Reflecting on another year past

Thoughts from Behind the Pressline

Well it’s that time of year when we reflect on the accomplishments of the past year and set our goals for the coming New Year. As a free community newspaper publishing organization the economy still casts a large shadow over all we do. Over the last few years as many newspaper organizations undergo changes as a result of the weak economy, we’ve received more and more reader and advertiser encouragement to step up our news coverage in both the quality and quantity of our reporting. Distributing to over 66,000 homes each week in the North Country region, combined we are the largest print product covering the region.

We feel confident that while we’ve taken steps in the right direction, we still have much to accomplish. Our ability to do so is in direct relationship to the support we receive from the community. Our tri-pod business model is a simple one to understand; Denton Publications provides the local news and free distribution to the readers, local businesses support our efforts with paid advertising, and the local readers support those local businesses by purchasing their products and services. By using that simple formula we all win and can avoid charging readers to receive the news we provide. The more support our advertisers realize from their support of our newspapers, the more extensive our news reporting can be.

Our overall sales were up in 2011 thanks in big part to the production of the Lake Champlain Bridge Commemorative Booklet. But unfortunately our cost increases continued to outpace income growth for the third year in a row with the usual culprits at the root of the increases: personnel related costs, paper, printing plates and postage. Despite the urge to trim expenses, we believe strongly that this is not the time to cut cost but instead to invest in our future. We continue to look for ways to build the staff, improve their benefits and invest in the technology and equipment that will allow us to grow and run an efficient publishing company. Coasting nor putting our head in the sand are options we will not consider. This economy requires our best efforts.

Dan Alexander is publisher and CEO of Denton Publications. Reach him at dan@denpubs.com.

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