New publisher connects with the Penticton community

The Western News’ new publisher, Shannon Simpson, has used a light touch since taking over in August

Group publisher Shannon Simpson joined the Penticton Western News in August

Group publisher Shannon Simpson joined the Penticton Western News in August

There has been a new hand at the helm of the Western News for a couple of months now, though it has been with a very light touch.

 

The Western News’ new publisher, Shannon Simpson, has been sitting in the corner office since Aug. 24, but he didn’t want to make a big splash of his taking over from former publisher Don Kendall.

“I like to listen and ask questions,” said Simpson, explaining that his first priority was understanding how the Western News operates and its place in the community.

Part of that was meeting the community leaders and others that have a vested interest in our newspaper and understanding their perspective on how we react and interact with our readers, with our storytelling, with our advertisers and our community obligations.

“I am interested in hearing those stories. To this point I have had nothing but great feedback from people that I have come across and had to deal with,” said Simpson. “It is a breath of fresh air for sure.”

Simpson, with close to three decades of experience at seven newspapers, comes to the Western News after spending 11 years in Saskatoon at the Star Phoenix and later as a business partner with the Saskatoon Express. He has recently been joined by his wife Liza and three sons, after completing the sale of their Saskatoon home. His son Jordan arrived at the beginning of September to begin his Grade 12 year at Penticton Secondary.

This isn’t the first time Simpson has worked for media in the Okanagan. From 1991 to 93, he worked for the Vernon Daily News as director of circulation, and from 2000-04, he was the regional director of reader sales and marketing for the Kelowna Daily Courier and the Penticton Herald.

Simpson said his years of experience in newspaper marketing, distribution and advertising all comes back to understanding what your value proposition is for your client, whether reader or advertiser, and how you can give them opportunities to fulfill their marketing needs.

“I’ve heard wonderful feedback on how we not only handle our stories, but how we look after our clients, not only from an advertising perspective, but also the production and graphic design perspective. We get a tremendous amount of compliments on our work and how we have the ability to really turn our efforts and projects around in a short period of time,” said Simpson. “That gives me a really good sense the paper is entrenched in the community. We know what our place is and we know what we need to do to continue to be successful.”

Being successful, Simpson said, starts with the readers.

“That for me is the most fundamental part of what we do. If you don’t have your readership, you don’t have buyers that go out to your advertisers. You have to start with creating readers,” he said.

Simpson sees his current role as continuing to grow the Western News brand and find new revenue opportunities, whether that is through features, special projects or community involvement

“It may not even have to end up as ink landing on paper. My job is to seek out those opportunities which will continue to strengthen our position as the leading newspaper in this community,” said Simpson. “I am not afraid to say that. That is our standing. Our direction now is to continue to bring that message to the masses and continue to offer our advertisers great opportunities to enhance their businesses.”

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Geordie Fife exits the dunk tank during 2017’s Discovery House Father’s Day festivities at Skaha Lake Park. The fundraiser helps raise awareness of the work done at the house and break down the stigma associated with addiction. (Western News File)
Discovery House Father’s Day fundraiser goes digital

The addiction recovery program will be rolling out videos ahead of the fundraiser

The proposed design of the five-storey building on Front Street. (City of Penticton)
Five-storey building proposed for Penticton’s Front Street

It will be the second time the proposal will head to council

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from St. Eugene’s residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

RCMP thanked the public for assistance in finding Benjamin Archie, last seen in Princeton. (RCMP)
Missing Chilliwack man found safe and sound

The 80-year-old had walked away from his home in Chilliwack

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Her death is considered a homicide and connected to the slain brothers found on a Naramata forest road. (Submitted)
Naramata community in shock as condolences pour in for homicide victim Kathy Richardson

Richardson was well liked in the community, a volunteer firefighter with a home-based salon

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

(Heather Lueck image)
Crash north of Enderby knocks out power, slows Highway 97A traffic

A witness captured footage of a medical helicopter landing at the scene

The RCMP presence in Central Okanagan public schools is being reviewed by the board of education. (File photo)
RCMP presence welcomed in Central Okanagan public schools

Staff survey feedback overwhelmingly positive from students, staff and parents

Most Read