|March 18, 2010||Reach Out and Touch Someone||no comments|
|March 09, 2010||A Pressing Matter||no comments|
|March 05, 2010||Just For Fun||no comments|
|March 02, 2010||Integrity and News||1 comments|
|February 25, 2010||Good Times||no comments|
|February 23, 2010||My Favorites||no comments|
|February 19, 2010||Web Statistics||no comments|
|February 17, 2010||Your Feedback||no comments|
|February 15, 2010||Brrr...||no comments|
|February 12, 2010||no comments|
Debbie Gross might know it. So might Dee Dee Yates. And Ron Morey. And Lona Vinson. And Nancy Doss. And a host of others.
It is simple. The ability to contact the top guy at the paper.
You see, many years ago, I was the city editor at a fairly large daily newspaper. There I was, in charge of local stories, the front page, and the metro section for this paper that served tens of thousands of people every day. And the layers between the readers and myself were multiple and thick. It was incredible and I thought it was stupid, to be frank.
Since I first became a newspaper publisher in 2002, I have made it my number one priority above all other things, to be accessible to readers and non-readers. My office phone number (615-666-2440), my cell phone number (615-670-6989) and my e-mail address (firstname.lastname@example.org) are published in print and online every single week.
I have a strict open-door policy and anyone needing or wanting to see me gets to do just that - no blowing people off. I've been doing that for years. Heck, before cell phones were affordable and popular, I was publishing my home phone number weekly. And believe me, my girlfriend knows that the darned Blackberry is attached to me pretty much 24/7, giving new meaning to the slang term "crackberry."
Here's the thing. I believe the publisher should be accessible and accountable to the people he serves, and for that reason, I make sure I'm fairly easy to contact.
There may be times when I refer you to another employee. Why? Simply because they are better equipped to provide you with the answers you need. But I can guarantee you I can get you to the right person and get your problem resolved.
But the simple fact is the buck stops here, so to speak. It does not help to talk to those outside the employment of the Times - they can't help you when it comes to our paper, but I can. Questions, ideas, suggestions, and comments are always welcome and I can guarantee you that each and every one is given full consideration and scrutiny.
While we may not always agree, and you may not always like my answers, I make you two promises: 1) When you call, regardless of why, as long as you aren't cursing at me, you will be treated with respect. 2) When you call, regardless of why, as long as you aren't cursing at me, you absolutely will get what a former boss called "a good listening to."
You have my attention, just call or e-mail.
The Macon County Times is truly a diverse organization that boasts several areas of business.
These include print advertising, circulation and web revenue. But there is another service we offer, and that is printing.
Some people may know that the Macon County Times is the only newspaper actually printed in Macon County.
That press runs three days a week printing our newspaper and other products and it is an important aspect of our overall profitability - and our overall importance to Heartland Publications.
More than the paper, every week, we print numerous sets of business cards, business forms, flyers, handbills, brochures, booklets, newsletters and more.
These types of print jobs are usually done on one or more of our three Davidson presses.
This is a valuable service we provide to our business partners in Macon County, and more than a few outside the county.
The printing services we offer are important to our operation. They, like all areas of our business, are profitable, and allow us to continue to invest in a variety of benefits for our employees as well as invest in the expansion of our products.
It is a piece of the puzzle that helps us contribute to and support youth organizations and student groups.
And it adds to the economy as these "commercial printing" operations as well as the printing of our own newspaper and others directly ensures the employment of four people. Plus, its overall contribution to our overall budget also helps to ensure the other seven employees here have job security.
I offer my thanks to the hardworking press crew, led by Glenn Patterson, and welcome any visitors who'd like to check out the press in person.
Like humans, newspapers are not perfect. Here's a few images you might enjoy, which illustrate this fact.
I hope you enjoy them!
Over the last day or two, I've received a number of comments from various people. Seems a local blogger has decided to...again...attack The Macon County Times. And I'm certain more is coming - and each attack, as the previous, will deliberately exclude information that might change the story...but information that does not serve the purposes of our attackers.
There are many reasons I don't usually respond and I really can't list them without coming across as attacking the bloggers, which I don't wish to do.
Author John D. MacDonald - one of my favorites - used a quote once: "Integrity is not a conditional word. It doesn't blow in the wind or change with the weather. It is your inner image of yourself, and if you look in there and see a man who doesn't cheat, then you know he never will."
Macon County, under my direction this paper has never knowingly lied to you, never intentionally misled you and has certainly never served special interests, government agenices or other groups.
When something has been brought to our attention, we have corrected it.
We report the news, but we report more than that. We report the births, deaths, spelling bees, school activities, sports news, and much more. We cover ALL the Times of your life, regardless of what we think about it. No, what is important is what YOU think about it. It may not be big news to me, but that doesn't mean it isn't important to you, and for that reason, all items are treated with respect.
We are the only local media that I've seen that allows you to criticize us - as in criticize The Times in The Times - publicly. We're not beyond it and heck, sometimes we deserve it. Letters, comments and more are always welcome, even if they take us to task. Just read the March 4 paper, or some comments on our web site for that.
As for our competitors, they can do what they wish and say what they want. What I know in my heart is that The Macon County Times conducts its business and its news gathering with honesty and professionalism; focusing on reporting accurately and fully all the news - but only news based on solid sources verified first-hand by our professionally trained reporters. And we always do our best to put it in proper context, not leaving out pertinent information that balances the story.
After all, last week, more people read the Macon County Times online than any other online news source. Our growing paid print circulation coupled with legitimate "pass along" readership swells our total overall readership into the mid-teens every week.
That is quite a huge responsibility and one we take very seriously. And it is the reason "our time and energies are devoted to the welfare of Macon County."
If you ever have a concern, give me a ring. My cell number is published every week in the Macon County Times - it is 615-670-6989. You can also reach me at the office at 666-2440 or e-mail me at email@example.com.
We have a story over on our web site with positive news about the Heartland Publications Bankruptcy.
This is great news, positive news about a local business and employer.
The crux? Things are going just fine. The restructuring is moving forward, objections to the Disclosure Statement have been withdrawn, and we're looking at completing the reorganization in early April.
When complete, we'll have the financial backing of one of the strongest companies on the planet.
You can read the story here: http://www.maconcountytimes.com/view/full_story/6443565/article-Heartland-Publications-restructuring-moves-forward--company-files-amended-plan-of-reorganization?instance=secondary_news_left_column
As far as the Times itself, we remain solidly profitable - actually ahead of the same period last year, indicating growth. We've been able to immediately fill vacant positions, and business is operating as normal. We continue to employ ten of your friends and neighbors and continue our strong, unwavering support of local businesses over out-of-town businesses.
We continue to add new services and features and have many other things prepared to come online this year, including the possibility of some serious expansion plans.
One thing I ask is that you take time and e-mail me with your suggestions. What would you like to see in the Macon County Times or www.macontountytimes.com? I value your feedback and will carefully consider all suggestions.
My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.
I love movies and being a great big nerd, I really love newspaper movies.
There have been a few good ones. Citizen Kane pops to mind as a movie with a strong "newspaper" plot. So does the wonderful His Girl Friday, Deadline USA and The Paper - with Michael Keaton, Glenn Close and others - and likely my favorite.
My other nerdy habit is that I "collect" quotes. Nothing to me is better than memorable quotes from newspaper movies - the ultimate nerd festival! Here are a few of my favorites:
From "The Paper" - and yes, I'm only reprinting the clean quotes.
And a couple of quotes from Citizen Kane:
And finally, my all time favorite newspaper quote, taken from the movie Deadline USA, spoken by Humphrey Bogart at the end:
There's an old saying, and I'm paraphrasing. You have lies, darned lies, and statistics. That is why we take extra precautions to make certain our web stats are accurate.
The Macon County Times promotes its web statistics aggressively because they are impressive - far more than any other news media in the area.
Here's how it is done.
We do not utilize one tool. Instead, we utilize multiple web analysis tools which include tools provided by our server host, Google analytics and a measurement tool that is relied on by more than half of the major publishers and ninety percent of the top media agencies in the United States.
We compare these analytics to ensure we have accurate numbers. If all the tools come up with the same numbers great! If they come up with a different number, then further evaluation is required.
So that when I tell you that during the one-day period of Thursday, February 18 alone, we had 651 individual unique vistors who accounted for 989 visits and over 4,100 pageviews, you can be assured that the information is from one source, verified by two other sources, and considered highly accurate.
Include our Facebook page, which at 787 fans and I think we have, without question, the most visited news web site in Macon County.
But there's something more. The stats are used to sell advertising. But what draws the readers to our site?
Lots of news. We update our web site with more news and information than anyone out there. Hands down.
Sports, news, breaking news, photos, births, anniversaries, letters, opinions, columns, announcements, calendar listings, video and more are all found on the site, which is updated throughout the day under my strict "web first" reporting policy.
But this is information you need. We're not about telling you what to think and do, we're about supplying you with information and letting you decide. That includes online as well.
This morning, on the publisher's e-mail exchange for the company that owns the Macon County Times, there was an interesting discussion about feedback - particularly as it pertains to elections.
The Macon County Times offers you more opportunities to express your views than any local media out there. Consider:
The simple fact is that here at The Macon County Times, your feedback is important. Whether it is about something concerning a story, your personal opinion on a local matter, or you just wanting to send us information, your viewpoints are more than welcome here.
I sit here looking at the snow and cold and it reminds me of a group of people that don't get much credit - our delivery folks.
Every week, Carolyn, Robert and Orran work very hard physically assembling the newspaper, stuffing it with coupons, getting it ready to be mailed and then getting it on the streets.
It is a tough job - a thankless job. And on weeks like this, when it is cold, wet, snowing or suffering from other inclimate weather, it is even worse.
So here, in my first "real" blog posting, I want to say thank you to the people who get more than 5,000 Macon County Times delivered each week.
Thanks Caroly, Orran and Robert! You work hard and it is appreciated.
Welcome to my new blog. I hope you'll stop by a couple times a week and keep informed about the goings on at your hometown newspaper - the Macon County Times!