Katie Blasl has been named co-publisher of RiverheadLOCAL and its associated websites.
Blasl, 25, is the daughter of the publication’s founders, Denise Civiletti and Peter Blasl. Working full-time for RiverheadLOCAL since graduating from Stony Brook University in 2014, where she studied English and journalism, Blasl has been involved in all aspects of the web publications.
She has been a driving force in the business from the beginning, Civiletti said. Her skills as a reporter have been recognized with awards from the Press Club of Long Island, which also named her the 2016 James Murphy Cub Reporter of the Year. She is also a web developer and is responsible for the design and development of the company’s websites.
“Katie brings so many innate skill-sets to the table,” Civiletti said. “It’s time to involve the next generation of leadership in our family business, a generation capable of taking it to the next level in ways we can’t even imagine.”
RiverheadLOCAL celebrates its eighth birthday this month. Since its beginning in January 2010, it has grown into a regional digital news outlet that draws more than 2.5 million visits from more than 850,000 visitors each year.
In December, the company launched a Spanish-language version of the website, aimed at reaching the community’s growing Latino population.
Civiletti, 60, will continue as editor and publisher of the community news websites. Peter Blasl, company president, will continue in his role overseeing advertising sales — and covering breaking news.
“We’re a small company with a staff of only 10, so by definition we all wear many hats,” Civiletti said. “I expect Katie will continue to contribute her talents as a reporter and editor even as she works with me to oversee business operations.”
Katie Blasl, a Riverhead native, grew up in local news, with her parents both working in the business most of her life.
“I guess you could say it’s in my blood,” she said. “I’ve always known this was my calling. For me, there is nothing more rewarding than working to make a difference in your own community.”