Nevada Appeal names new publisher

Peter Starren will take the helm as publisher of the Nevada Appeal next month as Jeff Ackerman moves to the same post at the Grass Valley (Calif.) Union.

The two publishers will be trading places at the newspapers, both of which are owned by Reno-based Swift Newspapers.

Starren, who has been publisher of the Union since 1999, will move to Carson City with his wife, Beverly Mobley, in the next few weeks and begin his new job on Feb. 1.

"Beverly and I have spent time in the Carson City area over the years and have always felt that it would be a great place to live," he said. "The opportunity to publish a capital city newspaper is exciting and we look forward to being part of such a dynamic and interesting community.

"I think the Nevada Appeal is an excellent newspaper and I look forward to building on the proud foundation built by my friend, Jeff Ackerman."

For Ackerman, the move means a return to Grass Valley, where he began working for Swift Newspapers 18 years ago as a reporter.

"Carson City's been great to me and my family," Ackerman said Wednesday. "I will miss Carson City. I will miss Nevada. Nevada is still unique. It is still the Wild West. The concern is that it's changing. I shall always be part Nevadan.

"This paper will be 137," he said. "I see my role here as a caretaker. You see all the people here before you and all the people that will come after you. It's almost a museum. You're almost a curator. It's important for Nevada to keep the paper going."

The Appeal and Union share the distinction of being their states' oldest continuously published daily newspapers. The Union was founded in 1864, and the Appeal the following year.

Starren, 41, made his way west as a newspaperman from Grand Forks, N.D.

"I've got a lot of good experience in a lot of different types of markets," Starren said. "I'm a career newspaper person, starting in 1977. I was with the Grand Forks Herald from 1977 to 1985, holding a variety of positions. I then transferred to the San Jose Mercury News to work as a home delivery manager from 1985 to 1987.

"From there I became circulation manager at the L.A. Daily News from 1987 to early 1989, then on to the Portland (Maine) Newspapers, where I worked until 1999. I was circulation director and eventually associate publisher."

Starren also will assume the role of general manager of Tahoe-Carson Area Newspapers that Ackerman has filled for the past two years. The group includes The Record-Courier in Gardnerville, South Lake Tahoe's Tahoe Daily Tribune, the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza in Incline Village, the Tahoe World in Tahoe City and the Sierra Sun in Truckee.

Ackerman, 50, said he is looking forward to returning to Grass Valley and is leaving the Appeal in good hands.

"I have family in Grass Valley," said Ackerman. "I came to Carson City in 1995 when the company purchased the Nevada Appeal. I would hope that I am leaving the newspaper in better shape than I found it. I have enjoyed being part of a 136-year tradition.

"I will cherish these years for the rest of my life. I feel I am leaving the paper in great hands with the employees we have here. And in Peter Starren, Carson City is getting a proven community leader."

Both said the challenge for the Nevada Appeal will be to keep up with growth in the Carson City market and ensure the paper continues to meet the needs of the community.

"We need to make sure we're meeting our mission to cover Carson City, to be the best community newspaper we can be and, because we are a state capital, to lead in government reporting," Ackerman said.


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