Sound Publishing, the company that owns the Federal Way Mirror, is searching for a new publisher after Rudi Alcott announced his resignation Wednesday.
Alcott resigned as the publisher after accepting a position as digital sales director for Sound Publishing. His new role puts him in charge of sales in the digital media division of Sound Publishing Inc., which entails roughly 40 properties. His last day at the Mirror is tentatively scheduled for Feb. 28.
After starting his newspaper career in marketing and circulation, Alcott assumed his position at the Federal Way Mirror Feb. 4, 2008. He has been the longest-tenured publisher since the newspaper opened 19 years ago, and Alcott said he is proud of what he has helped accomplish here.
“Really, this newspaper has grown from being a very average newspaper to an award-winning community newspaper,” he said, adding, during his tenure the Mirror has received numerous accolades through the year, including several General Excellence Awards from the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association.
More than anything, however, Alcott said he is proud of building a community newspaper that serves the needs of so many.
“So, it’s valuable for the advertisers, it’s valuable for the readers, it’s valuable for the municipal government, and I’m proud of that,” he said.
Alcott said when he first took over as publisher in 2008, it was his mission for the newspaper to be unbiased and fair in its coverage while also creating community discourse, and he has not deviated from that course through the years.
He said the Mirror has also tackled a number of difficult topics, as well, including the Pinewood murders.
“We brought you the news that was relevant at the time, sometimes at great political and financial cost,” Alcott said.
Alcott said his decision to take a new role in the company was difficult for him.
When, however, he was presented with the chance to be in charge of the division with most room for growth — digital sales — he did not want to pass up the opportunity, in part because digital sales was the area in which he began his career at the King County Journal.
“So, to some degree, this is coming full circle in my career,” he said.
Alcott said he thinks his new role in Sound Publishing will only help the company continue its mission of providing community journalism, which is as important as ever.
“I think there always will be a call for community journalism,” Alcott said. “It’s one of the hardest things to find, and it’s one of the hardest things to be accurate at.”
At the same time, Alcott said the need for more online presence and revenue is great and largely untapped.
“This is another set of demographics that we have not done a good job of talking to very well,” he said. “My division is prepared to change that.”
Alcott said his decision to leave is bittersweet, however, especially because Federal Way is on the brink of making so many good things happen.
“There’s a huge upside for the city of Federal Way,” he said. “It has a good message to tell. I’m going to miss that.
“It was a very difficult decision for me to leave,” Alcott continued. “I did everything in Federal Way but live here. I’m a foreigner in my own town that I actually live in.”