Triplicate publisher to retire

Richard Wiens, The Triplicate

Michele Postal finishes at newspaper on Aug. 2

Her grandchildren's gain is our loss.

Michele Postal, publisher of the Del Norte Triplicate since 2006, announced Tuesday that she will retire Aug. 2, with plans to move to Oregon's Willamette Valley and closer to her two granddaughters.

As publisher, she oversees all aspects of the newspaper's operation - and knows them in detail. She is as comfortable talking about the printing plant in Smith River as she is the editorial, circulation and financial departments in Crescent City. But her roots were in advertising and marketing.

She came to the coast in 2001 and immediately filled two jobs - replacing the departing advertising directors at the Triplicate and the Curry Coastal Pilot in Brookings. She ran both departments until 2006, when she was named publisher of the Triplicate.

She's held the top spot during a challenging time for the entire newspaper industry, but has kept the Triplicate profitable while striving to upgrade the product and establish a network of community connections.

"Michele has greatly improved every facet of the newspaper's

operation and strengthened the stature of the Triplicate in the

community," said Gordon Black, president of Western Communications,

which owns the paper. "She will be sorely missed."

You don't have

to be on the board of the Wild Rivers Community Foundation or in the

Rotary Club of Crescent City to encounter Postal, although she's a

member of both. You're as likely to see her at the Farmers Market. She

and her husband, Rick Postal, whom she met in Grants Pass fifteen years

ago, show up frequently at community events big and small, often

shooting photos for the publisher's beloved Neighbors section.

"I

initally wanted to be a publisher because I thought I had the skills

and experience to run a perfect newspaper, one that never made mistakes

and provided extraordinary customer service, " Postal said. "But it

didn't take me long to realize that's not all the publisher of a local

newspaper should do.

"What I've learned over the years is that

the role of publisher must be more than managing the business. It's

about establishing a relationship between the newspaper and the

community it serves. I have tried over the last seven years to reach out

beyond the walls of the building on 3rd and H and our production

facility in Smith River and learn about the people who live and work

here, the children who go to school here, the people who read our paper

so the Triplicate can be relevant and helpful to them."

Postal has

been working in newspapers for most of the last 39 years, ever since

she saw a posting on a bulletin board for a job selling classified ads

by phone. She was a graduate student at the University of Hawaii at the

time.

Before that she grew up on a chicken ranch in Lomita,

Calif., the daughter of Yugoslav parents. Selling eggs, she started

learning about customer service at age 5.

She also learned about

leadership, serving as senior class president of her high school. Just

before graduation in 1968, she was a volunteer for the Robert Kennedy

presidential campaign. She was in the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles

the night he was assassinated while celebrating his victory in the

California Primary.

Postal got her bachelor's degree in English

from the University of San Francisco in 1972. She then travelled abroad,

moved to the islands, and responded to that fateful job posting. After

five years at the Honolulu dailies, she left the newspaper industry

briefly to work for General Telephone Yellow Pages andndash; "a career move I

soon regretted. I missed the newspaper business, the deadlines, the

creativity, the buzz."

She wouldn't miss it for long. Married with

twin sons, she moved back to the mainland, had another son, and then

went to work for the Grants Pass Daily Courier selling ads in 1983. She

was promoted to classified manager in 1986, advertising director in

1990, and marketing director in 1998. She was named Advertising

Executive of the Year by the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association in

2000.

By then she was divorced. When her youngest son went off to

college, she started looking toward the coast and landed the dual job at

the Triplicate and the Pilot.

"For five years I commuted between

the two offices, managing the advertising departments of both papers and

creating marketing promotions and events."

She's never completely

left those roles behind, even after becoming Triplicate publisher.

She's a facilitator and coordinator andndash; the person to see about making

community connections. She created the newspaper's Green Day events and

helped organize last year's local Food Day activities.

She led the

effort to place a memorial bench in Crescent City Harbor honoring

Dustin Weber, who died in the 2011 tsunami. She just completed her

efforts to have mammoth solar panels erected at the Triplicate's

printing plant.

In addition to all that, she's developed a loyal

following among readers of her From the Publisher's Desk column on the

Neighbors page.

Her writings about personal experiences with

family and friends strike a chord with many readers, and she's never

happier than when they write or call to tell her so.

Now, she's signing off, ready to immerse herself more deeply in those personal experiences.

"Rick

and I are excited about the opportunity to spend more time together and

I can't wait to read all the books that are piled up on my nightstand.

We'll do more walking and pursue a healthier lifestyle. We want to

rediscover the simple things in life, together."

14048859
The Del Norte Triplicate
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