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Monday, January 3, 2022

LINK Media Names Managing Editor, Full-Time Reporters

LINK Media is proud to announce the addition of a managing editor, two full-time general assignment reporters, and a politics/government correspondent who will be embedded in Frankfort during the 2022 Kentucky General Assembly session.

Meghan Goth will serve as managing editor at LINK Media. 

LINK was formed in October through the acquisition of local digital news operations The River City News and Fort Thomas Matters and will operate a robust daily news website, produce a daily e-newsletter, engage audiences through multimedia platforms such as podcasts, videos, and events, and later this winter will launch a bi-monthly direct-mail print product.

"We know that our first hires are going to be incredibly important to the success of this venture, which is why we started the hiring process immediately after launch,” said LINK Media CEO Lacy Starling. "The team we've built is stacked with hungry, smart, talented folks eager to get to work and bring NKY the coverage it deserves."

Meghan Goth will serve as managing editor at LINK Media, and in that role will oversee news gathering and editorial content creation on the website, print product, and multimedia platforms. She joins LINK from WCPO news in Cincinnati where she most recently served as senior manager, enterprise/investigative.

“I'm so excited about being part of an organization that is figuring out how to do local journalism from a startup perspective,” Goth said. “Journalism is a constantly changing business, so experimenting from the ground up is the best way to find out what's next for local news.”

Goth is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati where she earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism, and Columbia University where she earned a master’s degree in journalism.

“I want us to first and foremost be a place for people in Northern Kentucky to find out what is going on in their communities and to bring those communities together,” Goth said. “NKY has, for so long, been a black hole of news coverage, and I'm glad to be a part of shining a local news light back on the area. I hope our work can also hold the powerful accountable, expose corrupt systems and be a resource for the people of Northern Kentucky.”

Also joining LINK Media as general assignment reporters, who will be dispatched to all corners of the region to cover the news, people, businesses, and events in Northern Kentucky, are Haley Parnell and Kenton Hornbeck.

Hornbeck comes to LINK as a graduate of Western Kentucky University. He has been a reporter for the Falmouth Outlook since 2017. 

Kenton Hornbeck. LINK file. 

“I’m excited to work with a talented staff who’s eager to implement new ideas in order to shift the idea of what local news could be,” Hornbeck said. “Being a part of an organization like LINK is a thrilling opportunity with potential to grow alongside our community.”

Parnell is a recent graduate of the University of Cincinnati’s journalism program.

“I’m excited to join the team at LINK Media to be more involved in my community, tell the stories of my neighbors and provide them with meaningful information,” Parnell said. “I hope to impact news outreach in the area by getting information to communities that couldn’t reach it before to stay up to date on everything happening in Northern Kentucky.”

Haley Parnell. LINK file. 

Both Hornbeck and Parnell are Northern Kentucky natives.

“I want the citizens of Northern Kentucky to get their news from a publication that bets on itself,” Hornbeck said. “We have the ability to craft stories in fresh and accessible mediums. In 50 years, our archives should resonate with generations of locals. Our team’s work should help Northern Kentucky stand out from its peers, and from Cincinnati.”

In addition to the three full-time news team hires, LINK Media is also announcing that Mark Payne has joined the team as politics/government correspondent who will be embedded in Frankfort for the duration of the 2022 Kentucky General Assembly session. The Bellevue native will be focused on reporting the impact of legislation and redistricting on Northern Kentucky while also detailing the actions of our local lawmakers while the legislature is in session. 

Mark Payne. LINK file. 

LINK’s dedication to a full-time presence in Frankfort marks the first time that a Northern Kentucky-based media outlet has made such an investment in more than fifteen years.

“We are so excited about the opportunity that we have with LINK Media, and with Meghan, Kenton, Haley, and Mark joining us now, it represents a the single-largest investment in local journalism in Northern Kentucky in a generation,” said Michael Monks, chief content officer at LINK. “These hires represent the largest news team that Northern Kentucky has had fully devoted to it since the closure of the Kentucky Post in 2007. This is really big, and we can’t wait to give this region a proper news experience.”

Monks founded The River City News in 2011 and often worked in close partnership with Fort Thomas Matters co-founder Mark Collier, who is now LINK’s chief operations officer.

“I’m very excited for us to announce the hiring of these talented journalists,” Collier said. “What we have been building behind the scenes has been exhilarating and I have no doubt will be game-changing for Northern Kentucky. In an ultra-competitive hiring process, we were able to find four individuals who have the drive, desire, and dedication to lean into one of the region’s most important start-ups in decades. This team that has been built is ready for the challenge.”

Payne heads to Frankfort this week while Goth, Hornbeck, and Parnell join LINK officially on January 10. The new website launches on February 15, replacing The River City News and Fort Thomas Matters websites. The print publication follows shortly after the launch of the new website.

"Bringing together this talented group of unapologetic NKY fans has been a delight,” said LINK CEO Lacy Starling, who now oversees an operation with eight full-time staff members and a strong, dedicated pool of contributing writers. “We saw so many great candidates, and assembled an incredible team that is going to change the face of news coverage in NKY.

"Meghan, Mark, Haley, and Kenton are all such talented, driven journalists. We are lucky to have them, and can't wait to the work they produce in the new year."

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