Olwen and Nigel Logan, 56 and 57 respectively, make a concerted effort to keep work life and personal life separate. They own Shoreline Web News LLC, and operate three websites: Lyme Line, Old Saybrook Now, and Valley News Now. They split up the sites; Olwen is in charge of Lyme Line, and Nigel runs the Old Saybrook site and Valley News Now. Drawing a clear line between work and home life is a priority for them, especially since they have four kids, ages 16 to 24. “It’s important to turn it off,” Olwen says. “Now we’re working. And now we’re not. The kids don’t want to just hear about this all the time.” They each have their own offices and do almost all of their work communication through e-mail, even when they are in the house at the same time. “There’s a discipline that comes out of communicating by e-mail. It avoids miscommunication and sets a more businesslike framework,” Nigel says. “You can’t say, ‘Can we sit down and work out a marketing plan, and by the way, don’t forget to take the trash cans out and pick up George from soccer.’ You can’t mix up normal household conversation with work things—at least we can’t.”

Still, Laurie and Joel Kramer, both 63, who together run MinnPost, serving Minneapolis and St. Paul, often find themselves mixing business with the rest of life. Laurie had worked in nonprofits most of her career; combining Laurie’s nonprofit knowledge with Joel’s knowledge of journalism and publishing, they created their nonprofit in 2007. This blend of talents has enabled them to think big: MinnPost has never had a budget under a million dollars. The pair, who met at their high school newspaper in Queens, NY, lead a newsroom with a full-time staff of 17 and about a dozen writers on contract. Stock proceeds from the sale of the Star Tribune to McClatchy more than a decade ago have allowed them to work without a salary—at least for now.

Five years in, though, the work remains intense. About the only time they take off is to visit their three grown sons and four granddaughters. Even then, they say, “as soon as we open our mouths it’s something about the MinnPost,” Laurie says.

“It’s on our minds!” Joel exclaims, as they both start laughing.

 

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Alysia Santo is a former assistant editor at CJR.