Editor in Chief
Liberal Leader & Times
Earl Watt is the owner of the Leader & Times in Liberal. Watt has been involved with the newspaper industry since throwing papers in grade school in the early 1980s and working at
the newspaper since 1991. Watt atended Seward County Community College and finished his education through the extended learning program at Kansas Newman College with a Bachelors in Social Sciences Secondary Education.
Watt was born in Liberal and is a fifth generation Seward County resident. Watt has witnessed the transition of the Southwest Kansas economy from oil and gas production to beef and value added agricultural production. He has worked with local organizations to increase tourism, protect and expand highway infrastructure, and advocates for enhanced learning opportunities in Southwest Kansas. Watt became publisher in 1999 and started his own paper in 2008, buying out the corporately
owned newspaper in 2010.
During his tenure, the Leader & Times has been awarded the Sweepstakes Award for small dailies in Kansas eight times, and Watt has received numerous first place awards for news writing, editorial writing, sports writing and design.
Watt served on the Kansas Press Association Executive Board as the Southwest District Director for six years, he has served on the Liberal Kids Inc. Board for 22 years and has also been the chairman of the board for the South Church of God in Liberal for five years. He was the chair of the Citizens for Responsible Growth Committee that advocated for the successful passage of a $127 million school bond project that passed with 76 percent approval in 2013. He is currently the president of the Seward County Historical Society and also serves on the Focus on the Future 1-cent Sales Tax Committee.