Thursday, May 28, 2020

End of an era: State News general manager retires

December 6, 2018
<p>State News General Manager Martha Sturgeon works on her computer Dec. 4.&nbsp;</p>

State News General Manager Martha Sturgeon works on her computer Dec. 4. 

Photo by Annie Barker | The State News

As the semester comes to a close, so will an era for The State News, as it says goodbye to General Manager Marty Sturgeon. 

Sturgeon graduated from Indiana University with a business degree. She then started at Indiana State University as an advertising advisor. In 1994, she moved to Michigan.

“I was just looking for a job,” Sturgeon said, in regards to the beginning of her 25-year employment at The State News. “I’d been there maybe a few months and thought ‘I really like this. I think this is something that maybe I could do.’” 

Sturgeon has served as The State News general manager for the past 18 years. 

“I have been responsible for making sure that The State News is financially stable,” Sturgeon said. “Making sure that reporters have the money to do the reporting (they) should be able to do.” 

She recalled her first day at The State News. 

“My first day as GM was Election Day 2000,” she said. “I went to bed that night thinking Gore was President. I got a phone call from our printer saying, ‘Do you want to change the front page?’ and I thought ‘What? What do you mean?’

“And he said, ‘Well, your front page says ‘Bush barely’’ and I thought ‘Bush? But Gore was president when I went to bed.’”  

She was also in the newsroom in 2001 during another historical moment.

“One of my most memorable moments was probably 9/11,” she said. “Watching that day unfold, watching how every single student here stepped up and did their job — did beyond their job.”

Although Sturgeon feels she did very little on that day, she said she made it her personal duty to ensure everyone in the newsroom had someone to talk to. She said newsroom staff also stepped up to ensure reporters were able to function on that fateful day. 

“Many of them drove reporters around,” she said. “They helped us get food in so basically everyone could keep working until midnight, one o’clock.” 

Over the past 25 years, Sturgeon has witnessed numerous occasions in which her appreciation for student press has grown.

“I don’t think when I started working here I truly appreciated the value of a student press,” she said. She understood only after “watching the sacrifices that young journalists and our other staff members who work here.” 

Sturgeon said one of the things she enjoys the most is watching students grow over the years.

“Ultimately, just watching you guys come in here as very novice young adults and watching your confidence grow as you’re here” is a joy, Sturgeon said. 

Sturgeon hopes her future includes volunteer work. 

“I’m hoping to work on elections because I love to vote. I love the voting process, so I’m hoping to work in that,” she said. “Hopefully, I’ll get into some disaster relief work, maybe through the Red Cross or something like that.”

Staff at The State News said they are thankful for what she has done for the student-run newspaper.

“For the four years I’ve been here, she’s been a constant presence,” State News Managing Editor Riley Murdock said. “She’s always made sure that everything is the way it should be.”


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