North

Veteran Alaska journalist takes over The Skagway News

Skagway News has a new owner who's a veteran journalist and editor of about 25 years.

Larry Persily has about 25 years of experience with publications around the state

A photo of The Skagway News office. Skagway, Alaska has a population of just under 1,000 people. (Leigh Armstrong/The Skagway News)

A veteran Alaska journalist and editor with about 25 years of experience in publications around the state has bought The Skagway News.

The community of Skagway has a population of just under 1,000 people.

Larry ​Persily says he will manage and edit the paper remotely from Juneau and Anchorage. He still plans on printing the paper at the Whitehorse Star, in Whitehorse. 

In 1976, Persily and his wife bought a weekly newspaper in Wrangell, Alaska, a small community about 300 kilometres south of Juneau. He's run papers in Juneau, and has done work with the Associated Press and Anchorage papers before moving into public policy work and taking on jobs with various levels of government.

Larry Persily bought a weekly paper in Wrangell, Alaska, about 40 years ago. (Submitted by Larry Persily)

Only now in his 60s, Persily gravitated back to journalism.

"I miss newspapers and I think small town newspapers in particular are very important," he said.

"I think small newspapers in small towns will always survive."

The Skagway News staff will not change, but Persily wants to introduce more content. (Leigh Armstrong/The Skagway News)

Persily says the staff will stay the same but changes are coming.

"We need more news," said Persily, adding that he'll try to add more pages and more coverage of Skagway and surrounding areas. He said he can't afford more staff but will buy pieces from freelancers.

​"There just needs to be more content so there's more of a reason for people to pick up The Skagway News."

Persily takes over officially on April 1.

With files from Sandi Coleman

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