The Dispatch will say farewell today to its publisher, chief operating officer and senior vice president of eight years who is resigning from his current position but will continue to work as a consultant for the company.
Steve Staloch, 59, will be replaced by his business partner of 21 years, Chief Executive Officer Tony Allegretti, 67.
Allegretti and Staloch co-founded Mainstreet Media Group in 2004. The company consists of nine publications located throughout California and includes South Valley Newspapers – a geographic subgroup within the company denoting the Morgan Hill Times, Gilroy Dispatch and Hollister Free Lance.
After 40 years spent working in various sectors of the newspaper industry that included circulation, management, advertising and publishing, Staloch intends to stay in the business but with a specialized focus on digital initiatives that compliment print.
“We’re not valuing our content,” he explained. “We’ve established our websites and web presence based on a model that ‘all news is free,’ and that the advertisers will follow – and we’ve proven that is not true. There needs to be model that makes sense to capture revenue through the production of quality content. That’s what I want to be working on.”
Staloch’s first job after dropping out of college as a journalism major was working for $135 a week in the circulation department of the Grand Forks Herald in North Dakota.
“I thought I’d died and gone to heaven,” he said. “It was a great gig.”
Staloch and Allegretti previously oversaw 42 different newspaper titles in Wisconsin, Michigan and Nebraska over a time span of nine years. Staloch moved from Merced to Gilroy in 2004.
As publisher of South Valley Newspapers, Staloch was responsible for oversight of all operations and the editorial policies of the newspapers.
“It’s the ultimate ‘buck stops here position,’ ” he said.
As Staloch exits his position of eight years, he is confident the Dispatch will continue to grow under Allegretti, who “will bring a new level of energy and enthusiasm for his agenda,” said Staloch. “He’s been around the block.”
After experiencing the ebb and flow of the publishing industry for four decades, Staloch highlights newspapers as a critical “conduit between the ‘institutions’ and the public.”
“And when you circumvent that conduit, you have chaos and corruption,” he said. “There needs to be a voice. And we are that voice. And that’s what I enjoy about this business.”