Mary Yost says her goodbyes as she takes on a new role with The Columbus Dispatch.
Four years ago on a really cold polar vortex January morning, I stepped into a new job and a very warm reception.
My boss forewarned colleagues in the Dispatch Magazine Group that I had started my career as a newspaper reporter with the parent company, then the Dispatch Printing Company. It was both funny and charming that some of my fresh-faced coworkers—many of whom were in grade school during my newspaper days—greeted me with salutations of “Welcome back!”
While I wasn't quite back where I had started, I was at least in the same building, and Columbus CEO quickly became a comfortable home.
In those early months, I learned nuances of magazine journalism, developed a mindset for planning editorial content three months ahead and prayed that I wouldn't mess things up on the way to getting each new issue to the printer.
I also talked with business and community leaders about their perceptions of the magazine and what kind of stories they wanted to read. The emerging assessment was promising, but with room for improvement. Columbus CEO was landing on impressive desks, but from there it was often going into a pile of things to be read later. Busy executives revealed they would take the magazine to read on the plane when they traveled.
My challenge, I decided, was to keep Columbus CEO out of the travel reading pile and make it a more compelling magazine that subscribers would reach for when it hit their desks, not push it away.
I think my team and I have hit that mark more than a few times since 2014.
For starters, Columbus CEO boasts one of the best magazine designers in the country. I can say that because Art Director Yogesh Chaudhary has won national and state journalism awards for our magazine design and covers. He was a major force in the redesign of Columbus CEO in 2013 and has continued making us look good every year since then.
Our photographers are just as talented. Photo Editor Tim Johnson and Associate Photo Editor Rob Hardin regularly put the people we write about in their best light and help us win awards, too.
I've worked with many good writers here, both staff members and freelancers—too many to thank individually in this space. But meriting special recognition is Chloe Teasley, who joined us initially as an unpaid intern working for college credit, came back as our editorial assistant and now is promoted to staff writer. She is also taking over Tech Talk from Julie Bhusal Sharma. Congratulations, Chloe!
The new editor, Dave Ghose, is already known to readers of Columbus Monthly as a talented writer. Now our readers will get to appreciate a fuller range of his talents.
I am leaving other great supporting cast members, but the good news is I am not going far—just one floor up to become editorial page editor for The Dispatch.
Funny how things work out. Years ago, when I had no intentions of ever leaving the paper, I thought I would like to be editorial page editor one day. But if it had happened earlier, I wouldn't be taking as much experience and perspective into that role.
These last four years have given me a much better appreciation for how business gets done in Columbus and what some of the challenges are. As I truly return to my first journalism home, I intend to continue being an observer of the business community in my new role, and I will rely on Columbus CEO remaining a credible resource to help me stay abreast.
I hope you will do the same!