Parker, a resident of Ore City, began his career at the Atlanta Citizens Journal as sports editor before becoming editor and publisher of the Caddo Citizen in Vivian, La. Four years later, he became the publisher of the Panola Watchman in Carthage.
After several years outside the newspaper industry, he became the business editor of the Longview News-Journal in 1997 before assuming the duties of marketing director of the Longview Economic Development Corp. In 2000, he and his wife, Connie, bought the Jefferson Jimplecute where he served as editor and publisher for the next 10 years. The couple sold the business in 2010 and retired.
“I guess I have the proverbial ink in my blood,” Parker said, “so in 2013 I started a little weekly publication in Ore City. One day while on business in Gilmer, I stopped by to see the folks at the Mirror and learned that Mac was retiring. That was when Russ (Greene) and Suzanne (Patterson) asked whether I would be interested in the editor’s job here. We talked about it for a while, and I agreed to do it on a part-time basis.
The Mirror has the reputation of being one of the best weeklies in East Texas, and I see my job as one of stewardship in maintaining and even improving the product the people deserve. I believe the newspaper’s duty is to report the news fairly and in an unbiased manner. Facts belong in stories; opinion on the editorial page unless it is clearly labeled as such.
“I look forward to working not only with the talented and dedicated staff at The Mirror, but also with the people of Gilmer and Upshur County.”
Mirror Publisher Greene added, “When Mac announced he was retiring, Vic Parker’s name was actually the first one that came to my mind when thinking about a possible successor. Within a week of Mac’s announcement, I happened to be walking between buildings here at our offices and saw Vic pull up in our parking lot in his pickup truck.
“I am pretty sure he was not expecting what happened next, but I almost immediately made him an offer to be our editor. I knew Vic was retired, but I had also heard from a mutual acquaintance that he was ‘bored’ (Vic’s description) with being a fulltime retiree.
“So I took a chance on asking that question of him. A few days later, after consulting with his wife, he decided to accept the offer. All of us at The Mirror are looking forward to working with and learning from this veteran award-winning newspaperman.
“You will enjoy his writing style. He pulls no punches. He’s from the ‘old school’ (again, his description).
“Of course, I ran all this by Mirror Publisher Emerita Sarah L. Greene. She smiled when I told her the news. Having known Vic for several decades ever since he was in Atlanta, she said she was very pleased that he has agreed to join our team in this leadership role.”