New Chieftain editor settles in

........................................................................................................................................................................................

Readers of the newspaper may have noticed little improvements in the Chieftain over the past month, that is, ever since Colorado native Anthony Welch took over the reins as managing editor in early May.

El Defensor Chieftain: New Chieftain Managing Editor Anthony Welch, who moved from Colorado Springs, discusses story ideas with John Larson

He has spent a good part of his 15-plus years as a journalist in cities such as Denver and Colorado Springs, but Welch says he enjoyed working in smaller towns most.

Welch grew up in rural Johnstown, Colo., where he began writing articles for the local paper, The Johnstown Breeze, as a junior in high school. Following his journalism studies at Colorado State University at Pueblo, he covered small town news in Rocky Ford and Monument before landing a position with the Colorado Springs Gazette.

Later, he would land a job at the Rocky Mountain News in Denver.

“It was the oldest paper in Colorado, but in February of 2009 it ceased publication,” Welch said.

Most recently editor of the Pikes Peak Bulletin in Manitou Springs, Colo., Welch says the Chieftain was just what he was looking for.

“Besides the warmer weather, I’ve noticed people here in Socorro are much friendlier than they were back home,” Welch said. “I’m also thrilled to be back in a small town again after living in Colorado Springs. It’s great to walk to work and to have to drive five minutes on average to go anywhere.”

Welch’s future at the Chieftain looks good.

“I feel fortunate to be working for such a historical paper in the likes of the Chieftain,” he said. “It’s like being a part of history. I’m proud to be part of the second oldest newspaper in the state.”

He sees the Chieftain as the voice of the people of the Socorro County area.

“I like the big papers but prefer a little bit of everything,” he said. “Talking to people. Taking photos here and there. Try to give a little more coverage to what people are talking about.”

Although many big market newspapers have closed – he was a victim of one closure – he feels small towns will always have a need for a local paper.

“We always want newsprint in our hands, I think anyway. Reading the newspaper in a coffee shop or at the park instead of using an iPad.” Welch said. “A newspaper is something we can take and read anywhere.”

Away from the job, Welch spends time at home with his family, hits the golf course whenever possible and is a seasoned musician. He plays the drums, a passion of his since middle school.

“One of my childhood dreams was the be either a professional wrestler or be a drummer like Motley Crue’s Tommy Lee,” he said.

While Welch still plays the drums, his wrestling career was short-lived after he took an assignment to write about professional wrestling, as in the World Wrestling Entertainment kind.

“I went to professional wrestling school for a month of training,” he said. “In one of their monthly shows I got into the ring and was scripted to beat the bad guy. It’s choreographed, but the pain of getting slammed down on the mat is real.”

Nowadays, he prefers to play golf.

Find Welch on Facebook; search Anthony El Defensor Chieftain.