No one had a bigger impact on the evolution of entertainment writing in Las Vegas than Frank Fertado, the Review-Journal’s longtime features editor.
As reported by the Review-Journal’s Mike Weatherford, Mr. Fertado died Saturday at age 65 following complications from a pulmonary embolism. Mr. Fertado left the newspaper two years ago when his position was eliminated, but the influence of his 31 years at the Review-Journal will last well into the future.
Over his three-plus decades with the newspaper, Mr. Fertado beefed up the Review-Journal’s entertainment coverage, assembling a team of exceptionally talented writers, many of whom are still here and who continue to pile up awards for their work. He also oversaw the creation of entirely new sections in response to a growing and changing Las Vegas. Mr. Weatherford noted that the Taste section, which covered restaurants and dining trends, acknowledged the city’s transformation into a fine-dining destination. In 1997, the broadsheet entertainment section Weekend was reintroduced as Neon, which today retains its pullout magazine format.
Mr. Fertado’s lasting legacy is the Best of Las Vegas. What began as a single-page reader poll in 1982 is now a staple of the Las Vegas Valley, an annual section with more than 200 categories in dining, shopping and entertainment. The guide has go-to material for readers, and businesses and big names covet consideration and tout being named the Best of Las Vegas.
Mr. Fertado dedicated most of his adult life to providing interesting and fun content for Review-Journal readers. His ink-stained fingerprints are all over this newspaper.
His death closely follows that of Charlie Waters, who passed away Oct. 8 at age 66. Mr. Waters spent the last few years of a distinguished journalism career mentoring Review-Journal reporters. Review-Journal editors and staff greatly benefited from the wisdom of both men.
Mr. Fertado was a newspaperman’s newspaperman, who could be both gruff and supportive, critical and complimentary. He’ll be dearly missed.