A word from the Publisher: Let’s reflect on 2021 and look ahead to a brighter 2022 | SteamboatToday.com

A word from the Publisher: Let’s reflect on 2021 and look ahead to a brighter 2022

Bonnie Stewart
Bonnie Stewart, publisher of the Steamboat Pilot & Today

The end of the year should be a time to reflect on the past and plan for a brighter, happier New Year. I have been doing a lot of both lately.

To say the least, 2021 was challenging, starting with an invasion of our Capitol, the ongoing pandemic, conflict in the Middle East, Afghanistan falling to the Taliban, riots, wildfires, drought, problems in the supply chain, worker shortages and the highest inflation rate since 1982, just to name a few.

There have also been a lot of changes at Steamboat Pilot & Today. Publisher Logan Molen and former Lisa Schlichtman both announced in the early fall that they would be leaving the newspaper by the end of year — Logan to retirement and Lisa to be near her family in Denver.

We were fortunate to hire Eli Pace as editor after Lisa’s departure. Eli came from Sky-Hi News, our sister paper, where he was editor; he brings more than 19 years of experience as a reporter, copy editor and editor to Routt County. Eli is staunchly committed to delivering excellent journalism, and we are lucky that he fell in love with Steamboat Springs and wanted to make this his home.

As for me, I was brought in as the revenue director in early October to work with Logan and to prepare to take over as publisher when he retired at the end of the year. I have been in the Yampa Valley since 2005 and have worked for Swift Communications for the past five years. When I was given the opportunity to lead the Pilot & Today, I jumped at the chance.

Finally, it was announced in early December that Ogden Newspapers purchased our beloved local newspaper. The Pilot & Today has served this community since 1885. Our current owners, Swift Communications, purchased the Pilot in 2016 from WorldWest LLC, a family-owned company that owned the Pilot for 22 years. Ogden Newspapers will take the reins Jan. 1.

Like many of you, I have asked myself what these changes mean for Steamboat Pilot & Today. In speaking to a community member recently, she told me she hoped that the new owners, new publisher and new editor would have the same passion that we have shown at the Pilot & Today in the past.

Honestly, that statement made me pause. When I look around the office at the faces of this team, I stand in awe. We are blessed with outstanding talent, full of commitment, pride and a passion not only for local journalism but also for this community where we live, work and play. We feel the pain when there is a tragedy in our community, and likewise, we feel the joy when we see our community triumph and succeed. This team is all in all the time.

A change in ownership does not mean there will be a change in the dedication of our team. Anyone who gets into this industry has a passion for it. It could be said that we have “ink” in our blood, as we eat, breathe and sleep the business that we have all invested so much of ourselves into. Please know that we have deep roots in the Yampa Valley, and we love this community, this newspaper and what we do. The Pilot & Today’s sale to Ogden Newspapers will not change how this team does its job day in and day out: We will always be all in all the time.

Additionally, Ogden has told us that their company operates decentralized, and they want us to stay local and continue to focus on what is important to our communities. This is good news, because that’s exactly what we plan to do. The team at the Pilot & Today will continue to live here, to love this town like you do, to write stories on the topics that impact our community and to help our local businesses grow and succeed.

Ogden Newspapers is a family-owned company like Swift Communications and WorldWest. They purchased us because they believe in local journalism and in the communities that we serve. It takes a village to have a strong, local newspaper that we are all proud of. I want and need your feedback, so my door is always open, my phone is always on, and my email inbox is awaiting your letters.

If there’s one thing I can do, I would like to encourage you to hug your loved ones a little tighter, be thankful for your hard working co-workers and appreciate the people in our community that make your life a little better each day. I know I will.

And finally, I would like to say “thank you” to all of you that support us in our daily commitment to bring truth and honesty to our community. I have had a lot of highlights in my professional life, but becoming publisher of the Pilot & Today is the greatest honor of my career.

I’m all in, Steamboat, and my passion is strong.

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