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By Norb Garrett, Publisher of Picket Fence Media
Thirteen years ago this March, a dream of mine was realized when we launched the San Clemente Times. A year later in 2007, we acquired The Capistrano Dispatch and then proceeded to start the Dana Point Times in 2008. The idea then was the same as it is now—to create community newspapers and websites unlike any you’d seen before. A “maga-paper” that was designed like a magazine, read like a newspaper and gave you “Local News You Can Use” like no one else could or would. The editorial would be 90 percent forward-looking, 10 percent “last week’s news,” deliberately striving to provide residents and visitors with an insightful guide to their lives in these amazing communities. Our editorial strategy was a call to action: The more you know, the more involved in our community you’ll become. The more involved the community is, the stronger it gets.
To launch the paper/website, I reached out to the most talented group of people I knew, many of them coworkers of mine at the Action Sports Group (ASG) with legendary magazines such as SURFER, Bike, Powder and Skateboarder. I was fortunate enough to lure a few of those folks into the unknown waters, and I’ve been even more fortunate that many of those folks are still with us today—a testament to their love and passion for trying to make a difference. Two weeks ago, one of our founding members, Michele Reddick, left to take on a new career challenge after serving as an amazing evangelist for the brand as a marketing and salesperson. Now a mother of two beautiful children with a loving, supporting husband, Michele just completed her college degree (we’re proud of you Mish!) and is ready to tackle her next new challenge with the same zeal and passion she brought to Picket Fence Media. Mish, we wish you well.
With endings there are also new beginnings, and I’m thrilled to announce that Jennifer Guy has joined Picket Fence to assume Michele’s role leading real estate sales and marketing as well as leading digital sales for the group. Jennifer has been working with us part-time over the past year and comes to us after a strong career with the Los Angeles Times Community Newspaper Group (TCN). Jennifer, welcome aboard!
We also are excited to welcome Zach Cavanagh as our new Group Sports Editor. Zach replaces Steve Breazeale, who leaves us after six impressive years covering the South Orange County sports scene and earning numerous awards for his efforts. Steve’s landed a job with Golf Digest but will remain in the area, and we’re hugely proud of him. Zach most recently has been with the Orange County Register sports department and joins us with a built-in knowledge of the area, its schools, teams and history. Steve, congrats my man, and hit it straight and long!
Family runs deep at Picket Fence Media. Welcome Jennifer and Zach; and Michele and Steve, all the best and we’ll see you around town!