Seaton Publishing Co. committed to delivering news in the valley
On Monday, The Daily Sentinel will arrive just as it has on Grand Junction doorsteps each day for the past 116 years.
The Sentinel will deliver the news as it has, on paper, for all that time. It will do the same as it has in recent years, in the most up-to-date of technological means via GJSentinel.com.
Come Monday, The Sentinel will be, as always, all about the news, not the news itself.
That’s exactly the way the new ownership, Seaton Publishing Co., wants it.
Monday’s edition will be the first under Publisher Jay Seaton as he takes over the full-time, day-to-day-management of The Sentinel.
Seaton Publishing purchased The Sentinel from Cox Enterprises earlier this year, and with the departure of Executive Editor Dennis M. Herzog, it will embark under new leadership.
It will not, however, take off in a new direction, Seaton said.
It was the news product that attracted the new owners to the paper when it was offered for sale last year, Seaton said.
Few community newspapers “have the horsepower this newsroom has,” he said.
The news-gathering ability of The Sentinel combined with the relative isolation of the paper from competition “give the paper a real foothold from an influential and economic standpoint,” he said.
It’s that position Seaton wants to protect and expand in the western Colorado market.
“I want to make it known that Cox treated this paper very well,” Seaton said. “It’s my hope to continue that treatment and, if anything, enhance it.”
Seaton Publishing Co. has a rare vantage point by which to recognize and enhance The Sentinel’s strengths.
The company’s history reaches back as far as 1812 in Washington, D.C. It has grown westward since then. Now based in Manhattan, Kan., the family business operates The Manhattan Mercury and has newspaper holdings Arkansas City and Winfield, Kan.; Alliance and Hastings, Neb.; Spearfish, S.D.; and Sheridan, Wyo. It also has a group of radio stations in Kansas.
The company’s expansion is one driven by news, Seaton said.
“We don’t have a political agenda,” he said.
There is, however, an agenda to polish and enhance the product, and it’s an effort that Web readers of GJSentinel.com readers will see first. Changes at GJSentinel.com will put greater emphasis on graphic display and communicate with better visual presentation, Seaton said.
“Often the photo can tell you more than the story,” he said.
The work under way at GJSentinel.com eventually “may spill over to the paper in general,” he said.
There is no substitute, however, for the daily paper, Seaton said.
“By contrast to other media, a newspaper can tell the whole story. It can really can dive into an issue,” he said. “In macro-economic terms, there is no substitute for that kind of journalism, not radio, certainly not television, which is primarily entertainment.”
The Sentinel has provided reliable news and information for a long time and will continue to do so, Seaton said.
“The Sentinel has it down to a science. It is seamless,” he said. “The underpinnings and foundation for continued success are certainly all in place. We expect to make good things happen.”
Though the parent company is in Kansas, Seaton himself will become a Coloradan and make sure The Sentinel continues to serving its western Colorado readership.
“I live here in this community, my kids are in public school here,” Seaton said. “I intend to live here, retire here and be buried here.”