Recent guest speakers tackle new challenges

In a testament to the always-evolving communications landscape, two of The Communicators Club’s recent guest speakers have left their positions – and Massachusetts – to pursue new adventures.

Monica Sager (shown above during her virtual presentation) visited us 10 months ago as a representative of Town Square Central Massachusetts in a program titled, “Hyperlocal news sites offer audience a voice.” Working as a reporter for the media startup, the Clark University graduate detailed her employer’s quixotic calling in tandem with Town Square Editor Ken Brown.

“Town Square is a different kind of news site,” its website announced. “Our mission is to tell the stories of what’s good in a community, to focus locally, and to bring people together around a common set of experiences and positive stories.”

Worcester-area Patch staff writer Neal McNamara also took part in the virtual panel.

Unfortunately, Town Square was a quick casualty of this era’s brutal media culling. Although its site still exists, the final post in January laments its inability “to develop a sustainable business model to support this great work.”


‘I’m in Chicago for six months and then D.C. for six, where I’ll be published in the Washington Post with an investigation I (conducted) with the rest of my team.’

MONICA SAGER

We reached out to Monica for a personal update. To say she’s thriving in a demanding career path is an understatement.

“I am now a graduate student at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in the investigative lab. Only three people were actually accepted to my specific program,” she said in an email exchange. “I’m in Chicago for six months and then D.C. for six, where I’ll be published in the Washington Post with an investigation I (conducted) with the rest of my team.

“I plan to return to Boston then, once my program is complete. I am still freelancing and continuing to get published,” she added.

The other departure that’s come to our attention occurred at roughly the same time: Audio Journal Executive Director Mary Frandsen left her post as the new year dawned. Mary’s in-person TCC presentation in February 2020 was so well-received that some of the event’s attendees signed on as Audio Journal broadcasters for the blind.

Mary has taken her talents back to her alma mater’s hometown of State College, Penn., where she serves as Grants Manager for the Centre County Youth Services Bureau.

Her Audio Journal successor, Harry Duchesne, has quite a story to tell – he landed the position after his daughter, who works in the same building that houses Audio Journal, overheard a hallway chat about the Executive Director vacancy and suggested her dad might be a good fit.

It’s a reminder that networking comes in many forms. We wish ongoing success for Monica, Mary and Harry.