After reading feature writer Lu Stitt’s wrap-up of news events for 2010, I began thinking about the strides made by the Sedona Red Rock News and our staff over the past 12 months.

The last year was a year of change at the paper with new staff added, promotions made and a shift toward incorporating technology into our coverage.

It took hard work on the part of every employee in the newsroom, sales offices and press room to make the newspaper’s success in 2010 happen.

On the sales side, Kyle Larson took over both the display and classified advertising departments as the advertising director and led his staff to claim six awards in the Arizona Newspapers Association’s advertising competition.

Larson also welcomed two new sales representatives, Al Paliwoda and Christine Trcic, this year.
In the editorial department, leadership also shifted when Christopher Fox Graham became the assistant managing editor, and I took over as managing editor.

Photojournalist Tom Hood joined the team in January and brought home a second-place award from the ANA Better Newspapers Contest. Reporter Patrick Whitehurst came on board in November.

Our website, redrocknews.com, took home first place in the state competition for newspapers with similar circulation and became popular with readers as they began commenting.

The most commented-on story this year was “Sedona man plans to run for president,” which received 29 comments.

Photojournalist Michele Bradley, who now works at our sister papers, earned a first- and third-place award from ANA, and sports reporter Brian Bergner Jr. and Production Manager John Stabe won first place for their Scorpions football season opener page design. The newspaper, as a whole, also won several other awards at the competition including honors for copy editing excellence and best use of photography.

We also expanded our collection of columns inviting journalism and yearbook students from Sedona Red Rock High School to write a weekly column, which gives all of us a look at the small world sitting on the west edge of the city.

Our staff has had a good year and we look forward to continuing our award-winning coverage in 2011 as Sedona’s longtime news source residents have come to rely upon.

Happy new year.