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Bulletin publisher excited by possibilities

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Posted: Wednesday, July 31, 2019 12:00 pm

A publisher is the most important position at a newspaper, but the Bandera Bulletin has operated without one for about a year after its prior publisher, who led papers in Bandera and Boerne, left for another job.

That all changed earlier this month when decorated U.S. Navy and U.S. Army veteran and internationally recognized horse trainer Jon Deeley agreed to become the Bulletin’s publisher.

 With just more than a week on the job, Deeley said on Monday, July 29, that he was excited about his new opportunities and believed his work with the Bulletin “is what I was meant to do.”

“I’m convinced it’s the right place and the right time,” said Deeley.

He comes to the Bulletin after serving for eight years as the stable master for The Old Guard’s Caisson Platoon with the U.S. Army, putting him in command of the elite unit responsible for handling the horses and equipment that take part in funeral processions for fallen soldiers and our nation’s leaders.

Deeley worked for 20 years as the director of training at the Equestrian Training Center in Falls City southeast of San Antonio where he developed a “skill-based” training system for horses.  He also founded Project Mustang Inc. focused on bringing professional horsemen, government agencies and business leaders together to address the needs of the nation’s mustang herds.

He has held more typical commercial jobs, including stints early this century as the creative director for Clear Channel Communications and as multimedia director for an advertising agency in San Antonio.

But no matter what his official job was, Deeley said he always was “involved with horses on the side.”

He graduates from Texas Christian University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism but joined the Navy immediately after graduation where he learned to pilot an F-14 fighter jet and became part of the VF-31 Tomcatters Strike Fighter Squadron.

He was deployed in the Bosnian Crisis in the 1990s.

After that, he put his journalistic training to use first as the editor of the Port Isabel News and then as the founder of a weekly tabloid serving South Padre Island and the Rio Grande Valley called The Coastal Current.

He called that a humbling experience that required him to become proficient in all aspects of running a community newspaper - from selling the ads to writing the stories and keeping the books.

“I learned from the bottom up.  I did everything,” Deeley said.

The newspaper became a success, and eventually it was acquired by the Freedom Newspaper Group.

With plans to remarry in May, Deeley said he recently began the hunt for a more stable job, a job where he was “not being shot at.”  That led to discussions with the owners of the Bulletin and his decision to take the publisher’s position.

He said he loves Bandera, the beauty and the character of the town, and that his fiancé is excited about living in a place she spent time in as a youth.

“It just feels right,” he said.

As publisher, Deeley will be responsible for the overall success of the paper, which includes its ability to address the needs of the community and its profitability.

“My job is to grow the newspaper,” Deeley said.

He said he has a plan for accomplishing that.

It will focus on building the newspaper’s support in the community by among other things opening a page of the paper for high school journalists to use, to make money from and learn from.  He also plans to publish quarterly visitors guides with more detailed information about tourist attractions and visitor activities.

Bandera is home to two communities – one a hometown community where people work hard and enjoy their families and another one focused on the tourism sector.

Deeley said the Bulletin is “the vehicle to serve both of those communities,” and he is intent on improving the way the newspaper does that.

Stop by and say hello to the new publisher at the Bulletin’s office at 606 Highway 16 South in Bandera.  Plans also are being developed for a reception put on by the newspaper to make it easier for area residents and others interested in Bandera to meet Deeley.

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1 comment:

  • Carter posted at 3:10 pm on Thu, Aug 1, 2019.

    Carter Posts: 1

    Sounds like a good choice.

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