Copy boy works his way to top
Saturday, 15th March, 2014
By Darrin Manuel
After gaining experience in almost all facets of the Barrier Daily Truth, Rod Niemann is now running the newspaper that hired him as a copy boy over four decades ago.
His recent elevation to general manager is a fitting reward for lifetime of dedicated work for the newspaper, and the many people it serves.
Mr Niemann first began working with the compositing department in 1972, spellchecking stories and advertisements and doing general office tasks.
He soon progressed onto the linotype machines, and completed his apprenticeship as a linotype operator in 1976.
A move to the Advertising department followed in 1985, and then in 2003 he was given the role of circulation manager by the newspaper’s GM at the time, Chris Falkner.
Mr Niemann said his six years under Mr Falkner managing the newspaper’s circulation had been especially beneficial, and gave him the skills required to manage the company’s staff and finances.
“I was actually the first person Chris hired when he took over in 1972, I finished school at 2.30pm and started work on the same day,” said Mr Niemann.
“When I first started I never anticipated that I’d become the general manager of the place.
“But Chris taught me the ropes when I was circulation manager, he was a good boss and I really learned a lot from him.
“If it wasn’t for his confidence in me I wouldn’t be where I am right now ... It was really just a transition that I was lucky to be involved with.”
Mr Niemann served as acting GM in 2009 and assistant GM in 2011, before finally taking over the business on March 7 this year.
He replaces Barrier Industrial Council President Danny O’Connor, who handed over the reins after two years as acting GM.
“To a degree Rod has already really been in charge of running the office for some time,” said Mr O’Connor.
“We have complete faith that he’ll be able to do the job well - he wouldn’t be there otherwise.”
Mr Niemann said he wished to thank all the staff he has worked with throughout his career with the BDT.