Change is an inevitable fact of life and, as has been reported ad nauseam, the journalism business has seen its fair share of transformation.

The Observer-Reporter and its niche publications are certainly not immune to any such trends in Southwestern Pennsylvania’s ever changing media landscape.

My name is John Santa, and along with my colleague Trista Thurston, we are pleased to be harbingers of some exciting changes as it relates to our work as co-editors of this – and hopefully many future issues – of South Hills Living magazine.

For the past six years, I have worked at the Observer-Reporter, as a copy editor/page designer before becoming assistant night editor, where I have had the opportunity to become fully immersed in the stories of Washington and Greene counties’ diverse citizenry. I am also editor of The Almanac, which, over the past several months, has kept me in step with the South Hills’ various communities.

Admittedly, that wasn’t too difficult. I live in Scott Township with my wife, a teacher at Peters Township’s Bower Hill Elementary School, and our 9-month-old son, Jack.

Jill and I are graduates of Bethel Park High School and lifelong Bethel Bakery and Pasta Too addicts.

Trista Thurston is an exceptional journalist. She began working at the Observer-Reporter as a reporter in the Greene County Bureau in 2017. She has since become the O-R’s Digital Operations Director and has masterfully led the newspaper’s efforts online.

There’s also another exciting aspect of Trista’s professional history, which she would likely be too modest to mention.

Too bad she’s not writing this column.

Trista Thurston is a Pulitzer Prize winner, having been part of a Cincinnati Enquirer team of journalists who documented the effects of the opioid epidemic in Ohio.

Along with Trista, I can assure you that we will work our hardest to maintain the high quality of the publication left to us by our predecessor, Katie Green.

Katie left big shoes to fill in her tenure as the O-R’s Editorial Director of Niche Publications. Trista and I will work diligently to maintain her legacy at the helm of this publication.

And that begins with this edition of South Hills Living.

Staff writer Harry Funk has an excellent cover story on Tony and Gene Steratore.

The Steratore name should be recognizable to many readers as longtime NFL officials who have worked Super Bowls. The brothers also officiate NCAA basketball games. Gene has gained more notoriety over the past year through his work as a rules analyst for CBS. Gene’s stunning accuracy with deciphering even the most convoluted rule or call made during a broadcast has been amazing to at least this crazed Steelers fan.

Turning away from sports, Staff writer Brad Hundt has an interesting story about the Pittsburgh Organ Theatre Society and its latest offering, which highlights the music of the moviegoing experience of yesteryear.

The story should have readers racing to Keystone Oaks High School’s auditorium to take in the organization’s musical extravaganza.

In addition to these stories, many of South Hills Living’s previous features remain intact so the magazine should remain very faithful to the quality journalism readers have become accustomed to enjoying.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Trista and I welcome any story ideas or comments about the magazine readers may have. We can be reached at 724-222-2200 or jsanta@observer-reporter.com and tthurston@observer-reporter.com.

Thank you very much for reading.

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