Nowhere is this better illustrated than the rapidly evolving world of media, where digital technology and social networking constantly redefine the parameters of communications. But that is only part of meeting the challenges for the Killeen Daily Herald, which is one of the oldest continuously run businesses in Killeen, celebrating its 126th anniversary in 2016.
Change is essential to remain competitive, and the Killeen Daily Herald not only continues to increase the number of products it offers, but also the number of platforms for their delivery.
The newspaper was established as a weekly publication, The Killeen Herald, in June 1890 by W.E. Bennett. J.T. Carter bought the paper in 1903 and remained publisher for 43 years.
In 1953, communications pioneer Frank W. Mayborn bought the Herald and guided the newspaper for more than three decades until his death in 1987. His wife, Sue Mayborn, who had served as executive vice president of Frank Mayborn Enterprises Inc. since 1979, assumed responsibilities as the owner, editor and publisher.
The Herald went through the expected changes over the years. Under Mayborn’s leadership, the Herald grew from a weekly to semiweekly, then to a five-day afternoon daily and later a six-day publication. It became a seven-day morning newspaper in September 1982.
The newspaper flourished during those years and has developed into one of the top small newspapers in Texas. In the past five years, the Herald was named Newspaper of the Year in its class twice and has been second three other years in that period.
Mayborn’s business acumen was not restricted to the newspaper industry. He was instrumental in bringing Fort Hood to Killeen in 1942. Originally called Camp Hood, the installation developed into what it is today, the largest military installation in the free world. Killeen grew with it, and today is one of fastest-growing communities in Texas with a population of about 136,000.
While many news organizations have shrunk in the past decade, the Killeen Daily Herald has taken a different approach: The company adapted by meeting all challenges and diversifying. It started with the print publication itself. The Herald added three weeklies to its print arsenal in nearby Copperas Cove, Harker Heights and Fort Hood, giving all three communities more focused information on the happenings in each community. The newspaper, in partnership with another Mayborn newspaper, The Temple Daily Telegram, established Tex Appeal, a slick, full-color monthly regional magazine. There are more magazines being eyed in the future. In addition, the two newspapers formed FME News Service, which provides an avenue to provide news from both newspapers, covering an area of more than 300,000 residents.
But recognizing that the direction of news was toward digital technology and social networking, the Herald also made the necessary changes and is in the forefront of digital newsgathering and communication and is constantly upgrading. In addition to the newsgathering function, the company formed KDH Digital Services, which is involved in web design, social media marketing, mobile marketing, search engine optimization and reputation management.
That venture has grown rapidly.
With all the changes, an integral step was increasing the company’s commercial printing operation. Mrs. Mayborn and Terry Gandy, KDH vice president and general manager, began making the necessary purchases within the last decade to provide a high-quality commercial printing operation. A 16-unit, DGM 850 press and GMI color-control software have put the company in a highly competitive position in the industry.
That little weekly that began in 1890 has become KDH Media Group, anticipating and adapting to any change in the industry.