Media Moment | Meet Don Seiffert

We read their words, hear their voices and see their faces. But how well do we know the people who connect us to the world?

As part of Castle’s biweekly Media Moment, Sheila Green, our vice president of media and community relations (otherwise known as our human rolodex), gets the scoop on the men and women responsible for keeping us up to date on current events.

Who are they? What makes them tick? What do they do when not behind the keyboard or on the air?

Meet Don Seiffert

This week I sat down with Don Seiffert, managing editor for the Boston Business Journal (BBJ), the premier publication in New England focused solely on telling the stories of business and industry in Boston for over 30 years. Don was named managing Editor of the BBJ in September 2016.

Sheila: You were recently made Managing Editor for the BBJ. How is it going?

Don: I’m having a good time branching out to other areas beyond the life sciences, which had been my beat for the past four years (since 2012). I loved covering local biotech’s and the like, but it’s a very specialized beat so I like writing about things my friends and family can understand for once. I also enjoy getting back to being an editor and manager like I was for years at both the Newton TAB and the Brockton Enterprise before this. I work with a lot of very good, smart journalists and I like to help make their writing shine.

Sheila: As Managing Editor for the BBJ, what types of stories are you looking for every day?

Don: Anything that affects the lives of business owners and managers in the Greater Boston area is fair game. Our central mission is business-to-business stories, rather than consumer or general government policy kinds of articles. But clearly there’s a lot of overlap, so it’s a case-by-case decision. We also try and choose stories that other big competitors don’t have — we’re not interested in following other local news outlets, but prefer to do our own research and putting our own take on stories.

Sheila: With so much growth in Boston it is an exciting time to be covering business.  How does 2017 look for the Boston business community?

Don: It’s really hard to tell. Clearly a lot of businesses are encouraged by the possibility that President Trump may roll back regulations, oppose minimum wage and take other pro-business stances. But whether that’s going to outweigh all the uncertainty, the random tweets, and the apparent fundamental misunderstandings the administration has of technology and biotech industries is yet to be seen. Businesses like certainty above all else. It doesn’t seem like we’re in for much of that this year.

Sheila: Do you have a memorable interview that you would like to share?

Don: As a beat writer I would often book phone interviews in advance, and always aimed to say yes to a time even if I knew I’d be at home, in transit or elsewhere. I’ve had to interview the president of Sanofi Genzyme with my then 6-month-old daughter in my lap, talked to various people while riding the commuter rail in and out of tunnels, and once pulled over on Route 128 to talk to the CEO of Sarepta Therapeutics with my 12-year-old son in the passenger seat, only to have a state highway worker pull up behind me in the middle of the interview and knock on my window to make sure everything was OK.

Sheila: Tell us a little about yourself (family, interests, favorites, background, etc.)

Don: I grew up in Schenectady, N.Y., and moved to Boston to attend Boston University. Other than 2 years, 3 months and twenty one days that I lived in the San Francisco area, I’ve been in the Boston area since the late 1980s. I have a 13-year-old son and a 3-year-old daughter and am engaged to be married this November. One of my favorite journalists is Cecil Adams, author of the syndicated question-and-answer column “The Straight Dope.” One of my favorite movies is Martin Scorsese’s 1985 mock-epic comedy “After Hours,” even though the plot now makes very little sense since we have ATMs and cell phones.

Sheila: Finish this sentence: People would be surprised to know that I…

Don: Spent a summer during college working as a garbage man at the Niskayuna Highway Department; was a gymnast and a pole vaulter in high school; can make a chicken out of an ordinary hand towel; and once recorded a YouTube video of myself playing Stairway to Heaven while singing in the voice of Kermit the Frog.

Be sure to follow breaking business news on the BBJ website as it happens.  And follow Don on Twitter.

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