Four years later – the decline is faster than I expected

Four years later – the decline is faster than I expected

In just a few days, Nov. 15, 2020, it will be an anniversary very few will celebrate. That date is very significant to me, though. I even have a printed copy of The Hutchinson News from that date sitting at my desk in Newton, just to remind me that on this day four years ago, my hometown newspaper died. I told many in my close circles back home what I thought would happen when the Harris Family put the Hutchinson…

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Why newspapers shouldn’t get too close with Internet giants

Why newspapers shouldn’t get too close with Internet giants

I felt a little froggy this morning and decided to watch Editor and Publisher’s live panel on “The Future of Local NewsMedia – The Experts.” I usually slow roll my Wednesday morning after a long day of production on Tuesdays and figured, what the hell, I want to be pissed off this morning. For the most part, this panel didn’t piss me off actually. I disagreed with many on what the future looks like, and I certainly don’t buy into…

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Stop fighting about the economy. Get mad at those who made it this way.

Stop fighting about the economy. Get mad at those who made it this way.

We were lucky. We got Payroll Protection Plan (PPP) money in the first round, largely due to working with a great local banker who went out of his way with us and with several businesses in the area to ensure they were taken care of. The PPP was a half-assed, thrown-together, quick Band-Aid for American businesses, created by the government, that everyone from the Small Business Administration to local bankers to those it was supposed to help could see was…

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The death of local news

The death of local news

This was recently featured in Editor & Publisher. Read this, and then you will understand my rant. Giving away your product, unless your product is mass distribution printed newspaper, is a death sentence for local news. How someone with this message is still considered an expert is beyond me. Giving away content, acting as if what we do doesn’t have value, and relying on advertising alone is exactly what got this industry in trouble in the first place. That along…

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Ain’t No Joke – E&P features me in 25 Under 35 Section

Ain’t No Joke – E&P features me in 25 Under 35 Section

To borrow from my “cuz” Chris Young, “This Ain’t No Joke.” As with his and Melody Spurney’s first “Ain’t No Joke Food Truck Rally” in Newton on April 1, yet another life moment has happened for me on this date. Six years ago, April 1, 2014, it was publically announced that I had secured majority ownership of Kansas Publishing Ventures from Joel Klaassen and merged our tiny weekly paper with his publishing company in Hillsboro. Today, April 1, 2020, I…

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Shutting down isn’t easy for most small businesses

Shutting down isn’t easy for most small businesses

When you are living through a global pandemic that requires people to socially distance themselves from others, you have a lot of time to scroll on social media. It’s an amazing time suck. A lot of folks are suddenly infectious disease experts and doctors all of the sudden, too. I had no idea how many successful people I was friends with. Regardless, the overwhelming refrain on social media is to just shut down the world for two weeks or longer…

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Small market zilch gets attention of E&P

Small market zilch gets attention of E&P

I write this blog primarily to scream into nothingness about the newspaper industry with the assumption that only a few folks I am friends with might take a look and care. It’s therapeutic and something that has kept me from pulling my hair out. Throughout the years, I have become friends with lots of people in the industry, many of whom surely think I am full of hot air and are probably right. Occasionally, you find some like-minded folks, get…

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Why Buffett selling his papers doesn’t bother me

Why Buffett selling his papers doesn’t bother me

I like to think I am well read. When Lindsey and I started this journey of newspaper ownership over seven years ago, we didn’t do it blind. We read “The E-Myth” by Michael E. Gerber and “Brewing Up a Business: Adventures in Beer from the Founder of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery” by Sam Calagione before we ever signed the dotted line for our first paper, The Clarion. Since then, I have read anything I can get my hands on about…

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I hate social media more and more

I hate social media more and more

I have grown to hate social media more and more every day. My general distaste for the product, no matter the format, isn’t how they function or how much of my time it takes up at work, but rather what it has turned people into. One of my favorite quotes is, “The Internet is the single best and worst thing that has ever happened to humanity,” and I honestly couldn’t tell you who said it. The Internet and social media…

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Internet is best friend, worst enemy of news

Internet is best friend, worst enemy of news

This is a new era in our shared history. Simply put, the Internet is the best and worst thing that has ever been invented in human history. Feel like that is hyperbole? It’s not. The most powerful thing in the world is sitting in the palm of your hand, and it can be manipulated to overthrow governments, kill someone’s character, and track the movements of everything and everyone. Not all of that is bad, either. There has been no era…

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