Ben Olivo, co-founder and editor of the San Antonio Heron, has accepted a job as local government editor at The Seattle Times. A little more than a month ago, the Seattle newspaper reached out to Ben and encouraged him to apply for an open position; another was eventually offered and he accepted it recently. He begins his new position on Jan. 9.
The Heron board met Saturday and decided that the brand is too strong, the group too committed to nonprofit community journalism, the following too great to let the online newspaper close for good.
The Heron board moving forward—Crystal Darby, Mario Ochoa, Glenda Wolin, Kent Oliver, and Lynn Knapik— is committed to continuing the work Ben started.
Here’s the basic plan:
Between now and Dec. 31, Ben and other Heron contributors will publish content that has already been reported, using donations received until now. Articles such as one that 1) chronicles the transformation by Opportunity Home San Antonio from an entity that demolishes public housing to one that’s committed to rebuilding it, 2) another that dissects the incredibly complicated, county-backed incentive deal for the Tower Life renovation from offices to apartments, and 3) and yet another that dives deep into the collision course between Weston Urban, and other developers, and West Side activists.
The Heron will then go on hiatus beginning Jan. 1, so the organization can regroup.
Before Ben accepted the job in Seattle, he was pursuing a number of potential partnerships and grants that would help us mature into a self-financed organization.
Ben will stay on in an ancillary volunteer role, and, in his spare time, will look to close on those partnerships and grants already in the works.
The goal is to fundraise so we can hire a full-time editor and a full-time membership coordinator.
We ask that you stay with us during this transition. We hope to have a good idea of the Heron’s future by March, possibly April.
We are committed to keeping you updated during this process.
— The Heron board (Crystal Darby, Mario Ochoa, Glenda Wolin, Kent Oliver, Lynn Knapik, and Ben Olivo)