Business

Sound Publishing president retires at 60

By Celeste Cornish

For The Courier-Herald

Manfred Tempelmayr has decided to retire while he’s still young enough to enjoy it. Tempelmayr, 60, the president of Sound Publishing since 2000, will trade in his full-time slot for a part-time consulting position for the next two years. After that, the world and the future are wide open, he said.

“What I’d really like to do is something else, just for the experience of doing something else,” said Tempelmayr, who’s worked for Black Press for more than 25 years.

Black Press, headquartered in British Columbia, is the parent company of Sound Publishing, which counts The Bonney Lake and Sumner Courier-Herald and Enumclaw Courier-Herald among its holdings.

Tempelmayr decided to retire earlier this year and announced his retirement May 4.

Until he plots his next move, he’ll “relax for a little bit,” he said. “It will be nice to not have the weight of the company on me, even though I wasn’t overwhelmed.”

A newspaper man at heart, Tempelmayr’s journalism career began with a reporter’s notebook and pen. He left behind his reporting days in 1982 when, as part-owner of the Cowichan News, he switched to the business side of the industry.

In 1984, Tempelmayr sold his newspaper to Island Publishers Ltd., which was then a subsidiary of Black Press, owned by David Black of Victoria, B.C.

“I met David Black when he owned two newspapers,” Tempelmayr said. Black now owns about 130 newspapers in Washington, Canada, Hawaii and Ohio.

During the past four years, Tempelmayr was tasked with extending Sound Publishing’s reach across the Puget Sound. In that time, Sound Publishing’s major purchases have included the King County Journal and its community newspapers, the Little Nickel operations, Enumclaw Courier-Herald, Bonney Lake Courier-Herald, the Marysville Globe, Arlington Times and the Wenatchee and Bellingham business journals, according to a press release.

“We rode the worst economic storm anyone has ever seen,” he said. “Now, it’s the spring of 2010, the business is solid and we have a good business plan. It’s a good time to leave.”

Josh O’Connor, vice president of East Sound operations, said Tempelmayr’s business sense and his insistence that the newspapers stay intensely focused on local news helped Sound Publishing weather the storm.

“He’s one of the best in the industry and we’ll miss his invaluable knowledge and expertise,” O’Connor said. “His guidance has helped navigate Sound Publishing through some difficult economic challenges.”

For Tempelmayr, there are no regrets regarding his career. Now, he said, it’s just time to focus on his personal life. He owns two properties which will occupy his time – one in Poulsbo and one on Gabriola Island near Vancouver – and has a host of personal interests he’s not had the time to explore, he said.

As for June 1, the first workday in nearly 30 years he won’t have to report to an office, he’s got it all mapped out.

“I’ll maybe sleep in for an extra half-hour,” he said.

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