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Meet the Staff

John Pilati

John Pilati

I am the Publisher of the Franklin Free Press. Along with former editor Jason Houston, I founded the paper in 2006. I am in charge of day-to-day operations of the newspaper as well as WGOL-920, my family’s locally-owned radio station.

I am a 1989 graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, where I hold a Journalism degree. Additionally, I am a 1992 graduate of the University of Alabama School of Law. My parents are Karl and Jimmie Pilati of Russellville.

I am an avid sports fan and enjoys adventure and wildlife travel. I live on Upper Bear Lake in Phil Campbell, Al.

Mike Self

Mike Self

I have been the Executive Editor of the Franklin Free Press for six years. I am a Hartselle native, a graduate of the University of North Alabama and a resident of Florence.

Jason Hill 

Jason Hill

To communicate your businesses or individual ideas that inspire, inform, or captivate your customers. If your businesses doesn't have an identity or logo, I can still provide you with an attractive form of advertising.

Originally from Ohio, I live here in Russellville. I graduated from the University of North Alabama with a degree in Graphic Design. My wife of 18 years is Dana and we have one child, Nicholas, 11.


Mike Rice

I am an 19-year-old student at Northwest-Shoals Community College and a graduate of Tharptown High School. My careers plans are to earn a degree in Music Business and find a job working for a record label and be an avid music journalist. I am also an aficionado for Muscle Shoals Music History.


Brady Petree

I am a student at Northwest-Shoals Community College and a graduate of Tharptown High School. My career plans are to pursue a degree in Sports Administration. I am a baseball fanatic and I am a resident of the Tharptown community.


Kadin Pounders

I am a Staff Reporter/Sales Representative. I am a 23-year-old native of Russellville, Ala. and a Russellville High School alumnus. I graduated from the University of North Alabama in the spring of 2016 with a degree in Sports Management. I like to travel and write, and I'm an ardent sports fan.

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