Barry named general manager of Towanda Printing Company; Zyla to retire as publisher on June 30

Barry named general manager of Towanda Printing Company; Zyla to retire as publisher on June 30

David Barry, pictured, took the reins of the Towanda Printing Company as its new general manager.

On April 1, David Barry took the reins of the Towanda Printing Company as its new general manager, as Publisher Greg Zyla stepped aside in preparation for his June 30 retirement.

“I’ve been in this business since October of 1973, so it will be 43 years,” Zyla said. “I’ve loved coming to work every day, but it is now time to move aside and let some new, younger executives take over.”

The new general manager

As the general manager of the Towanda Printing Company, Barry, who currently resides in Mountain Top, Pa., will be in charge of the financial well-being of the company, which includes The Daily Review, The Farmer’s Friend, the Bradford-Sullivan, Troy and Owego Pennysavers, The News-Item, The Citizen Standard, The Susquehanna County Independent and Weekender, as well as commercial printing.

“My goal is to adapt the operations to what I consider a somewhat-challenging economic condition right now,” Barry said. “Bradford County has been on an economic roller coaster with the drilling industry, and a lot of the businesses in the area are adjusting, just like we’re adjusting.”

He said he hopes to introduce new ideas and sections to the publications.

Barry has a long history with the newspaper industry. He attended the University of Scranton, where he got his bachelor’s degree in marketing. Right after college, he got a job selling advertising for a newspaper in Wilkes-Barre. After two years there, he took a management job in 1990 at the Troy Pennysaver.

Barry moved his way up from sales manager, to regional sales manager, to general manager of the weekly division.

“I was also used on a consultant basis here in Towanda to review their ad department and make some changes there,” he added. “Then, as soon as I heard that the News Item was going to be coming back to the Towanda Printing Company fold, I immediately approached Greg and offered my services there to transition them into the Towanda Printing Company. As a result of that I also took on the responsibilities of the ad director at the News Item and became regional director of advertising for the Towanda Printing Company.”

After 25 years of working his way up, taking on the position of general manager is the next natural step for Barry.

“Twenty-five years of my experience has been directly linked to the Towanda Printing Company,” he said. “I’ve managed sales departments at every single paper. I’ve been involved in the operations with every department and every single paper. So for me the 25 years of my experience is just a culmination of this job, just a natural progression for me, and it certainly gives me a level of comfort knowing the operations as well as I do.”

Working in Bradford County for the past 25 years, Barry knows the area well. He added that he also knows his staff well.

“It’s very rare that you can go into a job or into a promotion and already have the confidence that I have in the people, because I know them, and I’ve worked with them, in many cases, well over 10 years with a lot of these people,” he said. “I couldn’t be happier with the people I’m working with right now.”

Zyla is confident in Barry’s abilities to lead the company.

“He has the corporate and regional understanding of how our company works, along with a good understanding of our commercial printing operation,” Zyla said. “He also has excellent knowledge of how the corporate part of the puzzle works, which is both very demanding, yet very satisfying to successful executives like Dave Barry. He’s the perfect person to take this company to new heights.”

Barry’s wife Karen works with students with special needs at Fairview Elementary School in Mountain Top, Pa. Their son Connor is a freshman pre-med major at the University of Pittsburgh and their daughter Kasey is a senior at Crestwood High School who will also be heading to Pitt in the fall.

Barry is on the board of the Kiwanis Club of Mountain Top and also on the board of the Brush Valley Chamber of Commerce. In his free time, he also enjoys woodworking, playing guitar and reading.

An active retirement

Zyla is still with the company as publisher and president until his June 30 retirement date.

“I’ve been a publisher since December of 1982 at The Citizen-Standard, our weekly paper in the Shamokin group, and then I was named publisher of the Shamokin News-Item on Jan. 1, 2000,” Zyla said. “Then I came to Towanda as publisher in October of 2008.”

Zyla was also named publisher of the Shamokin News-Item and Citizen-Standard in October of 2013, in addition to his duties in Towanda.

After his retirement, Zyla, who writes the columns “The Extra Mile” and “Car Collector Corner,” will still continue as a weekly auto columnist, and will also help as needed with The Northeast Driller publication. He’ll also continue to author a monthly interview for the national magazine Performance Racing Industry, which he’s done since 1986.

He said he looks forward to traveling and staying active with his collector and race cars. He’ll also keep up with his other hobbies, such as home theater, antique toys/model kits, and an HO train layout.

“As for community involvement, I’m going to be named chair of the Advisory Board for the Sayre Salvation Army on July 1, so I plan to spend a good amount of time helping the needy and spreading the word of what a great charity and Christian-based organization our corps is,” Zyla said. “So, I’ll never stop working by any means, but it is time to move aside and let the younger talent take over in the company. I have no regrets and so many great memories, as every day is different in the media.”