ATASCADERO — Starting a new job is always intimidating, but sometimes you just have to dive in head first. That’s just what Luke Phillips — the newly-appointed editor of the Paso Robles Press and Atascadero News — did.
Phillips jumped into the newspaper business straight out of high school, going to work for his hometown newspaper, The Holtville Tribune.
“I was just looking for a job and saw an ad for the newspaper,” Phillips said. “I started out as an office assistant, but was quickly made a news reporter. Things kind of just moved along from there.”
Phillips, who is originally from Holtville, has worked at several papers since then in Arizona, New Mexico and California. He met his wife Liz while working at Today’s News-Herald in Lake Havasu City, Ariz. The two married in 2011 and moved to the Central Coast in 2013. They have two children — Walter, 2, and Eleanor, 10 months.
Phillips started at the Paso Robles Press and Atascadero News as a reporter in 2013 and was promoted to City Editor in 2016. He says he's seen steady improvement at the papers since then.
“My goal as the editor is to continue that trend,” Phillips said. “But ultimately I want our publication to present news in a more timely manner. Rather than just publishing news weekly in the newspaper, we’re going to be publishing stories online every single day.”
Phillips’ efforts correlate directly with the company’s recent launch of two new websites.
“The company is moving toward an exciting new platform,” Phillips said. “And I hope to improve the writing in the paper with more in-depth coverage and better storytelling. I think it will make reading the paper more entertaining and will help to attract new generations of readers.”
Former editor Ryan Cronk, who was with paper since September of 2016, is now serving as the editor of four News Media Corporation papers in Southern Monterey County — The King City Rustler, the Soledad Bee, the Gonzales Tribune and the Greenfield News.