From the moment she graduated Navasota High School, Examiner publisher Ana Cosino’s career path went only one way – up. Cosino’s 14-years with Granite Media Partners (GMP) and unflagging work ethic took her from the receptionist who did the jobs “no one else wanted to do” to Granite’s Lead Sales Director. Recently, she was promoted to Brazos Valley Area Publisher and is adding the Madisonville Meteor to her newspaper “family.”
Cosino is excited about strengthening the relationship with the Madisonville Meteor. She said, “I’ve been working with them for six months and now we’re making it official.”
“We are so pleased Ana has agreed to assume area publisher duties for the Madisonville Meteor in addition to the Navasota Examiner,” said Daniel Philhower, president and CEO of Granite Media Partners Inc., which owns both newspapers.
“While Ana is a lifelong resident of Grimes County and has been publisher of the Examiner for a number of years, she is well aware of Madison County’s place in local history, its people, its businesses and its fame as the ‘mushroom county of Texas.’” Philhower said Cosino will bring a wealth of business experience to the operations of the Meteor, founded in 1894, based on her years with the nearly 130-year-old Examiner.
“Ana has created an environment where staff, readers and customers are engaged and involved,” he said. “Ana has shown dedication and strong leadership in Grimes County and we’re excited to see her emulate this in Madison County.”
As GMP Lead Sales Director, Cosino will put her natural sales skills to work training Granite’s Community Marketing Consultants.
Cosino said, “Every sales rep that gets hired comes to my office to train so I can teach them to sell in a newspaper but also to see the dynamic that we have going on in our office.”
Once back at their home papers, Cosino will follow up to see if they’re meeting their goals and provide support if they run into problems. Since sales is something Cosino never expected to do or thought she was capable of doing, she enjoys sharing “her story” with new staff.
In 2009 with a two-monthold at home and 10 years Bank of Navasota experience under her belt, Cosino went to work for the Navasota Examiner as a receptionist, then a typesetter and six months later became the newspaper’s sales rep.
She said, “I didn’t want to do that because I didn’t think I was a seller but being from the area and working at the bank for 10 years helped build relationships around town. I would go see people and it was like catching up with everybody. I don’t know if it was because they liked me or felt sorry for me, but they bought ads from me.”
After eight successful years, a surprised Cosino was offered the position of publisher.
Someone who was not surprised was former GMP group manager Jim Beaver who said, “If there was a Miss Navasota, Ana would definitely be crowned.”
Along with the accolades come sleepless nights. Cosino said, “We don’t always publish pretty things and it’s hard. Every Tuesday when we have put this baby down is when I can sit back in my chair, take a deep breath and say, ‘There’s another one put to bed.’”
A community paper
Family is important to Cosino – immediate and her expanding newspaper family.
Cosino said, “I couldn’t have done anything without my mom and dad, my sisters and my brother. I’m proud of my son [Jason] and being his mom and putting out a newspaper. Those two things are the things I’m real certain of.”
Another big change is on the horizon. Cosino accepted Mike Mize’s proposal July 2022 and the couple will wed February 2024. “He supports me in everything I do and is a huge supporter of the newspaper,” she said.
As for her Examiner family, “I feel like we have a really strong team.We’ve had some challenges along the way but it’s nothing we couldn’t get through.”
She continued, “I’m taking on the publisher role in Madisonville and they’ve been through a lot of changes, but I feel like the team we have now is really strong and we’re going to move forward. I know people in Madisonville. I’m happy to work with them, meet the rest of the community, and to love it and be as passionate about the Meteor as I am about The Examiner.”
Hard and breaking news are important, but Cosino understands the value of the special sections which highlight graduations, sports, county fair events and other photos which reflect community interests.
She said, “Everybody likes to see their kids in the paper. I know, I’m a parent.”
Cosino encourages parents, teachers and coaches to send in photos of those special school accomplishments or awards.
She affectionately calls the Examiner “my paper,” but explained, “I say it’s ‘my paper’ but it’s the community’s paper. I want the same for Madisonville. I want them to know the Madisonville Meteor is Madison County’s newspaper. What I’ve done here, I’d love to do there – call me, email me. I have an open-door policy. I want their suggestions. Navasota Examiner and Madisonville Meteor, what you think is special, we want to share.”
Advertising is a barometer of a community’s economic health. Cosino said, “We’ve had some successful times when everyone was doing really well economically. Then we have a drop, and we feel it. When the economy is not doing well, one of the first things businesses do is pull their advertising. Although it makes sense to them, we want to remind people that it doesn’t. People might not need those services right now but next week they may. It’s top of mind awareness and consistency.”
To those who think social media rules and print media is dead, Cosino disagrees. “In Grimes and Madison counties, print media is really important. A lot of people who read our papers don’t have social media.”
Having perused the delicate, yellowed pages of past Navasota Examiners, Cosino understands print media is a part of history. “Fifty years from now, we get to go back to those newspapers. We’re literally the archive of the county. We can see the changes. It’s a fun thing to do. To a world that says print is dying, no, I don’t think so at all.”
Strategic marketing is also key in the newspaper industry. Although Cosino said print will always be at the forefront, she understands marketing covers an array of digital and social platforms. “Social media is a challenge to us because it’s free,” she said. “But to maximize effectiveness it is beneficial to work with an experienced marketing department which is what we are able to provide at the Meteor, the Examiner and in our other GMP markets.”
Cosino continued, “In Grimes and Madison counties, the newspaper still works, and we want to make sure that whether it be our subscribers or readers that are reading the editorials or advertising their business, we want to help them. When they’re successful, that’s a happy ending for me.”
About Granite Media Partners
The parent company, Granite Media Partners Inc., was founded 40 years ago and owns 10 newspapers, manages two more, operates a printing press and oversees four magazines, more than a dozen websites and has ventured into digital programming and marketing, including high school sports shows.
“We’re a growing company focused on serving rural communities with quality editorial and effective marketing,” Philhower said.
Far from being “corporate,” the Taylor-based Granite encourages a community and family feeling among the staffers at its newspapers and is dedicated to accurate and informative news coverage, Philhower said.
No staffing changes are planned at the Meteor, Philhower said.
To reach Cosino about advertising, marketing or news coverage, call 936-345-3505 or 936825-6484 or email email@example.com.