WATSONVILLE — Jeanie Johnson, a former longtime Register-Pajaronian employee, has returned to the newspaper as its publisher.
She replaces John Bartlett, who has decided to leave the R-P’s parent company News Media Corporation after more than 20 years.
“I’m sad to see John Bartlett go as he did a lot for the R-P and the community,” Johnson said. “I have some big shoes to fill, but I’m up for the challenge and really excited to be reconnecting with the Watsonville community.”
Johnson has been in the newspaper industry since 1987, working for publications such as the Monterey County Herald, alternative papers in Marin County, Sacramento and elsewhere, and for the California Newspaper Publishers Association.
She previously worked as classified advertising manager for the Register-Pajaronian in 1995 and returned in 2005.
Over the years, Johnson served as advertising sales manager, and was later promoted to advertising director.
She left the Register-Pajaronian in 2013 and worked at the Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce as marketing and membership director until late 2015, when she returned to News Media Corporation to work at the R-P’s sister paper, Paso Robles Press.
Johnson was promoted to general manager of South County Newspapers, a group that publishes four newspapers in the Salinas Valley, in March 2016. She will continue to oversee operations of the South County papers, as well as the R-P.
“Returning to Watsonville and the R-P has always been a goal and now it feels like coming home,” she said. “I’m looking forward to working again with the talented staff of the R-P and maintaining the high standards that have been put in place.”
Bartlett added that he and his wife, Amy, have decided it’s time to pursue new adventures together, but they have found it “very difficult to leave a community that has welcomed us with such love.”
“Most importantly, we will miss the local newspaper families and the many talented individuals who work so hard and do an important job for the community,” he said.