“It’s not just how you do your job, it’s how you are the ‘face’ of the newspaper,” advertising director Craig Mittag said regarding the choice of sports editor Tyler Hetu as Creston News Advertiser’s employee of the year.
Department heads at the CNA lauded Hetu’s growth, dedication and public perception as reasons for honoring him as the 2019 employee of the year.
Hetu joined the CNA staff as a sports reporter in November of 2018, fresh out of college. He said he chose the CNA because he felt it was a place he could grow. A year later, after a stint with no sports editor due to the departure of Carter Eckl and then a brief period under an editor who resigned without warning, Hetu was named sports editor.
“He was instrumental in keeping sports afloat,” said managing editor Sarah Scull. “Choosing him to be sports editor should have been my first choice, but at the time he didn’t feel confident. But we always had faith in him.”
“He came a really long way in a short time since he drove through a snowstorm to get here,” said senior feature writer Larry Peterson.
Peterson has worked closely with Hetu over the past year and said this time has been “valuable to both of us.”
“I thought he really stepped up, improved a ton and ... showed an ability to organize the department with all the different papers we have — make sure things are covered and to just take charge of the situation really well,” Peterson said.
CNA publisher Rich Paulsen noted Hetu’s dedication to the paper over the last year.
“He just does a great job and gets out there and makes it happen,” Paulsen said. “He’s a pretty tireless worker. He’s got the spirit to make sports happen. He just has the attributes to be a great sports writer.”
Hetu is well-liked by the community he serves, Mittag said.
“The perception that he gives out in the community ... from everything that I’ve heard at sporting events and those kinds of things — he’s very cordial, gives a good name to the newspaper,” he explained.
Peterson also remarked on Hetu’s standing in the public.
“I think the entire community, the readership, respects what he’s doing,” Peterson said. “I hear comments that are favorable about what we’re doing in sports right now. Nothing speaks louder than our audience.