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Mid-year newsroom update: New faces, new look and our 15th

By   /   Friday, June 13th, 2014  /   Comments Off

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Henry Dubroff

Henry Dubroff

With 2014 nearly at the half-way mark, I thought it would be a good time for a mid-year report from the Business Times newsroom.

First, I’d like to introduce Elijah Brumback, who joined our news team as a staff writer on June 2.

Brumback previously worked for MiBiz, a bi-monthly business magazine based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He’s a gifted reporter, an experienced journalist and his expertise in commercial real estate means he’ll be taking over our weekly column and economic development coverage.

I’d also like to introduce a trio of talented interns joining us for the summer. Austen Hufford is a student at the University of Michigan and a participant in the Dow Jones News Fund internship program. He received training in New York in business journalism and will be with us through August.

Marissa Wenzke, a Business Times intern this past spring, will extend her internship into the summer. She is graduating this weekend from UC Santa Barbara, and as a staffer at the Daily Nexus she was one of the first journalists on the scene at the Isla Vista mass murder.

Finally, Jeremy Greenberger, a student at my alma mater, Lafayette College in Pennsylvania, is working closely with Publisher Linda le Brock to implement new digital marketing strategies, expand our audience and strengthen our relations with chambers of commerce, startup organizations and Tri-County business organizations.

Also joining us temporarily is Cory Pironti. She is filling in for advertising graphic artist Elizabeth Willhite, who is expecting a baby later this month.

Why we covered Isla Vista

The Isla Vista tragedy was a regional story that drew national and international attention. Because Wenzke and Special Reports Editor Erika Martin, a UCSB graduate who joined us last fall, were directly involved in first-day news coverage, we were able to bring a unique perspective to the story.

The extent of our coverage surprised a few of our readers and definitely sparked a bit of controversy. But I felt strongly that our coverage highlighted a number of issues that are highly relevant to our subscribers.  Among those issues: the reputation of UCSB and its ability to recruit students and faculty, land use and future development in Isla Vista and the impact on emergency care and our trauma system.

Further, we think the relationships between our campuses and their communities are going to be very important to the future of our regional economy.  Our reporting touched on the ways that Cal Poly has re-engineered its relationship with San Luis Obispo in terms of housing and providing space for startup companies.

New look ahead of 15th birthday

So far this year, we’ve won recognition from Editor & Publisher magazine for our digital innovations, we’ve given a new look to our weekly Top 25 lists and we’ve refined our home sales to list only properties over $1 million.

We’ve re-introduced our Who’s Who in Business Leadership special report and we’ve launched a twice-a-year Economic Forecast. The next forecast issue will appear in early October.

You also may have noticed that we’ve begun publishing Volume 15 of Pacific Coast Business Times. Later this summer, in conjunction with our annual Spirit of Small Business Awards luncheon, we’ll announce the kickoff to our 15th anniversary, which we’ll officially celebrate on March 17, 2015.

We’ve accomplished a lot in the first five months of 2014. We wish you and your business a profitable summer and continued success for the rest of the year.

• Contact Henry Dubroff at hdubroff@pacbiztimes.com.

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