Several joyous events are coming together for us at Times Beacon Record Newspapers. One is the 39th anniversary of the founding of our media group, which began with the first issue of The Village Times on April 8, 1976. While we had little doubt that we would be successful, such being the perception of total ignorance, we look back at the intervening years with astonishment and humility. We are astonished by all that has transpired in the communications industry during that time, from the advent of typesetting and desktop computers to the soon-to-be released Dick Tracy watch from Apple. And we are deeply grateful for our endurance, the result of a selfless and totally committed staff and a trusting and supportive readership and advertising base. We are incredibly appreciative that we have with us staff who have been with the company for so many of those years, and subscribers and advertisers who still think we are worth the cost. And we highly value those who have joined us most recently, for they keep us on the cutting edge.
In creating The Village Times, in effect we created a microscopic world within our office in which talented staffers worked as a team to publish a hometown newspaper each week. Everyone learned to fill almost every position because we never knew who would be called away without finishing the allotted work. Why would that happen? Because we were mainly a group of mothers with young children, and I can say in all truthfulness that we invented the concept of job sharing.
As a result of so much teamwork, we tightly bonded then, even as we have continued the tradition of helping each other every day. Those bonds are much in evidence whenever former staffers, now highly successful perhaps in larger communications corporations, stop by to say “hello” and catch up on the latest. For we know of each others’ families, challenges and successes over the years and we delight in staying in touch.
As we built and grew newspapers, we also worked diligently to build and grow community. That is, after all, the consequence of a community newspaper that exists to share the problems and triumphs of the latest news, The net effect is to encourage bonding among residents for the common good and for pride of place. Where there is a strong sense of community, everyone benefits, from school districts and local governments to commercial, cultural and athletic efforts.
This weekend, we will celebrate the 39th annual party honoring the men and woman of the year as selected in our last issue of this past year. By appreciating their work in going the extra mile and enhancing our lives with their accomplishments, we are also strengthening our pride in community and encouraging communications among all segments of our hometown. When we get all those leaders into one room at one time socializing together, we like to think we are cross-pollinating for future cooperation and success. We will run some photos from the event in next week’s papers so that everyone can feel pleased with where and among whom we live.
Besides all that fun stuff, we are bringing out our latest publication, a beautiful magazine: LIFESTYLE. It will be inserted in all our newspapers each month, and we hope it will offer a breath of fresh air alongside some of our more somber news articles. In LIFESTYLE, we will examine activities and issues that animate our region and some that we might hope to enjoy. LIFESTYLE is intended to upgrade and augment our regular supplements, like Focus on Health, Our House, SummerTimes and HarvestTimes, and we will develop ideas and go farther afield in geography in its pages.
And finally, I will share with you our excitement over our revamped and upgraded website. With our new platform, we will be able to bring more news, more photos, more features, more voices and more interactivity to our communities. The official rollout is next week but, like the news itself, it will be an ongoing work in progress.
We create these new products and events to further your pleasure and the value you feel in our media company. But we cannot succeed in any of these efforts without your support and input. We will be delighted, as always, to hear from you. Happy Spring!