I had a colleague tell me once that The County Journal would be gone within two years, tops. Mind you, this conversation took place long before he was aware that I would be joining The County Journal team, determined to build something great in my hometown.
Though not without its tremendous share of challenges, I am happy to say we were able to eclipse those meager expectations. This April marks the beginning of The County Journal’s 10th year in Eaton County — a milestone that seems unreal when you look back on it, as milestones often do.
Ten years is a long time for a small company that opened its doors a few short years before the Great Recession. Somehow we’ve managed to remain your source for local advertising and news. It’s because of you, in fact, our readers and advertisers that we’ve managed as long as we have.
Equally important though, is the committed team of people working together to produce a quality, local newspaper each week.
I cannot begin to describe the amount of work, often in stressful situations, that goes into each edition. Our world revolves around a Thursday deadline. The pages have to be to the press that afternoon, which means ads have to be built and proofed, articles written and edited, pages built and proofed. If we’re lucky, we hit our early evening deadline.
More than 100 ads, representing as many or more local businesses appear in The County Journal each week. More than 30 articles, on average, are contained within each edition. All of this is accomplished by a handful of people who are frequently so busy meeting deadlines that we forget to slow down and appreciate the commitment and work each of us gives.
This business is not easy. There are long hours and stressful deadlines. We are fortunate to have a team that can meet those challenges day in and day out. And, we are fortunate to be an integral part of a region that embraces and appreciates those efforts through their support of our newspaper. We at The County Journal have always felt like an important part of the communities we cover. We feel honored to remain a part of your lives and that you have allowed us to work side-by-side to grow and strengthen our communities. That’s always been at the core of what we do, a value instilled by our founder, John Gaedert.
As John always said, we can’t be successful if our communities aren’t successful. We look forward to another year of success, of growth and of serving you.
As is tradition, you will find pictures, located at the bottom of pages, scattered throughout this week’s edition. Please take a moment to reflect with us on the year that was…our ninth.