In the newspaper business, the clock and the calendar are as much part of the culture as are points and picas. They are essential tools for creating a product that has unlimited potential to inform, entertain and unite a diverse readership.
Not long ago, I marked a birthday that was three score and ten, AKA 70, and I reflected on what the clock and calendar had in store for me.
For decades, I have been making newspapers in almost every capacity possible. How long? Well, Ford was president when I started. It has been a privileged career of people, places and issues that make for great story telling.
The one thing I hadn’t done was own a newspaper and when the possibility of purchasing The Business Monthly came up in 2018, it felt so meant to be. I wanted to add to the newspaper’s legacy of success and contribute to our community by producing news that would inform and unite. There’s not enough of that in the media today.
Good things happened. Readership went up 40 percent, ad revenue more than doubled and the newspaper was recognized by its peers with an abundance of awards.
Working with a group of dedicated journalists – and the best designer ever – has been one of the greatest joys of serving as publisher. The editorial team is passionate about producing real journalism. That’s also something that there isn’t enough of in today’s media landscape.
I didn’t get everything done that I wanted. Surely, a pandemic that shut down businesses and altered them, probably forever, wasn’t part of the plan. But this newspaper’s growth and resilience proved that print has a bright future.
But that clock and calendar keeps moving and it’s time to pass the flag to a new leader. Jason Whong, an experienced media executive and Columbia resident, will do well. I will do my best to support him during the transition.
For me, I still own Advertising Media Plus, which has clients globally, nationally and locally. At this point in my life, one business is enough.
In my decades of newspapering, I have been asked to break a deadline and I am fond of saying that I am not in charge of the clock or the calendar. That goes for me, too.
So, as I leave The Business Monthly, thank you to all who have contributed to our success. Your encouragement has been more valuable than you will ever know.