TRAVERSE CITY — Neal Ronquist originally is from Minnesota.
So he wasn't about to let a little thing like northern Michigan winters keep him from moving to Traverse City.
Ronquist, 44, started today as the Traverse City Record-Eagle's new publisher. He's a 22-year newspaper industry veteran, and most recently was group publisher of five daily newspapers in central Indiana, including the Chronicle-Tribune in Marion.
The Record-Eagle is the fourth daily Ronquist has helmed. He also served as publisher of the Russellville, Ark., Courier and the Austin Daily Herald in Minnesota.
"There's definitely a time of listening and soaking it all in so you can understand the history and determine what you need to know to make good decisions," Ronquist said Monday as he met with staff and settled in his new office.
What he knows so far is that Traverse City has "a great reputation" — the town as well as the newspaper.
"It's a great community," said Ronquist, who holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and another in government and international affairs from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D., where he also played baseball. "And the paper has a great reputation. The editorial product is outstanding. It has solid business practices and partnerships."
Ronquist said he'll be active in the community here as he has at his other posts. In Marion, for example, he at one point chaired the chamber of commerce board.
"It's important for me to do those things," he said. "It's important for our business because it's a great way to develop partnerships and relationships.
"We're not just covering the news. We're part of the community. We want to be a proactive leader."
Challenging times for newspapers also present opportunities, Ronquist said.
"Times have gotten better, but we're not out of the woods, so to speak," he said. "It's an exciting time because we can be creative and innovative. I think it's an energizing time to be in the industry.
"Our print product is obviously going to evolve, but it's not going to go away. There's demand for it. That said, we have to look at all the other formats where people want to receive information."
And the fundamental function of the newspaper as watchdog as well as source of other community information hasn't changed, he said.
"Obviously, we have a role to play in making sure that government is transparent, in making sure the public knows what the truth is," he said. "We have a role to entertain people with stories about their friends and neighbors."
Everyone in the community won't always agree with the paper's coverage or editorial positions, Ronquist acknowledged. That's why being able to have open dialog and respectfully disagree on those occasions is important, he added.
"We're a business, too, and we're in this together," he said. "We want to make sure the community prospers because if the community prospers, our business prospers.
"It goes hand in hand."
Ronquist and his wife, Renae, have two daughters: Reese, 8, and Rachel, 11. His family will join him in Traverse City full-time at the close of the school year.
TRAVERSE CITY — Neal Ronquist originally is from Minnesota.
Beach Bums salvage split
Traverse City got a split of a doubleheader against Joliet on Monday at Wuerfel Park, and with the way things have been going lately for the Beach Bums they will take it.Continued ...
Ruthkoski surges to early lead at T of C
Andy Ruthkoski set a torrid pace to begin his quest to repeat as the champion of the Tournament of Champions on Monday.Continued ...
Tour of Champions Scores: 07/29/2014
Tour of Champions scores:Continued ...
NMC to lease Shadowland Motel
Northwestern Michigan College trustees approved a plan to turn a local motel that’s been the site of recent drug raids and criminal arrests into temporary student housing.Continued ...
Editorial: Early college programs offer TCAPS students head start
In an era of sky-high college tuition rates and dwindling state and federal aid, being a frugal higher ed shopper is a must.Continued ...
Sports in Brief: TC swimmer wins state championship
Traverse City swimmer Julia Brunner won the state title in the 100-meter butterfly at the Michigan 14 and Under Long Course State Championships in Ypsilanti this weekend. (Plus more)Continued ...
Letters to the Editor: 07/29/2014
Pay our share; Reduce government; No job growth.Continued ...
Traverse City Film Fest Schedule: 07/29/2014
What's happening Tuesday at the Traverse City Film Festival:Continued ...
Film Fest ticket sales heat up
Thunderstorms and rain and wind. Oh my! Traverse City Film Festival organizers and patrons are crossing their fingers as the threat of cold, stormy weather looms, especially on the eve of the 10th rendition of the annual event.Continued ...
Expect chilly weather during Open Space movies
Movie-lovers who attend the Traverse City Film Festival's first Open Space showing may want to pack warm clothes and an umbrella along with their lawn chairs.Continued ...
UPDATE: YMCA officials remain optimistic on opening date
There is no longer an electronic ticker on the Grand Traverse Bay YMCA's website that counts down the days, hours, minutes and seconds to the new facility's opening.Continued ...
Roads in city, GT County closed
Some local roads will close this week as the summer construction season rolls on.Continued ...
Ex-school board member eyes GT County commission
A former Traverse City Area Public Schools board member who's running for Grand Traverse County's Board of Commissioners said balancing the county's budget will be his top priority if elected.Continued ...
Police dog tracks down accused drunken driver
A Traverse City man faces accusations he wandered away from his pickup truck after he drunkenly ran it off the road and into a Long Lake Township ditch.Continued ...
Authorities investigate Whitewater blaze
An abandoned Whitewater Township farmhouse collapsed in a fire that authorities consider suspicious.Continued ...
Teen's jump into Leland marina waters prompts search
A teen's plunge into Leland Marina after a suspected boat break-in prompted a search by local authorities and a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter crew who didn't know he resurfaced and went to a friend's home.Continued ...
YMCA postpones charter membership party
Grand Traverse Bay YMCA officials postponed a party intended to unveil the new fitness facility to the organization's charter members.Continued ...
2 Republicans hope to deregulate businesses, represent Kalkaska downstate
Dave Ryan didn’t win the 103rd House seat in 2008, when his campaign consisted of riding his tractor door-to-door for more than 1,000 miles.Continued ...
Today remains chilly after Sunday storms
Showers and thunderstorms brought almost a half-inch of rain and small hail to the Grand Traverse area, but there were no severe weather warnings or reports of significant damage.Continued ...
To the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Clean Vessel Act program for providing $200,000 to the state of Michigan for projects that help recreational boaters properly dispose on-board septic waste.Continued ...
Beach Bums postponed, twinbill tonight
Sunday’s scheduled game at Wuerfel Park between Traverse City and Joliet was postponed due to the threat of storms throughout the evening.Continued ...
Historical Photo of the Week: 07/28/2014
Did you know that Traverse City’s own State Theater, the epicenter of the TC Film Festival, opened on July 4, 1916 as the Lyric Theater?Continued ...
Pretty Paper Connects Us All
Don Harrison knows collectors. “Different people buy different things for different reasons,” he said as he sized up the landscape with a practiced eye from his third floor perch at Wilson Antiques in Traverse City.Continued ...
Show to tell stories of the past
Don Harrison collects postcards, sheet music and old maps; he also collects the stories that follow them. Events like the inaugural 2014 Traverse City Antique Postcard & Rare Paper Show make great story hunting, Harrison said.Continued ...
Update on 07/21/2014 historical photo
Historical photo information, provided by readers, for the July 21 image:Continued ...
- Beach Bums salvage split