He lacks an air of pretension, which is refreshing for someone of his accomplishments -- a man who has worked in journalism for more than 25 years. A silent confidence is hidden there, and, on closer examination, a sense of understanding and a knack for adaptation.
John Naughton took his place as publisher of the Payson Roundup April 9. This is his first publishing job.
Most recently, Naughton worked for seven years as director of sales and marketing at the Hillsboro Argus newspaper in Hillsboro, Ore.
"Community newspapers (are) perhaps the salvation of our industry," he said. "You can really make a difference in our community and you can really find out what's going on in your community at a place like the Roundup."
He added, "People here truly believe in their community. My No. 1 goal is to provide the (Rim Country) with news and information that isn't available from the big boys."
Naughton, who was born and raised in Phoenix, said he vividly remembers vacationing in the Rim Country in the summertime as a child.
"I remember, as a little boy, exploring Christopher Creek and chasing the elusive trout," he said.
He and his wife, Patti, wanted to return to Arizona to be near their four children and five grandchildren.
Naughton wanted to be near the Valley, but not part of it, as he had been for so long in his past, both while growing up and during his 13 years as the national sales director for The Arizona Republic at the beginning of his career.
"I grew up in the Valley and it's not the same place by any stretch of the imagination," he said. "And, it's so dang hot there."
When he heard about the publisher position left vacant after the departure of Richard Haddad, he jumped at the opportunity to move to Payson.
"It's nice to join an organization that serves the community very well," he said. "That's a real positive in making my job easier."
Since 1992, he called the Pacific Northwest his home, working for various newspapers in different communities.
He said he'll always have fond memories of his time in the Pacific Northwest, but he is looking forward to the challenges ahead of him in the Rim Country.
"I'd be very happy to finish my career as publisher of the Roundup," he said.
He added, "Benefits can be derived from living in a small town. You make a difference, rather than being just another number."
Naughton came to Payson hoping to contribute to something he already considers to be one of his biggest accomplishments in life.
"Having married my childhood sweetheart, Patti, four very successful children and five beautiful grandchildren, followed up closely by becoming publisher of the Roundup, those are my biggest successes in life," he said.