Longtime citizens were acquainted with some “temporary citizens” on Monday afternoon as the Colorado County Citizen hosted a reception for new staff members.
It also gave longtime Citizen owner, Jim Chionsini, an opportunity to be reacquainted with local leaders.
Chionsini, president of Granite Publications, bought the paper in 1998.
“It’s been a while since I’ve been here, and the town is really looking good,” he commented. “I’m glad to have so many people come by and talk over things.”
Guests also visited Daniel Philhower, vice president of operations for Granite, and Larry Jackson, interim publisher.
“Relationships are really important to us, and we want to strengthen our ties with the community,” Philhower said. “The best way I know to do that is listening to our readers and responding to their needs.”
A familiar face back at the Citizen is Alesia Woolridge, who is handling much of the news coverage. Woolridge was managing editor of the Citizen from early 2016 until August 2017 when she left to publish the Eagle Lake Headlight.
“It’s good to be back here covering the whole county,” she said. “I look forward to doing it again.”
City, school, and Chamber of Commerce leaders were among those who dropped by the Citizen office on Monday.
“I am really excited about helping to guide the paper in this time of transition to a new staff,” Jackson said. “It was great to meet so many business and civic leaders today, and I look forward to meeting many more in the days to come.”
A veteran newspaper publisher, Jackson lives in La Grange and will be at the Citizen fulltime. He is the retired editor and publisher of the Fayette County Record.
“The Citizen does a terrific job of covering sports, arts, entertainment, business, and other news of Colorado County and I want to make sure we keep that up. And I will certainly welcome input and suggestions from our readers as we go forward.”
Additional staff will be added in the days ahead.
“As we hire people, we will introduce them in the paper,” Philhower said. “Our company motto is ‘One Team, One Vision, One Goal.’ Keeping the whole community as part of our team is very much a part of that vision and goal.”