MARYSVILLE — Janice Vallin began her first day as the publisher of The Marysville Globe and The Arlington Times Aug. 9, and her first priority is to get to know her new hometown.
“I’ll be listening to our staff and the community,” said Vallin, formerly of Austin, Texas. “I want to know where we stand, what we’re already doing well and what we need to improve. What makes papers like ours most relevant is when they’re hyper-local.”
Vallin is pleased that the two newspapers’ websites update with new content at least once a day, and often multiple times daily.
Looking ahead she hopes to focus on business development within the community.
“I come from a business background,” said Vallin, whose career in newspapers began in sales in 1988, first for The Bryan-College Station Eagle and then for The Houston Chronicle, where she was promoted to retail manager in 1997. “I think of papers like ours as business journals for the residents of our community. Part of our job is to explain what goes on at city council meetings and with new business development. People already know where to get their national news, but a lot of times, they might not know what’s happening on their street corner.”
Before she was hired as The Austin American-Statesman’s senior multimedia director in 2005, Vallin served as director of major accounts, commercial printing and direct marketing, as well as director of local accounts, for The Houston Chronicle. She was able to branch out as the business director of Glossy, an upscale fashion magazine, and XL, Austin’s entertainment weekly, before becoming general manager of Community Impact, Austin’s community newspaper, but she still wanted to broaden her horizons further.
“Working for metro newspapers is hard work, and it’s just as hard to find new positions in that field,” said Vallin, who talked with her husband of one year, Armando, about where they’d most like to live. “Washington state, it was.”
While she acknowledged that larger newspapers’ fortunes have faltered, Vallin sees community newspapers such as The Marysville Globe and the The Arlington Times growing stronger over the years to come, because of what they can offer their readers.
“Nobody else can do what we do,” Vallin said. “I’m coming in here with a strong set of core values, and one of those is to make our papers relevant to our readers’ world. I’m open to suggestions, concerns and even high-fives on how we do that. We already have a great product here.”
In the meantime, Vallin plans to take in her new surroundings quietly, while keeping her door open to the public.
“I’m passionate about journalism and fair reporting,” said Vallin, who holds degrees in journalism and marketing from Texas A&M University. “I’ll make sure our advertising and editorial stay separate. I’m idealistic like that.”