Dupont takes the helm
A former Sun Coast Media Group editor is returning to lead the Venice Gondolier Sun editorial department.
The company announced this week Ronald Dupont, Jr., 46, is joining the Sun Coast Media Group as editor.
Bob Mudge will become a senior writer focused on important issues facing Venice and Sarasota County.
“Ron Dupont brings a strong newspaper background to our company. I am particularly pleased with his passion for local content and how he will pass that information to you, the reader,” said Timothy Smolarick, Gondolier Sun publisher. “Bob Mudge did a fantastic job leading the editorial staff and will continue to bring you relevant and hard-hitting news in his new role.”
Dupont said he’s excited to rejoin the SMCG family.
“I am a big believer newspapers make a big difference in their community,” Dupont said. “I am also a firm believer newspapers can have a profound impact on the community and service organizations that are trying to make a difference themselves. And we can have that impact by being an outlet, by getting their word out, whatever they are doing.”
“A newspaper should be a reflection of the community. I want somebody 50 years down the road to pick up the Gondolier Sun and say, ‘Ah, this is what that community was like.’
“To get that effect, you have to love the community, understand the community and embrace all aspects of it.”
Dupont lived for three years in Port Charlotte as the Charlotte Sun Herald’s website editor. He taught Internet classes that touched tens of thousands in the Venice area, including sessions at the Venice Community Center.
Dupont was first drawn to newspapers and news gathering in middle school. He was named the best high school journalist in the country, and ended up being the youngest student intern at both the Palm Beach Post and the New York Times.
After attending the University of Florida, Dupont joined the Sun as its Charlotte editor in 1995. A half-year later, he helped form the newspaper’s first website. That website would go on to be named the best in the country two years straight by Editor & Publisher and the Newspaper Association of America.
After leaving the Sun Coast Media Group in 1998, Dupont took over Internet operations at the St. Petersburg Times. Within two years, that newspaper’s website became the most visited media website in Florida.
By 2003, Dupont missed the joy and fulfillment of being a community newspaper editor and left the St. Petersburg Times to become editor of the High Springs Herald. Under his tenure, circulation dramatically increased, and the newspaper was named the best newspaper in its size class by the Florida Press Association six years straight.
“I am happy to be back at the company that helped form so many of the journalistic values I have today,” Dupont said. “I have thoroughly missed community journalism and look forward to embracing my roots once more.
“The Gondolier Sun has been a leader in community journalism for decades, and I am excited about what new and exciting directions we can take.”