Chugiak women selected to lead weekly newspaper in Skagway

Saturday, January 18, 2020 - 13:27
  • Melinda Munson, left, and Gretchen Wehmhoff will take over as co-owners and co-editors of the Skagway News, the paper announced on Jan. 17. The two Chugiak women will take over the paper in March. (Gretchen Wehmhoff photo)

A pair of Chugiak women are taking over a weekly newspaper in Southeast Alaska that gained national press after its owner offered to give it away.

Melinda Munson and Gretchen Wehmhoff will take over as co-owners and co-editors of the Skagway News in early March, according to a story posted to the paper’s website.

Munson and Wehmhoff previously worked together as contributors to the ECHO News as well as their own online magazine, Alaska Family Fun. Munson plans to move her family to Skagway, while Wehmhoff will stay in the town through March and return for the summer after her teaching job ends, according to the paper.

Munson moved to Alaska in 2016 with husband and their seven children. Wehmhoff is a longtime Chugiak resident and former jounalism teacher at Chugiak High. She’s active in local politics and has been a frequent candidate for state and local offices; last year she served briefly as a replacement on the Anchorage Assembly after Amy Demboski stepped down to take a job in the Gov. Dunleavy administration.

The Skagway News attracted some national notoriety last year after publisher Larry Persily announced he wanted to turn the paper over to someone who would cover small-town news.

“It is small town life,” he told the Associated Press. “Don’t think this is going to be your step to investigative prominence reporting.”

To read more, visit the Skagway News.

CORRECTION: A previous verison of this story misspelled Persily’s last name.

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