As owner of Examiner Media, the publisher of four newspapers and a news website, there’s not much time for extracurricular activities. Then why the improbable turn as guest editor of Inside Chappaqua you ask? Running the business operations of a publishing company provides me with many things–direct engagement with the creation of content isn’t one of them.
So when the opportunity emerged to helped produce the journalism for the March–April edition of this magazine, I jumped at the chance. As a former community newspaper journalist and current glorified adman, I miss the process of working directly with writers on the editorial side of publishing.
Consider the questions some of the articles in this issue helps answer: Who are some up and coming local female performers? What are some of the most worthwhile local charities? What are some of the best places to visit this spring? Why is Chappaqua such a great place to live? Who are the greatest athletes in Greeley history?
Being able to help provide answers to questions like these hits to the heart of what local publications do best. And with the theme of this edition’s issue being Top Ten lists, I’d be remiss if I didn’t provide my own rundown. (Space is tight, though, so forgive me for the five.)
Here are some reasons why I loved this guest editing gig:
• Having the pleasure to assign stories to IC contributors Lisa Ballou and Jennifer Leventhal. Lisa and Jennifer have been long time, terrific writers for IC, and I’ve worked with Jennifer in the past on stories she’s suggested for The Examiner, Examiner Media’s Chappaqua area newspaper. Jennifer is the consummate professional. As a source or as a contributor, Jennifer’s institutional knowledge is invaluable to local media outlets. I’m also excited to say that Lisa Ballou has as a result of this project contributed articles to The Northern Westchester Examiner as well. This is local media collaboration at its best.
• Serendipitous timing. Former Putnam Examiner editor Kerry Barger happened to leave her full-time post with Examiner Media in January, just as she was poised to file her piece for IC, but partnering here with Kerry offered us another opportunity to join forces.
• Teaming up with Examiner editors Andrew Vitelli and Faith Ann Butcher. As captains of The White Plains Examiner and The Northern Westchester Examiner respectively, it was a lot of fun to partner on yet another publishing adventure with two of Examiner Media’s uber-talented quarterbacks.
• Two wonderful words: Dina Spalvieri. Dina designs for both Examiner Media and Inside Chappaqua. She has the best laugh on the planet. So any extra chance to hear it is a gift.
• Collaborating with Grace Bennett. I’m grateful for this unlikely and unique opportunity to work with a friend.
As you can see, everything that made this experience so great revolved around people. And that’s what local publications are all about – people and their communities. As nearly anyone who lives in Chappaqua/New Castle can attest, the people of this great community are so very well served by IC.
It was an honor to help shepherd the “Top Ten Anything” March/April 2012 edition into publication. And now, enjoy…