|9/6/2013 12:33:00 PM|
Community excited to have Times back
Two Cents, by Tim TimmonsWow! What a reaction!
Ladies and gents, I've been working in newspapers for more than 30 years (even Don Jellison was young back then) and have never seen the kind of warm welcome and reaction that you have given us at this newspaper.
It's a humbling experience for which the only words I have are "thank you."
The Times, which dates back to 1904 (and no, it's only a rumor that Jellison was a cub reporter then), has been a part of Noblesville and Hamilton County in one way or another for more than a century. And maybe, just maybe, a brief absence reminded some of us just how much a community newspaper really means. Truth to tell, I don't know. What I do know is that you have welcomed this newspaper and its staff back into your homes and your lives with open arms.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Your warmth is appreciated more than I can say.
If I may, I'd like to share a few stories with you about some of you. There isn't enough room to mention everyone who have stopped by, called and e-mailed during the past week, but here are just a few examples.
A lot of you know Don Roberts. If you don't, just know that he was a teacher at Noblesville High School and scared the living daylights out of me and countless other youngsters. Mr. Roberts (I still have trouble calling him Don) has been in several times. He has brought in new subscriptions. He has brought in story ideas. And he always comes in with a smile on his face. I've got to tell you, I took aviation for three years at Noblesville and never saw the man smile. Now, he's smiling all the time. It's great to see. The first words out of his mouth after he came through our door? "Gee it's great to have The Times back!"
Bill Myers sent me this e-mail:
"It was a wonderful surprise to find the Times in my mailbox yesterday. It was also a great pleasure to read hometown news and see your plans for the future. I sincerely hope that many of the local merchants, particularly the new car dealers, realize that there are people who read the home papers and pay little attention to the ads in some papers where the print requires magnification even for those with 20/20 vision. I am looking forward to a great relationship with The Times."
Or this from Capi Saxton:
"Your phone line is busy, so wanted to try this way to make contact. I'm so thrilled you are back!!! I really have missed my local paper."
Yes, our phone lines have been ringing off the hook. It's a good problem to have, but we're working on adding more lines.
Or this one from Marilyn Conner:
"I am soooo glad to see The Times back in publication.
I personally can't see how you can publish a paper and mail it for $88 a year. It's got to be the best bargain around."
And then there was this letter from Susan Birrell Post:
"For several months we've had a family evening tradition: my husband and I have the local newspaper spread out while we're cooking dinner, alternately calling out recipe ingredients and quoting snippets of interesting or funny news stories.
"The newspaper then follows us to the dinner table, where our pre-teen son and teenage daughter join us. Our remarks about what we're reading, along with the kids' natural curiosity, often lead to family discussions on local items like the local humane society pets awaiting adoption, road construction projects, house fires (how they started, and how everyone got out safely), drunken driving accidents (and the consequences), the school honor roll, and local politics, to more national or even global events. The kids often wish to read the article themselves, sharing their thoughts and asking us to explain the things they don't understand. We very often use these discussions as a way to casually teach our kids the life lessons we want them to learn, not the least of which is the importance of reading and staying current. Later, as the kids are settling in to do their homework, my husband and I settle in to work the Sudoku and crossword.
"You can imagine how much we missed our little daily rag when it went away. Today, for the first time since that day, I purchased an Indy Star as I left work, thinking that I would try to pick through it to find local stories for our family to discuss at dinner. I walked in the house, excited to once again have a newspaper, even a stand-in, when I saw the words "We're back" jump out at me from the stack of mail. The Indy Star got left on the counter and The Times followed us to the table, where we pored over every page and reinstated our nightly ritual. We now know about the Clothe-a-Child charity (and understand the importance of charity work), are planning to attend the upcoming holiday events at Forest Park, are acquainted with Westfield's two new principals (as well as the dedicated but crazy one on the roof), and understand what has happened to bring our newspaper back.
"Thank you for once again being such an enlightening and welcomed guest at our family dinners. 'We're back,' indeed."
From the bottom of my heart, I truly appreciate the great beginning you've given us. We're averaging more than 30 brand-new subscriptions each day and this is a reaction I've never seen in three decades in this business.
We appreciate it and we hope it continues. Like Don Jellison said in his column the other day. Tell all your friends and neighbors to subscribe. Subscribe all you want, we'll print more. Patronize those merchants who currently advertise with us, and like Bill Myers said, let's get the others on board.
We want to be the best community newspaper we can be. With your help, that'll happen. We're in this together.
One last note this week, if I may. You'll see a Halloween safety page in our paper. It'll have the normal Halloween safety tips and such. You'll also see what we call signature ads from merchants on the same page. It's those ads that make that page possible. That, in an of itself, isn't the point though. A lot of newspapers do promotions like this. What makes ours a bit different is what we do with the money. We only charge the merchants $25 for the ad. And we'll donate 20 percent of that to the Hamilton County Sheriff's Department to use with their various youth programs.
It's just another way we can give back.
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