Both Peter Shelton and Martinique Davis have deep roots in the region and with The Watch.
Peter arrived in Telluride when the ski area was young, back in 1976, to teach skiing; he soon began writing for The Telluride Times and The Telluride Times-Journal, and went on to build a great reputation as a chronicler of the region. He has been doing his column, A View to the West, since The Watch was founded in 1997, and has been the Ouray County editor for the last three years. With his adult daughters no longer living in the region, he will give up the daily grind in favor of more flexibility. Thankfully, he’ll keep up his column with us, at least periodically.
Martinique Davis grew up in Telluride and has been working for The Watch since she was 18 years old – for nearly half of her life – pretty much since The Watch was founded. For the last several years, in addition to covering new businesses and sports and Mountain Village, she has written a column, Raising Elle, about family life. She, too, is leaving to focus on other interests.
The Watch is almost twenty years old, old enough to have had employees who have worked here for many years, and whose departures are keenly felt.
This sort of thing puts a founding publisher in a reflective frame of mind. My wife, Marta, who stepped down May 1 as full-time editor of The Watch, is now my co-publisher. She and I both turn 60 this year, and we, too, have put many years into journalism in the Telluride region. Very likely our tenure is longer than that of any other publishers from the skiing era, and I’d guess longer than any from the mining era as well, though it would require some research to prove that. If we have set some kind of record, it would be interesting to know what it means. Possibly only that we are stubborn, and even a bit foolhardy.
Newspapers in the region, and in small-town America generally, have been rocked by the Great Recession, and continue to be challenged by the shift from print to digital publishing – just as every other business in our region has been rocked by hard times and changing times. Somehow, we endure.
Like anyone who starts a business, Marta and I would like to think that The Watch might be bigger than we are and will survive our eventual retirement, whenever that day comes – just as we will carry on after Peter and Marti leave us, having left a part of themselves behind, now embedded in the paper’s DNA.
So there is a changing of the guard. As Marti and Peter leave, we introduce Samuel Adams, a new Telluride writer. And as Marta and I start to step back from all of the day-to-day machinations of running the business, younger managers step up (among them Gus Jarvis, the paper’s editor, who we wish a speedy recovery from his Wednesday morning appendectomy at Montrose Memorial Hospital).
And The Watch continues its evolution.