Scott Blonde has taken over as publisher of the two newspapers, owned by Ogden Newspapers. He came to Utah from another Ogden Newspapers property, Cape Coral, Florida-based Breeze Newspapers, and replaces Rhett Long, who is retiring.
“I’m looking forward to getting involved in the community. These papers have serviced this community for a very long time and I’m looking to continue that history,” said Blonde, who served as publisher at Breeze for nearly eight years and chief financial officer before that. Breeze Newspapers operates six weekly newspapers in fast-growing southwest Florida, publishes visitors’ guides and runs a large commercial printing operation as well, among other things.
His first day on the job was Tuesday and he aims to start reaching out to community leaders as he gets settled into the new post.
The Standard-Examiner focuses its coverage on Weber County and Northern Utah while the Daily Herald serves Utah County. Blonde aims to maintain the two publications’ tradition of serving as the main news source in their respective coverage areas, he said, “and providing a very strong advertising vehicle for businesses.”
Blonde is also hoping to bolster the printing operations of the presses at the Standard-Examiner, located in Business Depot Ogden.
Blonde offered optimistic words for the future of the newspaper industry. “They’re essential to the community and they’re very valuable advertising vehicles. They’re the best place for information, especially local information,” he said.
Blonde, 62 and a Michigan native, was drawn to the Utah opportunity in part by the skiing and recreational opportunities here. He and his wife Leandra are avid skiers and enjoy the outdoors.
“It’s a beautiful area, love the area. I can’t wait to get out and get active,” he said.
Long will remain in coming weeks to assist Blonde as he transitions into the new role. Long had served as publisher of the Daily Herald and then took on duties as publisher of the Standard-Examiner after Ogden Newspapers, which is based in Wheeling, West Virginia, acquired the Ogden-based newspaper last year.
After 40 years in varied senior management posts, Long said, he looks forward to coaching his young children in various sports activities, serving the local community and more.