If Louis Amestoy could have dinner with anyone from the past or present, dead or alive, it would be his great grandfather.
“I’m really curious about him,” said Amestoy, who is moving to the Hill Country from Colorado. “(My great grandfather) moved to San Antonio from Mexico at some point, and I just don’t know the story why. That’s one of things that I would love to know — how did (he) wind up here?”
Amestoy, a veteran journalist and editor who describes himself as insatiably curious, starts today as the new managing editor of The Kerrville Daily Times.
Amestoy has spent much time in California and Colorado working as a reporter, editor or publisher for 10 different papers, both large and small.
He leaves behind his position as director of content at the Greeley Tribune, a four-day-a-week newspaper in Greeley, Colorado.
“I’ve really enjoyed everything that I’ve done,” Amestoy said. “I (like) actually working with reporters to help them develop their stories. That is a critical component of who I am and what I do.”
Publisher Carlina Villalpando said what attracted her about Amestoy was his commitment to community journalism and coaching and developing a team.
“We are very fortunate to be getting a journalist of Louis’ experience. He’s not only immensely talented, but Louis cares about serving the community through quality, impactful journalism and by teaching and developing others. I am excited about the growth and improvement ahead for our newsroom under Louis’ leadership.”
Amestoy’s career in journalism started when he started working for his Californian hometown newspaper at the age of 17. He took one introductory news writing class in college, but was soon so swept away with it that he left school and became a full-time reporter.
“I grew up in it and I don’t know any other kind of life,” Amestoy said. “That’s how it’s been.”
He said he decided to come to Kerrville because it looks like a great opportunity to work for a small daily newspaper. The growing economy is also a big draw because it seems like it will make for some interesting stories.
“All small-town editors play a critical role with the community to facilitate a conversation and to be a trusted person for people to come and talk to and to listen to,” Amestoy said. “I take great pride in that; people will come to me wherever I’ve been and they will see somebody they can talk to, they can trust. Know also that we have the community’s back, we’ve got the community’s best interest in mind.”
Amestoy brings with him his wife, Cherie Amestoy. He has countless cousins in Texas and a daughter who attends Baylor University. His son is in the Navy, stationed in Virginia with his two kids.
Playing with his grandkids is one of Amestoy’s favorite things to do in his free time, along with photography and going to baseball games.
The KDT also welcomes new reporter Timothy Hernandez, a graduate of Texas A&M - San Antonio. Hernandez, an Army veteran, spent more than 20 years in accounting before returning to school to obtain a degree in communications and journalism.
Hernandez said he feels “journalists should strive to connect with the community they cover and to provide the community with the information needed to make decisions.”
Hernandez started with The Times on Thursday.