MASSMAN: The final goodbye is always the toughest 

Bradley Massman

Bradley Massman

When a newsroom loses a reporter, it can be a devastating blow. The newsroom loses experience and insight said reporter brought to the table each day.

Two weeks ago, I received the notice that reporter Alicia Jaimes would be leaving the Pioneer and Lake County Star.

And, I couldn’t be happier for Alicia and her new journey. To start, I am always thrilled to see a fellow coworker move on in their career with whatever that may be.

Why? Because any time I’ve moved from one job to another, I was met with nothing but support.

Yes, I am bummed to see Alicia, a very talented journalist, leave but I know she will do great things in her future.

When I joined the Pioneer and Lake County Star last November, most of the interactions I had with Alicia involved food (typically frozen pizza brands), Disney movies and why cats and dogs are the greatest thing since sliced bread.

This was mainly because we weren’t in the same “department.”

Once I stepped into the editor role, I really got to see more of her work and watch her skills shine. I’ll be honest, about 90% of the time, I wished I was in her spot and reporting on some of the things she got to in and around Mecosta and Lake counties.

And her photography skills … wow!

Good reporters and photographers come and go, but what the newsroom loses with Alicia’s departure is irreplaceable — personality.

Alicia came to work each day, ready to go. She was well-liked by her peers and trusted by her sources (I have several emails of compliments to prove it).

She was as a tough as a nail and wouldn’t take “no” for an answer, but at the flip of a switch, could turn around a touching feature story that will leave you in tears.

With Alicia’s exit, we’ve made a few changes in our newsroom — all of which were highly embraced.

Different, but very familiar, faces will be at meetings and events throughout Mecosta and Lake counties.

I couldn’t be more confident in the reporters — consisting of Taylor Fussman, Catherine Sweeney and Cathie Crew — who are each stepping up and outside of the box to continue to provide you the local news you’re used to.

And don’t be surprised when you see sports reporter Joe Judd covering events outside of sports.

If and when you see one of us, all we ask is you say, “Hello.”

Bradley Massman is the editor of the Lake County Star. He can be reached at