(Photo by Randy M. Cauthron) [Order this photo]
"I was ready to move for a job, but Iowa took me by surprise at first," Barb said.
"We had several qualified applicants for the position when Gabe Licht was able to earn a position as editor at a weekly newspaper in Minnesota," Daily Reporter Managing Editor Randy Cauthron said. "I met with many of them and Brandon seemed like a perfect fit."
"He wants to jump right in and has experience in a diverse group of writing areas, from hard news to features and lifestyle. That's what we were looking for," Cauthron added.
Even though he is coming from a city environment, the area surrounding Spencer didn't scare him away from the job.
"It's great out here. Everything is more laid back than what life is like in the Cincinnati area," Barb said.
His first trip to Spencer was met with snowfall Dec. 7. A day after he moved to town and settled in, a steady snow hit the town once again Thursday.
"I guess I'm a magnet for snow," he said.
Barb graduated with a Bachelors in Journalism Dec. 15 from Northern Kentucky University, a few miles south of Cincinnati, Ohio.
At NKU, he changed his major three times before deciding on journalism his junior year. He was steps away from becoming a teacher but a few doubts and a no nonsense professor helped make up his mind.
"One of my education professors told me that if I had any doubts before I even started, that teaching wasn't for me," Barb said. "She helped me make a very difficult decision, and I couldn't be happier. I would have been miserable as a teacher."
He wanted to teach middle school but a "switch flipped" one day. According to Barb, he wouldn't have been able to do the job everyday and he would have burnt out after only a few years.
According to Barb, being a teacher was something he thought he wanted to do but he found out that writing and reporting clicked with him more.
"I always liked to write stories through middle and high school. Then one day I found that I wasn't terrible at reporting and this whole journalism thing, so it just felt like the right fit," Barb said.
As a freshman, Barb joined the student-run newspaper, The Northerner, at NKU as a staff writer. He went on to hold the Features, Arts and Life and managing editor positions.
Barb credited the experience and education he earned from his student paper for not only getting him interested in working as a journalist, but for helping him land a job in the field.
"I learned more from The Northerner than I did in my classes," Barb said. "Don't get me wrong, I learned a lot in those classes, I just got more of a practical education from working as a student journalist."
The student newspaper wasn't the only thing driving Barb's interest in journalism. Fellow Kentucky writer and journalist Hunter Thompson has played a major role in Barb's career path.
"I'm not following his exact foot steps in the business. He is my favorite writer, who happened to be a journalist," Barb said.
In Barb's view he isn't trying to emulate Thompson, but instead use his career as a measuring stick.
"If he was able to set out and become a successful journalist, I can do the same thing," Barb said. "He was able to entertain, inform and educate in his writing. I hope I can start that in my work here in Spencer."
Barb wasn't the only out-of-state applicant seeking the position. Cauthron also received an application from a former journalist in Utah looking to return to the business.