Making a bittersweet change in roles |

Making a bittersweet change in roles

Michael Bennett

Mike Bennett


A big thanks to Mike Bennett for his leadership and community involvement. He’s been a great role model for caring about a community and its success, and I only hope I can contribute as much to our Garfield County towns. Join me in congratulating Mike on his new role and getting to pursue his passion. If you’ve fallen for the canard that digital information is a kid’s game, have a chat with Mike.

— Randy Essex

Have you ever had something that was very important to you come to an end? It can be a sad experience or a happy experience. Sometimes, as in my case, it is both.

This week I pass the publisher baton on to Randy Essex. Randy has transformed the content of the PI into something special. He is well-deserving of his promotion — and a second full-time job. While I was advertising manager and publisher, Randy will be editor and publisher. Our community is privileged to have Randy and his high standards for journalism taking the reigns of our small-town newspaper.

This is truly a bittersweet moment. I am happy to loose the long hours and stress that come with trying to be at your best as you try to stay on top of two important full-time jobs. I’ll be sad to leave the community leadership role that being publisher has afforded me. I’ll be happy to have more time for family and my personal life.

I’ve watched Randy put his heart and soul into his work. He cares deeply about this community and works hard to make certain the content of the PI is a true reflection of where and how we live. The content he and his team produce is fair and balanced. Let me remind you that the exception is on the opinion page, where we share all different viewpoints, even those that may seem extreme at times.

I will be 64 next month and tackling two key full-time positions just is not what I care to do anymore. As Randy can attest, just being a solid editor can take 60 hours a week out of your life and cause you to work at least some hour on your “days off.” Age has depleted me of the energy I once had, and by Thursday I typically feel very tired.

In recent years I’ve found myself becoming cranky more often losing my patience with my staff. And then I feel really awful. I don’t want to be in that position anymore.

Fortunately for me, I work for Swift Communications, in my opinion one of the tops in my industry. We have a very talented advertising manager coming on board soon. Once he gets on his feet, I am being afforded the chance to remain with the company continuing the career I love with far less responsibility.

By the end of September, I will be going back to what I was doing when I started my career in 1974, sales. I will be taking on a new role with a long title: Colorado Mountain News Media Digital Business Development Manager, meaning, in short, sales. I’ll be working with a select group of about 40 clients in Aspen, Vail and Glenwood Springs.

You may ask me, like a young seller did recently, “how does an old guy like you know so much about digital advertising?” I’ve always been a student of marketing and have never stopped learning. I have been fascinated by how digital advertising can target you as the consumer if you have interest in a specific product or service. And if you don’t, we don’t waste your time by sending you the message.

I will continue to live in downtown Glenwood Springs, a community I love. You will still see me around. I will get my fix of participating with you to make this a better place to live. Next year I’ll be president of the Glenwood Springs Rotary Club. And I hope to remain on the board of GlenX and also participate in the marketing committee for YouthZone.

See you around.

Michael Bennett is outgoing publisher of the Post Independent.

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