Out of My Mind, Dec. 29, 2011

Many changes at G-T in 2011, more to come in 2012

This is Week 52 and that always means one thing at the Gazette-Tribune: another year put to bed at the newspaper. Next issue it’s back to Week 1 and covering the various happenings – good and bad – for our communities.

There were some big changes at the newspaper in 2011 and we expect some even bigger ones in 2012. First of all we underwent a change in ownership from North Central Washington Media Inc., to Sound Publishing. Although Sound Publishing and its parent company Black Press are a lot larger than NCW Media, covering dozens of communities in Western Washington, BC and Alberta, they still put community journalism first. The G-T remains and will remain the same hometown newspaper covering Tonasket and Oroville and the the little towns and communities that surround them like Molson, Chesaw, Loomis and Wauconda. We want to continue to be the newspaper you turn to for local news – city council, school board and local events, and strive towards that each week.
Perhaps the biggest change, next to our change in ownership, was hiring Brent Baker to cover Tonasket and sports. When Emily Hansen accepted a new job on the westside she left a big hole at the G-T – especially for Tonasket coverage. However, Brent is filling in nicely and certainly made a huge difference in the look and sound of our sports pages — you can really tell he enjoys covering all the teams. I still get out there and shoot photos, but Brent has made most of sports writing his own. We found ourselves with four photographers at the Oroville-Tonasket basketball game in Coulton Auditorium. Brent’s son AJ, home from college, was filling in for his dad who was at a Tonasket City Council meeting, Terry Mills was here with her son Mike and I was there too. Perhaps a little bit of overkill, but this longstanding North County rivalry is always one to watch. With the addition of the Stats and Stuff box and a soon-to-be-added sports column our readers won’t go wanting when it comes to total sports coverage for our North County teams. If you get the chance check out the Sports Preview Brent did at our website www.gazette-tribune.com, just click the Hornet and Tiger in the upper right.
In 2011, we also lost our Court/911/Jail Booking stats gatherer and after a short gap found a new freelancer to do the work. However, just as he was starting to get into the swing of things he’s off to college in Seattle (something we knew was on the horizon when we hired him). We’ll be looking to fill that void again, but there is already a prospect who wants to take on the task and we’re hoping for a seamless transition this time and reintroducing stats from both the Superior and District courts.
For 2012 we plan on making some changes to the look of the newspaper and web site that we hope will make them more appealing to our readers. For now we’re going to keep some of the these changes under our hat, but we’re sure you’ll be pleased with the results.
For 2012 we plan on making some changes to the look of the newspaper and web site that we hope will make them more appealing to our readers. For now we’re going to keep some of the these changes under our hat, but we’re sure you’ll be pleased with the results.

About Gary DeVon

Gary DeVon is the managing editor of the Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune and celebrated his 25th year at the newspaper in August 2012. He graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in Communications - Print Journalism, with an emphasis in photojournalism. He is a proud alumnus of Oroville High School. His family first settled in Okanogan County in the late 1800s. His parents are the Judy DeVon and the late Larry DeVon and he has two younger brothers - Dante and Michael. Many family members still call Oroville home. He is single with a grown daughter, Segornae Douglas and a young granddaughter, Erin.

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