Meet MPA’s Directors: Bryan Chester

In Association News, Missouri Press News On
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Missouri Press leadership is drawn from newspapers across the state, representing the interests of all the Association’s members and helping guide the organization into the future. Joining the MPA Board of Directors for 2022 are Bryan Chester, Columbia Missourian; Tim Schmidt, Montgomery Standard; Marion Jordon, The Kansas City Globe; and Lucas Presson, Southeast Missourian.

Directors are elected each year during the business meeting held as part of the Association’s annual convention and trade show. Nominations to serve on the board are accepted until July 1 and are then reviewed by a nominating committee for consideration by the entire MPA membership.

Bryan Chester has been in newspapers for 15 years, starting as an advertising rep and moving his way up to ad director and eventually general manager of the Columbia Missourian.
Himself a Mizzou graduate twice over, Chester said he had always been a “voracious consumer of news,” and when he graduated from college, he was looking for a job opportunity with growth and transferable skills. Taking a job in ad sales at the Missourian, he found he enjoyed the consultive aspect of selling media.

Chester wanted to get involved with the MPA Board following his years serving on the board of, including three terms as president, of Missouri Press Advertising Managers and Executives.

“I’ve seen firsthand the benefits local newspapers receive from a strong, dedicated press association,” Chester said. “With my term coming to an end at MPAME, I wanted to find a way to stay involved and serving on the MPA board was the logical next move. I’m excited to be a part of the organization, and I hope that my ideas have value for our members.”

Keeping newspapers viable is important to Chester both for his work with the Missourian and because of the loftier ideals of what newspapers represent.

“Newspapers provide a deeper connection to your community. I’ve lived in Columbia for over 20 years, but it wasn’t until I began working for the Missourian that I realized just how broad and diverse the area is,” Chester said. “The Missourian tuned me into things I would otherwise never discover.”

Chester said he also likes being one of the first to know about things going on in the community, and the only people more in the know than newspaper readers are the newspaper’s workers. Figuring out ways to monetize readers and their news consumption in an increasingly digital environment is the greatest challenge for newspapers today, he added.

“It sounds cliché, because it is, but it is also the only long-term solution for sustainable local news. The only question is how,” Chester said. “We’ve seen several attempts, the Missourian has experimented with various business models itself, but no one has been able to scale digital revenue on a local level.”

If you have a chance to meet Chester at one of Missouri Press’ upcoming events, or MPAME’s annual meeting April 21-22, at Camden on the Lake, feel free to bend the ear of the Chicago native and self-proclaimed pizza aficionado about his favorite pie or how the Tigers are doing this year.

You could also talk to him about his favorite winter pastime, snowboarding.

“I’m an avid snowboarder and spend my spare time chasing winter storms,” Chester said. “Don’t be surprised if I take your call from a chairlift between December and April.”

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