10 questions with the new publisher of the Post Independent
Bryce Jacobson takes on the role of publisher today at the Glenwood Springs Post Independent. He might be new to Glenwood Springs, but he’s no stranger to community journalism, Western Colorado or Swift Communications.
At 9 years old, Jacobson landed his first newspaper job — as a delivery boy. Following that, he built upon his experience in circulation to become publisher of the Craig Press in Moffat County before later on becoming publisher of the Greeley Tribune. Jacobson was promoted to director of shared services for all of Swift in 2019 and then last week named publisher of the Glenwood Springs Post Independent and Rifle Citizen Telegram. He’ll also have oversight responsibilities for the Craig Press and events within Swift.
To help introduce him to the community, Bryce and I chatted via email the Monday before he officially took the reins in Glenwood Springs.
To start things off, how does it feel to be taking on the publisher role for Glenwood Springs and Rifle? What is it about our slice of paradise that really appeals to you?
I really enjoy the people on the Western Slope in general. I am also excited about Glenwood Springs in particular because it is so beautiful. There are plenty of shopping options and one of my favorites — great golfing at Ironbridge Golf Club and Glenwood Springs Golf Club. I’m also excited to get my daughter Bayley enrolled in a great school system at Glenwood Springs High School.
What are some similarities and differences between a larger-market organization such as the Greeley Tribune and Glenwood Springs? How will your experience in Greeley benefit our communities in Garfield County?
There are more similarities than differences – both newspapers are transitioning into media companies that serve their readers in so many different ways. Those readers tend to be very similar. There are more tourists in Glenwood Springs, but readers in both markets care about their community, care about their family and have worked or work hard to support themselves and their loved ones. Probably the most helpful experience in Greeley to bring here is that our readers have changed how they consumed news sometime ago – the Post Independent is only one of many choices and our team will work hard to earn that top spot.
Do you plan any big changes for the CT and PI in the second half of 2020? How can readers expect to see your presence and leadership reflected in our work?
I don’t plan any big changes. Much like my predecessor, readers will see me out and about in the community, learning and listening. The reason why I am in the role I am in is because I like to empower folks to improve their lives by being a strong and steadfast advocate for their needs and desires and so I hope to do that for our team at the Post Independent and for the communities we serve.
What role do you see the PI and CT filling in our respective communities? How would you like to build upon that as publisher?
While I was in Craig I spent many days in Rifle seeing orthodontists and watching my kiddos play sports. I also spent some time in Glenwood Springs doing the same. I’m so excited to see both communities served by unbiased and timely news — advertisers benefit greatly by having their ads next to that content. Having read them for a while now and even more closely for the past several weeks, I am proud of the work our staff does and I think the residents of these communities can really improve their lives by consuming what our teams produce.
Earlier this year, the PI went down from printing seven days a week to five. We announced last week that we’ll be publishing three days a week with a goal of bringing back a fourth edition once events and sports start back up. Is this a decision you plan to revisit or are you sticking with it? Why do you think it provides the best path forward for the PI?
This is a plan we are sticking with. You know Peter, this is not a decision that was made lightly. We — like many businesses — had to make tough decisions through the pandemic. Whether we produce a print edition seven days a week or three or four, we are going to produce the best product we possibly can in every edition. It’s also important to note that we disseminate news and information seven days a week on many platforms. The print platform is important and it will change in the coming months and I’m excited to see what those changes will be and how we can best serve our communities.
News organizations have been hit hard during the pandemic, but we’re definitely not alone. What sort of partnerships or opportunities do you see between the PI, CT and our business community at-large to help raise all ships?
I alluded to it earlier – we provide a great news product, which brings with it a great audience. Having your advertisement next to that content is a smart decision — readers will notice your ad. Now, that’s important to say because it is how we survive and thrive but perhaps most importantly that will help us serve the community in the way it deserves. I and our entire news staff are here to listen to and learn from the community.
I’m not saying you’re old, but you’ve been with Swift Communications for a long time. That is incredibly unusual these days in our industry. What is it about Swift and its vision that has kept you with the company for so long?
Two words Peter – “connecting communities.” I’ve been in this business for a long time and I hope to retire in it but working for Swift Communications means I’m working for the best media company in the country – everything we do is in service to connecting communities.
Community service is important to you (Jacobson has been previously involved with chambers of commerce, Kiwanis and Boys and Girls Clubs). How do you hope to be involved in the communities within Garfield County?
I hope to join the Kiwanis Club as soon as I get to town. After that, I really hope to hear from the community where my skill set is going to be best used. Giving back is part of my DNA but I also like to sit back for a moment and listen and learn where I can be of most value before jumping into service.
Obviously no one is merely a summary of their professional experience and accomplishments. What are some ways you enjoy being involved in the community in which you live and what are three fun things you’re most likely doing if not working?
Similar to what I said above I like to empower folks, children and businesses alike. What I will be doing when I’m not working is raising or at the very least polishing off the parenting that I have left in my 16 year old daughter, then I’ll play a little golf and do some hiking.
Is there anything else you’d like the community to know? If a reader wants to reach out, what’s the best way to get a hold of you?
Send me an email to email@example.com – I’m excited to work with you to achieve the future you desire. The media company that I will oversee will be in that with you — let’s achieve great things.
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