Jay Seaton Column Aug. 01, 2009

Message to Grand Junction: I’m delighted to be part of this community

Jay Seaton

Jay Seaton is executive vice president of Grand Junction Media Inc., which purchased The Daily Sentinel. He will join the newspaper’s management team this month.

It was love at first sight.

As the plane eased over the Bookcliffs and Grand Junction first revealed itself to me a few months ago, I sensed I was in for one of those special experiences. Christmas Eve at age 7.

I bit my tongue, waiting for a reaction from my wife.

We were soon driving in our rental from the airport down Seventh Street toward Main, and

Amber sighed, “Oh, no.” My heart sank.

She clarified, “I was really hoping I wouldn’t love this place ...”

But she did, just as I did. We were smitten. Any doubts vanished. If we could have a chance to make this place our home, we were bound and determined to do it.

Well, we did it. Grand Junction is home.

We feel extraordinarily fortunate to be joining this community. We were first struck by the sheer beauty of the area, but as we drilled down further we found good schools, amazing recreational opportunities, an interest in culture, a vibrant business community, but most of all, good people.

And I feel personally proud to be joining my dad and my brother in a business started by my great-grandfather and continued by my grandfather. The fact that our family business has acquired such a proud and storied newspaper as The Daily Sentinel makes this experience all the sweeter. I am sad to be leaving the practice of law and a terrific law firm, but some opportunities simply cannot be allowed to slip by.

Yes, these are hard times for newspapers. And yes, there will be challenges. We do not, however, share the pessimism of many industry observers. We do not anticipate making significant changes at The Daily Sentinel. It has been well-managed and cared for. We intend to continue that tradition and, most directly to that end, retain the entire work force.

If there are changes to be made, they will serve the purpose of enhancing the product, not diminishing it. We believe in community newspapers, and we believe that Grand Junction is a great newspaper community.

So Amber and I — along with Kate, 7, and Beck, 3 — look forward to getting to know this community. We are excited to meet our neighbors, make new friends, find a baby sitter or two (!), and become an active part of this community.

Personally, I am energized to be joining the largest and most important news organization in western Colorado.  Over the years, I’ve had countless water cooler interactions when I was asked the question, “How you doin’?” My response, with a slight roll of the eyes and tint of sarcasm: “Living the dream.”

Well, with a level stare and tone free of inflection, I can say that I am, indeed, living the dream.


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