“I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.” – Robert Frost, “The Road Not Taken*”
In 2015, Must Read Alaska was launched to provide conservatives a voice in a media landscape that had been taken over by leftist operatives.
Publisher and founder Suzanne Downing, who moved to Alaska in 1969 as a teenager, has been at the helm for the past eight years, growing it and maintaining a big-tent platform to offer the “other side of the story,” and an unapologetic space for Alaskans to balance out the mainstream media’s narratives and its left-leaning spin.
Continued growth and durability are important, and Must Read Alaska is now well positioned to expand its reach under a new management structure: Alaska Gold Communications is the owner, led by businessman Jon Faulkner of Homer, Alaska. The company has a board of directors, and Suzanne Downing has a seat on that board and will run the day-to-day content operations for the foreseeable future to ensure a smooth transition.
“Those who know me understand that I’ve always been mission-driven and dedicated to small government, pro-business, pro-family, and pro-freedom,” Downing said. “But it’s time to make sure this project is built to last, and Jon Faulkner is completely aligned with the mission. Alaska is very fortunate to have him agree to take it on and grow it to the next level.”
Faulkner was born and raised in Alaska, and has lived in Homer for most of his life. He graduated from Harvard cum laude and a dual BA degree in American History & Literature, writing his honors thesis on ANSCA and the impact of for-profit corporations on Alaska Natives. He returned to Alaska to start a family and business. He is the president of Land’s End Resort in Homer, and Home Port , a residential waterfront development at the mouth of Kenai River. Faulkner also worked in Prudhoe Bay, been a religious education teacher, a coach, is married, and is the father of five children.
“I’m incredibly pleased that I can report to the people who have supported Must Read Alaska all these years that you have created something that is here to stay. I have always felt the duty to Must Read Alaska supporters and underwriters to set this enterprise up for future generations of Alaskans,” Downing said. “And you can count on me to be a big part of it going forward, as we take it to the next level.”
On a personal note, Downing said, “My mother is now 94, and the runway is getting short for her. I am going to be spending more time in coming months at her side, ensuring that she taxies safely to the gates, and so now is the time to make this transition. Family comes first.”
Although some things will naturally change over time — and some new, exciting features are planned for Must Read Alaska — the core mission will remain — to provide a strong media alternative for Alaskans far into the future.
“Thank you to everyone who has been a part of making Must Read Alaska rock solid for Alaska. Thank you to everyone who has had my back these many years. I cannot begin to express my appreciation for every single Alaskan who invests in MRAK, and hope you’ll continue to support this project as we take it into the future,” Downing said. “Help us make this transition. It’s well worth the time and investment to keep it going.”
*The Road Not Taken
By Robert Frost
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.