Remaining True to Form: These are exciting times at the paper
Today marks the start of my tenure as editor of The Porterville Recorder, even though I took the newsroom helm sometime Friday when David Arkin crossed the Tulare-Kern county line on his way to Albuquerque, N.M.
For all intents and purposes, though, today's the day. And with this, my first column for The Recorder, I'd like to let you know some of the news here at the paper.
My first official duty as editor came Monday night while still the editor-in-waiting. It was then that I hired Scott Mallory as the paper's sports editor.
Scott's no stranger to the local sports scene: He was the paper's sports editor until earlier this year when he stepped down to become the paper's sports reporter.
Prior to that he served the paper in a number of key roles, including handling the editing duties a time or two in recent years as the paper searched for a top newsroom manager.
For me the hire was a no-brainer. Scott has the background we need to take our sports section to the next level. He has the drive to make the section as local as possible, opening the door for community members to showcase their athletic talents and accomplishments. He has a firm grasp on the meaning of the word "community" in the term "community journalism" - the bread and butter of The Recorder.
We're already making some changes to the sports pages. You may have noticed the front page of the section looks a bit different as information formerly positioned at the bottom of the page is now on the left-hand side of the page - packaged in what we call the rail.
Scott also has plans for reformatting the second page of the sports section. It'll soon become something akin to Page 2 of the news section, complete with interesting facts and local photos submitted to the paper.
We really think you'll like it.
So with one hire down, I'm turning my attention to finding a news editor to fill my former position. I'm also looking for a news reporter to fill the position left vacant by the retirement of John Young at the close of October. Our goal is to line someone up to start Jan. 1 as we enter a new budget year.
Meanwhile Scott will be leading the search for a sports reporter.
We'll also be welcoming a new reporter to the staff come Tuesday. David's last hire, Roger Phelps, will serve initially as a general assignments reporter focusing primarily on city government news and coverage of police and the courts.
In that capacity, he'll help cover John's former duties as well as those of Emilie Hornak, who is leaving Porterville at the end of the week to join David in Albuquerque.
Believe me when I tell you these are exciting times at The Recorder. We're losing a number of fine journalists, but we're also moving forward, hiring the most qualified people we can find so we can continue to bring you the kind of news you've become accustomed to this past year.
I look forward to seeing you when I'm out and about in the community. Please feel free to let me know how we're doing, and how we can make the paper even better.
Glen Faison is the editor of The Porterville Recorder. He can be reached at 784-5000 Ext. 1040 or by e-mail at Glen_Faison@link.freedom.com