As Reporter Chris Brown moves on to another opportunity, he reflects on three amazing years with Clark County Today
My adventure in journalism began two decades ago. It is a story that begins, as many such tales do, with a girl and a doomed romance.
Fear not, dear reader, I’m not here to bore you with the details of that ill-fated flight of fancy, but the story at least proves that sometimes the best journeys start with an unexpected detour.
In my case, it took me from the halls of KXL radio back when it was on the AM dial, through its conversion to an FM News powerhouse, to a short layover in television news on the assignment desk at KOIN-TV, back to KXL for a brief reunion and then, for a time, into the great unknown.
In January of 2018, I was fresh off an unexpected exit from radio and wondering what to do next. When most of your adult life is given to a single employer, it can be jarring to be thrust back into the job market.
I was drowning in a sea of uncertainty when a life preserver was tossed my way from an unexpected source.
Ken Vance and I had crossed paths previously, when he worked at a sports radio station down the hall from my office, but we had never truly worked together. I knew his reputation as an honest journalist and someone who had managed to survive several such career twists as I was myself then experiencing.
At that time, Clark County Today was still a relatively new enterprise. Ken had been brought in by David Madore to create an alternative to existing local news sources. More specifically, David envisioned a hybrid of an online traditional print publication and a nightly television newscast.
Difficult as it was, today I’m proud to say we’ve accomplished much of that goal. Clark County Today is the only local news source providing nightly video updates, as well as a completely free website that (and you’ll forgive my obvious bias here) consistently goes above and beyond in telling readers what’s happening with an attention to detail and level of journalistic integrity that is increasingly rare in the industry.
That doesn’t happen by chance. It comes from a commitment by both David and Ken to grant reporters the freedom to dig a little deeper, ask more questions, and speak with a clear voice unmuddied by editorial interference and any particular “agenda.”
In short, “No Agenda. No Subscription.”
Yes, that was mine, but I’m letting them keep it.
It also comes from gathering a collection of incredibly talented and creative individuals who truly care about delivering the absolute best each and every day.
From Ken, who drives the ship with a light yet authoritative voice, to people like Paul Valencia and Jacob Granneman, reporters who tell stories with humanity and empathy, in addition to integrity. I haven’t had as much of an opportunity to work directly with Dan Trujillo and John Ley yet, but each brings a high degree of curiosity and passion to their work.
Then there’s Mike Schultz, an award-winning photographer who has increasingly grown into a fine videographer and photo journalist. His photo essays are consistently some of the most-shared posts you’ll find on the Clark County Today social media pages, and for good reason.
On the back end, nothing at Clark County Today happens without Andi Schwartz, our webmaster, video editor extraordinar, and all-around digital guru. Her fingerprints are on nearly anything you see at our website or social media channels, and her excellence seemingly knows no bounds.
And I’d be remiss not to mention Heidi Wetzler, our administrator and financial wizard who somehow manages to keep everything afloat, and consistently bends over backwards to make the lives of the people who work at Clark County Today as easy as possible.
As I move along to the next great adventure, it is a bittersweet moment. Few employers would grant a soon-to-be ex-employee the space to even say goodbye. That, in and of itself, says much of what you need to know about the class of human beings that work here.
Finally, to our dear readers (and viewers), nothing that we do happens without you, and it is because of your support that Clark County Today will continue to grow and thrive long after I’ve exited these pages. We may not always agree, but hopefully you’ve at least found me informative and even, on occasion, entertaining.
While I’m leaving Clark County Today, I will remain a part of this community. I’ll simply be shifting from a contributor, to a loyal reader and supporter.
Thank you for letting me be part of the journey. See you around.