Editor's note


February 14, 2019

I’d like to welcome Larry Persily to the upper Lynn Canal. On April 1, 2019 the long-time Alaska journalist and government worker will be the new owner of the Skagway News.

Persily, 67, owned the Wrangell Sentinel from 1976 to 1984, reported for the Associated Press, Anchorage Daily News, Juneau Empire and the Petroleum News. He even served a three-week stint running the Chilkat Valley News last summer when I went commercial fishing in Bristol Bay.

Persily has a breadth of knowledge about state and federal politics. He’s worked as a chief of staff for the Kenai Peninsula Borough, legislative staffer, deputy commissioner for the Alaska Department of Revenue and ran the federal office for the Alaska Gas Line Projects.

Persily is a believer in the power of print and especially journalism’s role in small communities. He gave me a loan to get the Chilkat Valley News off its feet when I bought the paper in June 2017, and he’s given me plenty of advice since then.

“I like newspapers,” Persily said. “I feel at home in them. I think small-town newspapers are essential to life.”

Persily said he wants to add pages and content to the bi-monthly newspaper in Skagway. “Every paper should have something that gets people talking. Not incendiary topics like the online garbage. A newspaper has to educate, it’s got to entertain and it’s got to get people talking. Then they’ll want to look at the next issue and that’s how a newspaper survives.”

The Skagway News currently employs one reporter and a business manager who does the books and manages advertising and circulation.

Persily is buying the paper from Chris Sorg who is retiring due to health issues.

Persily was in Skagway Monday to meet with staff. He’ll run the paper from his home in Anchorage. Check out his commentary.


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