Looking back on 30 years of Summit Daily publishers | SummitDaily.com

Looking back on 30 years of Summit Daily publishers

Jim Pavelich
Publisher 1989-1993
(Not pictured)

Bob Brown
Publisher 1993-1999

Points of pride

One of the most remarkable efforts was accomplished by the Summit Daily management team and our production manager, Doug Bart: In 1995, this group coordinated the move of a 10-unit King Press from Avon (our previous printing facility) to Frisco (the previous Summit Daily building) in one day and did not miss a publishing cycle.

Ghosts of newsrooms past

In the early 1990s, those running the Summit Daily were all younger than 30. With most just out of college, the office environment was slightly provocative. With a group of bright, fearless and energetic staffers, the fun and pranks of those days gone by would make our HR department cringe today. Yet this group built the Summit Daily with a spirit and adventure that has matured into an important community asset.

Looking back

I’m extremely proud and blessed to have had an opportunity to endeavor in work I love in a place I love. My family has been calling this “God’s country” for more than 50 years.

Brown is now president and chief operating officer of Swift Communications and lives in Edwards.

Michael Bennett
Publisher 1999-2004

Points of pride

We received a call from a bartender from a restaurant in Breckenridge complaining that if the Occupational Safety and Health Administration managed restaurants like they do other industries, his restaurant would be fined for health damages caused by secondhand smoking. I believe I wrote a column, and we pushed for a smoking ban in Summit County. It was put on the ballot and passed by about a two-thirds vote, making us one of the earliest counties in the state to go smokeless in our restaurants. I remember having some really pissed off owners who, I would imagine, are happy in retrospect with the position we took.

Ghosts of newsrooms past

In the early stages of internet publishing, so many publishers and editors did not want to post stories until the newspaper was printed and on the street for fear that a radio station would “scoop” us. Somehow, they just didn’t understand that the website was us. It took too many years for the industry to figure that out.

Looking back

The sense of community in Summit County was far greater than anywhere else I’ve ever lived. During my time at the Summit Daily, I learned that being a publisher was a privilege. The fulfillment received from helping improve and bring a community together was like none other. Heck, I probably would still be living in Farmers Korner if my wife was able to handle the long winters.

Bennett is now retired and living in Bordentown, New Jersey.

Jim Morgan
Publisher 2004-2010

Points of pride

Brad Odekirk was a beloved photographer, beloved by his colleagues and by the community. He died at 41 in a fall at his condo in August 2006, one of those inexplicable and tragic events. Since 1994, his award-winning photographs had chronicled life in Summit County and Colorado’s High Country. There was an incredible outpouring following his death. Letters and columns flooded the newspaper. It was decided to put together a retrospective of his work to publish the weekend of his memorial. It spawned the idea of a coffee table book of his work, titled “Summit Seasons,” with photos chosen and edited by his colleagues. Sales of the book as well as donations to a memorial fund (and later a charity golf tournament) were used to establish the Brad Odekirk scholarship, which is given annually to two graduating Summit High School students. To date, more than $35,000 in scholarships and donations have been paid from the fund, which is administered by The Summit Foundation.

Ghosts of newsrooms past

Other than the old building — drafty, leaky, cold in the winter, hot in the summer, with worn spots where dogs had staked out their territory — life at the daily newspaper with the continual press of deadlines hasn’t changed all that much. It remains a quirky place with quirky people, which makes it a great place to work.

Looking back

My years with Swift Communications, until I retired as general manager of Colorado Mountain News Media in summer 2018, are easily the best of a four-decade career. Notwithstanding Colorado’s High Country is one of the most beautiful places in the world and a wonderful place to call home, it is the people, especially those with whom I worked daily, who made it a remarkable and fulfilling place to practice the business of journalism. The professional and personal friendships resulting from those years are what make a life rich and full. I feel blessed to have been a part of it.

Morgan now owns consulting company Passage Creek and lives in southwest Virginia.

Matt Sandberg
Publisher 2010 to 2016
(Not pictured)

Meg Boyer
Publisher 2016-present

Points of pride

We do important work every day, but I’m especially proud of the in-depth work we’ve done in the past few years. In 2017, we produced Whiteout, a look at skier deaths over the past 10 years in Summit County and across Colorado. While inherently a risky sport, we questioned why there wasn’t more transparency and regulation like there is in other similarly risky industries. Our newsroom did our readers a great service by asking hard questions and digging for information that isn’t readily available.

In 2018, we produced The Longevity Project, a look at why Summit County has one of the highest life expectancy rates in the country and what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life here. It proved to be an educational and entertaining project, and one we’ll kick off again in a few weeks. We’ve covered other tough topics in depth like affordable housing, sexual assault and mental health.

Ghosts of newsrooms past

In recent years, journalism has come under attack in a way I didn’t experience in my first years in the business. The #fakenews movement has journalists the world over defending the work we do. While at times frustrating and disheartening, it reinforces for me that journalism has never been more important.

Looking back

To say that I’m proud to be the publisher of this organization would be a profound understatement. The Summit Daily serves a critical role in our community. We are the best local news source for Summit County. We give a voice to the underserved and underrepresented. We hold public officials accountable. We help small businesses grow. We host forums for healthy and necessary debate and conversations. We document history as it’s happening. Community journalism matters, and the Summit Daily matters.

Boyer remains the publisher of the Summit Daily and lives in Silverthorne.


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