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New faces, bright futures

Whitney Childers

Writing your own story about why you are leaving a job is a lot like writing your own obituary.

It’s bizarre and somewhat surreal.

After nearly two years as the editor of the Summit Daily News, I’ll be moving on to a new challenge in September.

My media comrade and radioman Jim Williams interviewed me Monday night and came right out and asked, “Why?”

(I’ve always liked a reporter who gets right to the hard questions.)

Well, in a nutshell, it’s time. Newspaper journalism lends itself to a nomadic way of life. And I, like many other insane editors, find gratification and enthusiasm in new challenges and adventures.

While that may mean jumping off cliffs in champagne powder to most Summit Countians, to me, it means moving on to the next chapter in my career, i.e. a larger market.

(Though, I do like the powder adventures, too.)

As I told Williams, I’ll be spending a few selfish weeks traveling, sleeping and visiting family, then exploring my options in this crazy family we call “The Media.”

Working as the editor of the Summit Daily News has been a positive challenge with positive rewards. I’m of the opinion that you get out of a job what you put into it. And for me, it’s been hard work, but a wonderful experience. I can only hope I’ve helped guide the newspaper into a bright future for its readers and staff.

The Summit Daily News and its readers have seen numerous changes in the past three years. Publisher Mike Bennett is dedicated to this community and believes that readers come first. That attitude and work ethic has spread throughout the newspaper office and has resulted in a better product for locals and visitors alike.

In the past few years, customer service has improved, stories are more balanced and timely and I believe we’re doing a better job of giving readers what they want.

Because of a reader survey conducted in 2000, we’ve added more local education news, outdoors and recreation features, a more readable calendar, more comprehensive and in-depth stories and series on local issues and a more interesting and updated format.

We have a talented and dedicated news staff. I’ve often commented that I’ve never worked in a newsroom with so many people who care about the product and display a true pride in what they do.

Now, this doesn’t mean we’re perfect. There will always be room for improvement and the staff is aimed at working to make the newspaper better. Readers deserve it.

With that in mind, I’m confidently handing over the reins of this operation to Jim Pokrandt, who is the current editor of the Tenmile Times.

Jim is a perfect fit for the Summit Daily News and he is excited about taking the paper to the next level.

Jim is well respected in the community and understands the issues facing Summit County. Jim expects to spend a lot of his time talking with residents and decision-makers about these issues and how best to relay that information to readers.

One of the only regrets I have is that I never had a chance to work directly with Jim Pokrandt. In our business, you’re supposed to dislike your competition. That’s not the case for me. I’ve always respected Jim and the work he does. He’s a true newspaperman. Good luck, Jim.

Jim will officially take over the position the first week of September. Check out the Summit Daily for a news story in September about Jim’s past achievements and his expectations for the newspaper.

Whitney Childers is the editor of the Summit Daily News. She may be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 227 or wchilders@summitdaily.com


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