a major in a topic he was already familiar with.
“At the time, I was pretty big into sports,” he said. “In the afternoon I would watch shows on ESPN like Around the Horn and Pardon the Interruption. Sports talk shows like that really interested me and they [the hosts] seemed like they had a lot of fun. I thought, ‘I have a pretty good grasp on the English language and I know sports pretty well,’ so, I thought I’d give that a shot and I just rolled with it.”
While at UA, Poe worked for the Tuscaloosa News and provided sports coverage for high schools in the area. He also covered some Crimson Tide sporting events during his time with the Tuscaloosa News.
After college, Poe landed his first full-time job with the Valdosta Daily Times. He worked there as the sports editor for four years, but recently started looking for another growth opportunity.
“I was pretty much burnt out on Valdosta because I had been there for four years and I felt like I had done everything I could do there,” he said. “We were pretty successful during that stretch of time I was there.
“We had a really good staff and we won some awards that we were very proud of. I felt like I had reached my ceiling and I was ready to get back closer to home and to start fresh in a new environment with a change of scenery. I knew that would do me good.”
Poe was at the Clayton Tribune just shy of a year when he heard about the opening at the Times-Journal.
“I wasn’t looking for another job,” he said. “I was told there was an opening and I checked it out and saw that it was for a sports writer and I applied. It turns out they wanted me and I couldn’t pass it up. It was a strange series of events and it all happened at once. I’m still not completely acclimated, but I am happy to be here.”
Times-Journal President and Publisher Tricia Dunne said because Poe is local, he restores an element that has been lacking in the paper’s previous sports editors for many years.
“Glendon is going to be a great edition to the Times-Journal staff,” Dunne said. “Having a local sports editor is something that the Times-Journal has not had in many years. We have been blessed to have great sports writers during my tenure, but I have always wanted someone that grew up in the area and now we have that.”
Dunne said Poe is stepping into a big role, but that his experience has prepared him for it.
“I believe a sports writer position is the toughest job at a newspaper,” she said. “The sports editor is one person who covers more than 10 schools and every single sport at each school, plus rec league sports. It is impossible for them to be everywhere, but I know Glendon is the right person for this challenge.”
Poe said in taking on the challenge he plans to include more sports feature articles.
“I want to have a bigger focus on sports features,” he said. “I want to go more in-depth with some coaches and players and also expand the coverage as far as getting a good variety of sports in the paper.
He also said he plans to expand his focus to cover a variety of sporting events in the county.
“I don’t want it to just be football in the fall because there are other sports going on,” Poe said. “There is cross county and volleyball, and in the winter time there is a lot more going on than just basketball. I want to give everybody the spotlight.”
Poe said he is looking to hone in on the use of photojournalism as well.
“I want to focus on the photography,” he said. “I want to take photos where people say, ‘I want to get a copy of that photo.’ Not only does it look good in print when you get a good photo, but it looks good online and everywhere else. I will definitely have a focus on improving the action shots you see on the sports page.”
In his interview for his introductory article, Poe said one thing he wants the Times-Journal subscribers and the community to know is that he is just one person covering all DeKalb County sporting events. However, he said with help from outside sources, he is going to do all he can to give local athletes and coaches the coverage they deserve.
“I am only one person, so I can only do so much in a small window of time,” he said. “I don’t know a lot of these coaches and players yet, so the more help I have, as far as people sending me information and people sending me contacts where I can reach out to coaches and players, that will help me tremendously. It’s those little things that can really go a long way as far as improving the coverage.”