Jeff Light grew up in Buffalo, N.Y., where his father was editor of the local newspaper.
Over the last three decades, he has worked for newspapers and their Web sites. He has been an editor, a reporter, an intern, even a “hopper” – the person who throws the bundles of papers from the delivery trucks in the dead of night.
He believes that journalism is one of society’s greatest callings. That is to say, he feels it is one of the best things a person can do with his or her life.
Light holds a bachelor’s degree from Brown University, magna cum laude, and an MBA from the University of California, Irvine, where he graduated first in his class.
He started as a newspaper reporter in Syracuse, N.Y., in the early ‘80s. He was deputy editor, then vice president for interactive publishing at the Orange County Register, where he worked from 1993 to 2010.
As a newspaper journalist, he was a member of a Pulitzer-Prize winning staff in 1996, and led project teams that were Pulitzer finalists in both 2004 and 2005. In the interactive business, he led the growth of the Register’s news site, whose traffic doubled in just over two years, and helped to develop internet strategy for Freedom Communications.
He joined The San Diego Union-Tribune as editor and vice president in March 2010 as part of Platinum Equity’s turn-around team for California’s second-largest newspaper. He helped to reinvent the company, redesigning its print and digital products and refocusing the newsroom around a digital-first strategy while embracing the diversity, creativity and intelligence of the community.
He served as president and chief operating officer from January through May of 2015, when the company was sold to Tribune Publishing.
In March 2016 he was promoted to the dual role of publisher and editor in chief.