O’Day takes over Silent Sports, bids farewell to Foto News
Long-time Foto News Sports Editor Kelly O’Day is moving on to new horizons in journalism as he takes the helm of Silent Sports Magazine, in addition to his duties as editor of Packerland Titletown USA. While he welcomes the challenges ahead, the move is bittersweet as he relinquishes his role in Lincoln County sports.
“What I’ll miss most about doing Foto News sports is watching the try-hard, good-attitude, never-say-die kids,” O’Day said. “Whether they become state champions with Division 1 scholarships in front of them, or are just solid role players on their teams, they are the ones I really respect. Many of these people are friends of mine long after they graduate from MHS.
“When I coach soccer, I’ll draft that type of kid over kids with more talent but without the exceptional attitude. I know by the end of the season, a team full of good listeners with great attitudes will be able to accomplish much more than talented kids that aren’t as invested in improving.
“I will also miss the dedicated coaches who made time for me to get the story out about their teams, even though they are full-time teachers or workers who put in nearly another full-time shift coaching up their teams. Sometimes they don’t get enough credit for all they do for our kids.”
The son of Foto News founder Jim O’Day, Kelly grew up in the newspaper business. He has been handling Merrill and Tomahawk sports coverage for decades.
Overseeing Silent Sports is a perfect fit for Kelly, allowing him to express his knowledge and passion for outdoor activities.
“Silent Sports is an excellent opportunity for me because I get to combine my experience in editing and organizing while working with stories on three of the mag’s core sports I love myself — cross country skiing, biking and kayaking,” he said. “The magazine has a talented group of contributors that add running, snowshoeing and other outdoor endurance sports, as well as nutrition and sport-specific exercise, to that mix.
“We plan to expand its online content as I become more comfortable with the daily workings of the print edition.”
An avid Green Bay Packers fan, O’Day is equally excited about his work with Packerland Titletown USA, a fan magazine for the land of Green and Gold.
“I have a strong support staff of colleagues and bosses in Merrill, Rhinelander and Waupaca to help me accomplish the demands of the job,” he said. “They are critical since I will remain the editor of Packerland Titletown USA. It’s a big bite to tear off, but both magazines squarely hit personal interests, so I’m energized by the challenge rather than daunted.”
To catch up with Kelly on the trails or on the sidelines, you can subscribe to Silent Sports or Packerland Titletown USA by calling 1-888-706-4045.
As Kelly exits, the Foto News welcomes reporter Nick Beversdorf, a Merrill native and recent graduate of UW-Whitewater. In addition to a Bachelor’s Degree in English, Nick brings experience covering the Merrill community. During his years at Merrill High School, Nick managed event coverage for Merrill Productions.