Former SCR publisher passes away

By CHRISTINE BOATWRIGHT / Staff Writer

A former publisher of the Shelby County Reporter passed away in his Alexander City home Monday afternoon from cancer.

Kim Price, 57, was president, publisher and editor of the Reporter from 1990 to 2001. He was the owner and president of Price Publications Inc., which owned the Wetumpka Herald, of which he was president and publisher, The Eclectic Observer, The Tallassee Tribune and other publications.

While he worked in Columbiana, he became “close friends” with Alabama Rep. Mike Hill, R-Columbiana.

“We became close friends when he was running the Reporter here,” Hill said. “He was a blue-dog Democrat, and I was a Republican. We used to have some of the best political debates you’ve ever known.”

Hill said Price had a “great sense of humor,” and the two kept their friendship going for years after Price moved to Alexander City to take over the Alexander City Outlook in 2001. Hill said Price would visit Montgomery periodically to have dinner with Hill and his wife.

Price (Contributed)

“Kim had great insight into political problems. He used to sit down and talk about them a lot,” Hill said. “He was a great writer. I always used to marvel. I’d give him an idea from time to time, and he’d take it and research and write an article about it. I was amazed at what came out the other side.”

Price’s political prowess was well known in the Alabama Press Association arena, as well, according to APA Executive Director Felicia Mason. Price served on several committees with the APA, as well as serving as president in 2002.

“He had a tremendous knowledge of Alabama’s political history,” Mason said. “Many of his columns were about politics, where he felt like our state needed to move, and he had a tremendous amount of background knowledge in putting forth those ideas and comments.”

Mason said Price was scheduled to attend the APA’s summer convention in June 2011, but was diagnosed with “a very fast-moving type of cancer” the following week, Mason said.

“To sum it up, I would say Kim was a good newspaper man. He knew the business from the business side as well as the journalism side,” Mason said. “He understood community involvement. He understood political involvement. He understood the newspaper’s role in a community as well as the newspaper’s role in a larger society.

“He got it. He got what it meant to be a real strong community-minded newspaper publisher,” she added. “I think if you talk to people in the community of papers he’s served, whether Shelby County or Alex City, you’ll find that people will say that about him.”

Price is survived by his wife, Janet Valentine Price, and his children, Matthew Price, Griffin Price, Whitney Clanton and Chase Clanton.

Funeral services for Price will be held at the First Methodist Church in Alexander City Jan. 19 at 11 a.m. The church is located at 310 Green Street, Alexander City. A reception will follow