Saturday, November 28 , 2015, 11:46 pm | Fair 50º

Bill Macfadyen: Noozhawk Welcomes Tom Bolton as Executive Editor

Veteran newsroom leader will be bringing a sharper focus to Web site's expanded news coverage

For more than two decades, new Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton has been a senior editor in Santa Barbara County.
For more than two decades, new Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton has been a senior editor in Santa Barbara County.  (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo)

By William M. Macfadyen, Noozhawk Publisher | @noozhawk |

Entrepreneurialism has been defined as “the pursuit of opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled.”

I love that quote by Harvard Business School professor Howard Stevenson because it captures the spirit of what we’ve tried to do with Noozhawk. For us, the pursuit of opportunity is in our DNA.

Noozhawk was founded in 2007 to take advantage of an opportunity to provide mainstream, professional daily news for Santa Barbara and Goleta. Almost every step we’ve taken since has been to maximize opportunities we’ve identified — K-12 education, the nonprofit community, public engagement, our Prescription for Abuse series, and dozens of other innovative features, strategies, collaborations and partnerships.

We’ve fully embraced the chaos of New Media as a hybrid news publication, utilizing the best tools and practices available at any given time and nimbly adapting to circumstances as they arise. We’re doing something right because readership and revenue continue to grow.

Today, in probably our biggest opportunity to date, I’m excited to announce the addition of my friend and longtime colleague, Tom Bolton, as Noozhawk’s executive editor.

Tom is an award-winning editor with nearly 35 years of journalism experience, the last 20 or so as a senior news executive in Santa Barbara County. Tom and I worked together for 15 years at Santa Barbara’s daily newspaper under The New York Times ownership and, in 2002, we co-founded the ill-fated South Coast Beacon newspaper. As vice president of news for Lee Central Coast Newspapers, he led the Santa Maria Times’ newsroom from 2003 until earlier this year while also supervising the Lompoc Record, the Santa Ynez Valley News and other local Lee publications.

While integrity has been a hallmark of Tom’s leadership, equally important has been the first-rate journalism that has been produced under his hands-on direction. His staffs are always well-trained, thorough, disciplined, hard-working and, above all, fair — just like Tom.

It’s a wonderful match for Noozhawk because we’ve already got a staff defined by those traits. I’m looking to him to further refine our news operation to ensure that we continue to sharpen our focus and sharpen our elbows.

With the addition, Noozhawk now has three experienced news professionals editing what we publish — Tom, managing editor Michelle Nelson and yours truly — and I can state with confidence that, locally, we stand alone with such a commitment to professional standards and results. That’s an important distinction as traditional news media crumble and uneven alternative sources emerge from the rubble.

While Noozhawk will continue to expand in areas where we know we excel, we’re also looking to strengthen our overall news coverage so our readers can remain confident that they’re getting the freshest news around. By bringing Tom aboard, I can spend more of my time on the entrepreneurial side of the business so we can do even more.

As we look around Santa Barbara County, we see opportunity in every direction. We believe we have a New Media model that is best suited to take advantage of the circumstances of the times, and we’re excited to have the privilege to pursue it here.

Please join me in welcoming Tom, who can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Click here to read more about him and the rest of the Noozhawk team.

If you’d like to support us in our work, click here to join our Hawks Club or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for advertising and sponsorship information.

Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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» on 04.02.12 @ 10:33 AM

Congratulations to Bill and Tom.  What a great addition to Noozhawk.  Tom is an outstanding and highly respected editor with years of experience. One of the hallmarks of a good newspaper, print or digital, is the quality of its staff and editors. The inclusion of Tom as executive editor is a great step forward.

» on 04.02.12 @ 12:51 PM

Congratulations on grabbing one of the best editors on the Central Coast!  What a perfect fit, Bill and Tom together again!  In particular I want to congratulate Tom for finding a great opportunity in time and place.  There’s no way to avoid the march towards news delivered electronically, so I do believe Noozhawk is riding the wave of the future. 

I know Noozhawk will benefit from Tom’s vast knowledge, experience and integrity.  I look forward to reading it even more as the 2 of you and the rest of the staff will push the bar even higher than it already is.

Congratulations to all! 

Casey Bemis

» on 04.02.12 @ 02:55 PM

Great to hear. Welcome Tom. And here’s the expansion of Noozhawk!

» on 04.02.12 @ 04:32 PM

Congratulations on this fantastic news! The Tom-Michelle-Bill combo is a super high quality one that I hope brings you all success while you are bringing us fair, important, local news.

» on 04.02.12 @ 06:53 PM

Terrific news. Great hire.

Tom’s been a class journalist, forever. Should make a solid Noozhawk even better.

» on 04.03.12 @ 03:34 AM

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