It can be easy to do the right thing for your company, your community or your family. It can be more challenging to do the right thing for your competitor. When lightning struck the printing facility of the Gwinnett Daily Post — one of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s (AJC) biggest rivals — Brent Woodman and his team didn’t hesitate to jump in and help.
Brent, the senior director of print operations and facilities at the AJC, was on the road when he received the call from a leader from the company that owns the Gwinnett Daily Post. “Brent, we’re in trouble. We took a lightning strike and the main console is down on the press,” he said.
Immediately Brent called his team and said “Guys, we’ve got a challenge: our competitor is sinking, and we’ve got to bail them out.” He worked in the car for the next several hours, relaying information to his team so they could get the Gwinnett Daily Post printed on time. Why? Because it was the right thing to do.
With similar publication orders, Brent and his team realized they had to print the Gwinnett paper before printing the AJC. “Our main objective was that their customers didn’t miss a publication or have one late. We did eight jobs in three days for them — about 100,000 copies,” said Brent.
It was truly an all-hands effort, with Brent pulling in the AJC maintenance staff to assess Gwinnett’s equipment, and even source a part for them. “[My team] has that kind of dedication, that kind of passion. I want to make sure the credit goes where it belongs, which is to the team,” he said.
A Man with a Mission
Before joining Cox in 2010, Brent worked in all aspects of newspaper production, from the mail room to composing. He started in the industry stuffing papers at 17, and has a family legacy in the newspaper business. His father was a newspaper production manager, his mom was a reporter and his two brothers also work in the newspaper business. “If you really want to know what’s going on, if you want to know the details of a story, you have to read it in a newspaper. That’s the mission,” he said.
At Cox, employees like Brent bring our Purpose to life every day by Doing the Right Thing. Always. That includes helping a competitor to succeed, based on a shared sense of journalistic mission and Cox’s core values. “Looking back over my 40 years in the industry, Cox is the best company I’ve worked for. There’s a strong commitment here to good, honest journalism. Here, we do what we can to support the mission,” he said.