GLENDALE — Danette Goulet, editor of the Glendale News-Press and Burbank Leader for four years, announced plans Thursday to step down, citing plans to move her family to Boston and raise her 7-month-old son.
She will stay on as director of editorial for all four local Times Community News titles, including the Crescenta Valley Sun and La Cañada Valley Sun, until a replacement is found.
In announcing her decision to all four local community newsrooms Thursday, Goulet stressed that it was based on a family decision to move back to the East Coast.
“If I could have my cake and eat it too, I wouldn’t leave these communities or this job, but at this time in my life, I have to do what’s best for my family and for my son,” she said. “I’m a perfectionist and a control freak, so I want to be the one to raise my son.”
In her nearly 10 years at Times Community News, four of them in Glendale, Goulet rose through the ranks to become editorial director for four of the division’s seven community papers.
“Danette’s tenure with the News-Press has brought the kind of stability that the paper needed,” said former Glendale Mayor Larry Zarian, who hosts his own weekly local-access cable show. “She’s a rare commodity.”
Goulet’s announcement comes less than a year after former Publisher Gordon Tomaske was promoted to director of operations at the Los Angeles Times’ Targeted Media Division, which oversees Times Community News. He recently left the company altogether to take a position with Southern California Edison.
Executives are engaged in an “active” recruiting process to find Goulet’s replacement, Targeted Media President John O’Loughlin said.
The task would not be easy, he added, calling Goulet a “champion for what we do every day.”
“We have some big shoes to fill,” he said.
Whoever eventually does take the helm, O’Loughlin said, will have to continue to push the four papers to remain “as relevant and engaged as we can.”
Persistent downward pressure on ad revenue, especially with the recent spiraling economy, has translated into challenging times for news operations. While recent headlines have centered on the financial woes at the Los Angeles Times, its community bureaus have also experienced some staffing cuts.
O’Loughlin assured staffers at a meeting Thursday that the recent round of layoffs hitting The Times would not affect the community news division.
“[Times Community News] continues to be a part of The Times’ growth strategy,” he said.
There are already preliminary plans to expand the papers’ reach online and through increased production, particularly in Burbank, O’Loughlin said.
The Times’ recent decision to consolidate the California section into the A1 portion of the paper would also allow for growth in regional advertising in the community papers, increasing their prominence, he added.
“I believe that the management understands that community journalism is essential and the way of the future for newspapers. . . . It’s what people want to know first,” Goulet said.