The Publisher's Desk

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>Bob Jelenic, 1950-2008

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>It’s with a heavy heart today that we mourn the loss of Bob Jelenic, founder of the company that owns The Register Citizen, and until last fall, its CEO and a larger-than-life leader.

Bob’s heart and hands were involved and presence felt in the farthest reaches of a newspaper empire that grew and prospered exponentially over his 20 years at the helm.

He had the work ethic and chip-on-the-shoulder, something-to-prove drive of a blue collar upbringing, the financial acumen that came with a CPA’s training, an off-the-charts IQ, the bravado and swagger of a star athlete, a blisteringly sharp sense of humor and a genuine love of the news business stemming from his early-career days at the Toronto Sun tabloid.

If Bob Jelenic hadn’t become a legend of the newspaper business, he would have become a legend of whatever other industry he had chosen.

After less than a year as editor of The Register Citizen and with the company, Bob gave me the opportunity to join his corporate staff as director of news for small dailies and the company’s weekly newspapers. The two and a half years I worked for him were more valuable than any business school education or management degree I could have received, and you could learn more about newspapers from Bob in an afternoon than you had in years on your own.
It is an understatement to say that Bob was not a positive reinforcement kind of guy. But I came to understand what longtime members of his team of publishers and managers knew well and loved him for … he was intensely loyal to people who worked hard for him, he was quietly compassionate and generous with employees who hit a personal or professional rough patch, and he was the consummate “truth teller,” almost physically incapable of anything but complete honesty about where you stood with him at all times.

Written by mattderienzo

December 4, 2008 at 9:58 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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