E & P: Publisher’s office finally open again

By Richard Wiens, The Triplicate September 20, 2013 04:14 pm

My column bears a new name today, and arrives with a fresh commitment to write it more regularly. The last few weeks have blown by in a whirlwind — a pretty lousy excuse for not corresponding with readers, but the best I’ve got.

With the retirement of Michele Postal in early August, I took on the dual roles of Triplicate editor and publisher. Hence the new column name.

Only this week did I move into the publisher’s office, however, after it got a bit of a makeover courtesy of my wife and Neighbors editor, Laura, a true Renaissance woman who not only painted the walls but then adorned some of them with her own oil paintings.

I’m also maintaining a desk in the newsroom, but moving into that office is an important step. Being there is a constant reminder to think like a publisher who is ultimately responsible for the entire operation of the newspaper and its printing plant.

Fortunately, I’ve got help. Last month also saw the promotion of Kyle Curtis to operations manager and the arrival of circulation director David Jeffcoat. They’re part of a management team that includes Cindy Vosburg in advertising, Stacy Pottorff in accounting and David DeLonge at the printing plant.

All of them were sitting at a conference table in the reopened publisher’s office this week. I silently marvelled at their expertise as we got down to the business of making sure we’re doing everything we can to serve our community as its primary source of local information — both news and advertising.

Meanwhile, maybe 20 feet west in the newsroom, Assistant Editor Matthew Durkee and Photography/Design Editor Bryant Anderson have stepped up to keep things rolling while their boss has been somewhat distracted.

We’re currently without a sports editor after Robert Husseman returned to his Western Oregon roots, taking a job at the McMinnville News-Register. Bear with us as we keep track of sports by committee until Robert’s replacement arrives next month.

Bottom line: Things are OK, and we’ve got the folks in place to keep it that way as the Triplicate evolves. More on that in the coming weeks.

Lessons from the road

Long before I knew about all the aforementioned changes, Laura and I had planned a vacation to the Bay Area and Spokane. So one of my first actions after becoming publisher was to disappear for a week and a half. But I did learn a few things:

• Water is hard. At least when you fly through the air and hit the surface of a lake at high speed after being bucked off an inner tube pulled by a motorboat. Striving to maintain consciousness, buoyed by a life vest while awaiting the boat’s return, I pondered the loss of indestructible youthfulness.

• The Giants may be struggling this season after winning two of the last three World Series, but their ballpark is a winner. A TV viewer can see the ambience of AT&T Park and its setting by the Bay. Pay a personal visit, and you’ll be wowed by the upscale food and drink offerings, as well as the upper-level memorabilia display. And in a blast from the past, we watched Tim Lincecum pitch a one-hitter over eight innings.

• It’s difficult to get out of San Francisco. We usually bypass it altogether, taking I-880 through Oakland on our way to my sister’s place in San Jose or Laura’s art interests in Carmel. But coming home we decided to stay on 101 driving north through The City. The signage is great until the highway’s one pivotal unmarked turn onto Van Ness Avenue. We mistakenly went straight and took an unplanned 45-minute tour of downtown grittiness before finally finding our way over the Golden Gate Bridge.