MALONE — Longtime Telegram editors John Gokey and EJ Conzola left some large shoes to fill when they both decided to retire in 2020.
Now, three young men are starting to show they are up to the challenge.
Evan Wheaton came first, joining the staff on Sept. 1 in Gokey’s slot as sports editor. Wheaton, a 2020 graduate of Springfield College in Springfield, Mass., walked into the craziness of the on-again, off-again pandemic-strained fall sports season.
“It’s been interesting being a sports editor in a world where sports are on and off,” Wheaton said. “It’s made my transition an interesting ride.”
Alex Violo joined the team in the first week of November coming from Maine, where he had worked for five years with the Lincoln County News in Newcastle.
“I was looking for the next thing,” he said about his move to the Malone Telegram. “I enjoyed what I did in Maine, but I was looking for a different challenge.”
Violo has been impressed by the amount of news a small town like Malone produces.
“I wasn’t sure what I would be doing every day,” he said. “But so far that has not been an issue.”
Violo, a graduate of Ithaca College doesn’t come to Malone a complete stranger. His grandmother lives in Morrisonville, near Plattsburgh, and he has vacationed on Chateaugay Lake and skied at Titus Mountain.
Vin Gallo came on board at the Telegram in the second week of November.
Gallo spent the last year working at the Manchester Journal Inquirer where he covered his hometown of South Windsor, Conn., as a general assignment reporter.
Gallo graduated from Springfield College in 2019 where he worked on the college newspaper, the Springfield Student, with the Telegram’s new sports editor.
It was his relationship with Wheaton that convinced him to move to Malone.
“It was reading Evan’s story on Jody Johnston,” he said. “He was able to be creative in his writing, and I had a difficult time balancing my creativity with what my (old) paper wanted.”
He is adjusting to Malone.
“It’s a lot different from home,” he said. “This is my first time living in a rural community.”
All three are eager to respond to tips from the community. The best way to reach them is through email.