Sackariason leaving Aspen Daily News for radio job |

Sackariason leaving Aspen Daily News for radio job

Karl Herchenroeder
The Aspen Times

Aspen Daily News Executive Editor Carolyn Sackariason is leaving the newspaper for a news director position at Aspen Public Radio.

Sackariason, a veteran journalist in Aspen who has served as editor of the Daily News since 2010, confirmed the move Friday, saying it’s time to learn something new.

“I love (National Public Radio). It’s a great opportunity,” Sackariason said. “I’ve learned everything I know from (Daily News owner Dave) Danforth. … I believe in everything the Aspen Daily News stands for. It’s hard to leave that.”

Danforth, who co-owns the Santa Monica Daily Press with Sackariason, said he considers Sackariason more of a friend than a colleague. The decision, he said, was all about her future and her opportunities, adding that as long as the radio station gives her “a lot of rope, a lot of space, I think she and they will both be fine.”

“The main thing that ‘Sack’ brings to the table is she has a lot of experience,” Danforth said.

Aspen Public Radio Executive Director Carolyne Heldman said the organization has admired Sackariason’s work at the Daily News. Though she wouldn’t discuss financial details of the hiring, the station’s November job advertisement listed the salary between $55,000 and $65,000. Heldman expects Sackariason to begin in mid-January.

“We thought she really had her eye on the community with news that really matters to the community,” Heldman said, adding that Sackariason was the radio station’s first choice.

Heldman said Sackariason, 46, will oversee the station’s website and daily news content while managing two reporters and a digital-content manager. Sackariason also will produce two 30-minute programs, “Valley Roundup” and “Mountain Edition.”

“It’s quite similar to what she did at the Daily News, just for radio instead,” Heldman said.

When asked if the station anticipates becoming more competitive in the breaking-news market, Heldman said, “I would not say that, but what I would say is we just hope to really serve our listeners and our entire community of listeners who care about news.”

The station fielded 13 candidates for the position and interviewed five, Heldman said.

David Cook, interim publisher at the Daily News, said Sackariason leaves a difficult hole to fill.

“She is a very talented editor and a very hard worker,” he said. “I wish her nothing but the best on her future endeavors.”

Describing Aspen’s news community as tight-knit, Cook said the paper will look to replace Sackariason with someone who knows the community, its politics and its personalities well.

“I’m certain that person exists,” Cook said. “What it looks like, it’s a little too early to tell at this point.”

Sackariason’s local journalism career started in 1995 as reporter and editor at the Daily News. From 1999 to 2001, she worked as publisher of the Snowmass Sun before launching the Santa Monica Daily Press with Danforth and another partner. She returned to Aspen in 2006, working as a freelancer and eventually joining The Aspen Times as a business and City Hall reporter for three years. She replaces former Aspen Public Radio News Director Roger Adams, who left the position earlier this year.

Sackariason also will oversee local newscasts during National Public Radio shows “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered” as well as all live broadcasts and re-broadcasts of lectures, concerts and panel discussions from the Aspen Institute, the Aspen Music Festival and School and original Aspen Public Radio programming.

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