Park Record Publisher Andy Bernhard retiring - longtime advertising director Val Spung to take over
After a 35-year career as publisher of Park City’s local newspaper, The Park Record, Andy Bernhard is stepping down at the end of the month.
When Andy Bernhard’s brother hired him as publisher of The Park Record in 1987, he had no experience as a publisher, but he had been selling newspaper advertising and knew his first duty was to keep the paper afloat. It didn’t take long to know that another big part of the job was to answer to the community when he published something that lit them up.
“So, I wasn’t totally green to the industry,” Bernhard said, “but I was certainly green to being the man in charge and my first angry call was from Jack Dozier, who was certainly intimidating in person, but also intimidating over the phone. So that was kind of a cold start for me, but that's the way it was gonna be.”
Although the paper has never missed a week since it was founded in 1880, Bernhard said one of the biggest challenges for him over the three-plus decades has been the number of times the paper changed ownership...
“Since the time I came to The Park Record in 1987, we've been through five ownership transitions. And those ownership transitions can be pretty stressful, you know, a lot of work a lot, a lot of pressure on the staff and me to get it right. And our most recent ownership change was with Ogden Newspapers. And I think we've done a pretty good job of transitioning to their operating systems and getting everybody settled in to yet another new environment. And I just thought that maybe this was, this was just good time to say goodbye and move on.”
He added that he’s had fewer changes in editors, than owners during that same time, but is excited to welcome his 5th editor in the next few weeks...
“That's been kind of an arduous search for me,’ Bernhard said. “It's taken quite some time and Jay Hamburger has stepped in and handled the interim editor position well. But a guy named Robert Meyerowitz will be coming our way shortly. And he comes to us having done managing editing work in Durango and Colorado Springs and Alaska and South Carolina. And, and I'm really excited for this guy to show up. And in terms of my replacement, Val Spung, who's been my ad director for 25 years, is going to take over in a dual role as ad director/publisher until all that gets sorted out.”
As far as what’s next for him? Bernhard says he hasn’t figured that out yet, but says he doesn’t sit still very long...
“The Park City Rotary Club does so many good things in our community,” Bernhard said. “And I think that, I would like to take the opportunity to get a little bit more involved there. But I honestly, I really don't have another job I’m going to at this point. I plan on just letting some of the cobwebs blow out. I don't know when the last time was that I didn't work on the Friday after Thanksgiving. So, I'm actually looking forward to a true Thanksgiving weekend.”
Bernhard’s last day as publisher of The Park Record is September 30.