Publisher’s Letter: Investment, Not Just Financial

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By Blaine Howerton, Publisher
North Forty News

Last week started hard. I found out over the weekend that my mother had died unexpectedly. I have never experienced a loss like this. The mixed emotions that followed hearing the news has been a roller coaster and not a fun one.

When I took on North Forty News, I knew it would be an investment. Not just a financial one. I have put everything I have into this organization. For example, I had to leave town to help my family care for my mother’s affairs. I drove my RV 6 hours down the highway, set up my satellite internet connection, and kept working on North Forty News. The work never stops. The short 1-day interruption (driving down the highway) set our deliveries back by several days and our Editorial process back by a day.

But the North Forty News team and I caught it up.

My point in sharing this is that I had to make choices for this organization to survive and thrive for several generations. Those choices were to keep our expenses (and staff) at a minimum and take on a massive percentage of the work myself while expanding our operations to reach a more significant portion of Northern Colorado.

I don’t regret those decisions because they were necessary. But I do get tired. Physically and Mentally. On a week-to-week basis, my life is a balancing act. I do it because Northern Colorado needs a weekly regional news service, not necessarily for a paycheck. Although, I would like one.

Our regular readers (for the past month) have seen articles about boosting our subscription numbers. I aim to bring 1,000 more subscribers to North Forty News by January. As of this writing, we have gained 25 subscribers. Please see our progress chart.

A handful came up for renewal — they haven’t renewed yet. Several others renewed. Several new subscribers came to us. We had one of our biggest days last week, processing 25 subscriptions in a single day! It blows my mind to see that, and it’s exciting!

But, when our subscribers don’t renew, our count goes back. We lose progress.

On that note, I take great care to ensure our subscribers get labels on the front of the newspaper with the number of issues left in their subscriptions. And, we have a log-in system too, where our subscribers can go into their account, see where it’s at, renew, pause delivery, change their contact information, see the latest edition, and much more. If you are a subscriber and don’t have your link, write to us at We will do our best to get that to you promptly.

I also email reminders when your account is about to renew. At least, I try to. Sometimes, it doesn’t happen because I have to choose what’s more important in any given week. And sometimes, crises come up that need my immediate attention. As a result, our subscriber numbers can go down.

If we had 1,000 more subscribers, someone would be handling these things. There would be less on my plate, and this organization would be more robust overall. I dream of that day, and I hope if you support North Forty News, you will check your subscription, ask others to subscribe, and spread the word about North Forty News. Everyone is doing a great job, and I’m thankful for that. But we have to keep going.

As for me, I’ll get through this tough time. I am strong, and I’m a fighter. It’s great to hear from people, so please don’t be afraid to reach out to me to offer your prayers, love, and support. It helps!


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