The Fearey Group recently had the pleasure of welcoming Sara Dellinger to our office for lunch and a chat with the team.
Sara is the advertising director at Seattle Weekly, one of Seattle’s two alternative weekly newspapers. She became a regional account manager at Sound Publishing, which owns the Weekly, in September 2015 and added advertising director at Seattle Weekly to her role last month.
Like many who live and work in Seattle, Sara is a recent transplant from out of state. Originally from Los Angeles, she graduated from Pepperdine University with a degree in political science, then spent ten years working as an event planner for Disneyland and The Walt Disney Company, followed by five years as director of advertising sales at the Los Angeles Times.
In 2014, she and her husband, Jeff Dellinger, decided they needed a major life change. It was time to move out of LA—or as Sara explains it, to leave the “Hollywood vibe” for a place “where people are authentic, and there is more water and amazing things that you no longer find in Los Angeles.” Sara and Jeff both quit their jobs at the LA Times, packed up their dog, Sherlock, and came north – even before they found employment. They now own a house in Issaquah and Jeff works in marketing for Kindle digital comics and graphic novels at Amazon. Her parents recently moved from Southern California to Bonney Lake, too… and Sara says they’re all loving life in Washington!
Coming from a major daily like the Los Angeles Times, Sara said she is enjoying the transition to a community newspaper organization, Sound Publishing, which owns Seattle Weekly and 48 other community papers around Washington, from the Everett Daily Herald to the King County Reporter papers, and even publications as far west as Forks Forum and east as Okanagan Valley Gazette-Tribune. These papers focus their coverage on their communities, Sara noted, and have achieved deep market penetration as a result. The Kirkland Reporter, for example, reaches 71% of Kirkland residents—far higher than the regional daily paper.
At Seattle Weekly, Sara has been working to build the paper’s brand. Drawing on her background as an events planner, Sara sees the paper as a tremendous platform for events. A case in point is Voracious, the Weekly’s annual food tasting and awards event. This year, the paper is shifting Voracious from April to October as well as changing the venue (stay tuned for more details). The paper has also partnered with Eat Seattle to launch a monthly event series called “The Road to Voracious,” which combines a chef-led tour of Pike Place Market and a cooking class in the Market’s Atrium Kitchen. The April event featured Wayne Johnson, executive chef at Fare Start Restaurant. In May, local chef Bella Sangar will be cooking farm-to-table Indian cuisine.
One last thing you should know about Sara is that she is a total foodie. Although relatively new to Seattle, she’s got the inside scoop on where to go for great food, like Crispy Rice and Spicy Tuna—a dish hugely popular in LA but still tough to find around here. (Hint: go to Redmond.)
Sara also loves to nibble her way around Seattle Weekly’s neck of the woods, which is Pioneer Square. You can find her frequenting Zeitgest Coffee, The London Plane, Il Corvo, Tsukushinbo… or hunting for sweet treats at Intrigue Chocolate.