Publisher’s Letter: Join Me — Let’s Make this Happen!

By Blaine Howerton, Publisher
North Forty News

In 2017, I chose to save a dying newspaper.

North Forty News was the last locally owned newspaper North of Berthoud. It was about to shut down.

A monthly then, I soon learned from peers that if it was going to survive, it needed to produce more content more frequently. That sounds like a straightforward growth objective, but it’s not.

Taking ownership and operations of North Forty News wasn’t just my choice. It was a career decision. I have spent the past five years rebuilding North Forty News into something our communities can be proud of.

The newspaper is a product. Our advertising is inventory. When you increase your product frequency and inventory, immediate costs follow in any business. And hopefully, profit. But not always.

In North Forty News’ case, five years ago, there was no money to produce a larger/better product. There was no money to invest in building space for more inventory. I made huge personal sacrifices. From my career to my person, I shifted everything. I invested (and still do) every spare moment and whatever money I have into producing a weekly quality product with more inventory.

And like all businesses over the last several years, it has been an enormous struggle. I admit, at times, I want to hand the reigns over and go back to my life before. But frankly, it’s not an option. I am doing my best to keep North Forty News going, put it into more hands, ensure our advertisers get seen, and provide an unmatched local product for all of Northern Colorado.

Why do I do this? Hopefully, someday, when I retire, it will be profitable and allow me to do that. But more so, I do this for the very same reason that I have been in Journalism for my entire career — obligation to my community.

I have the skills to take a regular “day job” and do well. And, I’ll be honest, it’s tempting. I would have benefits and health insurance and wouldn’t have the daily stress of running my own business. But I know I wouldn’t be happy. And, I would have given up something I believe so much in.

I have seen firsthand how much our communities appreciate having an all-local newspaper and website. People write to me every day, thanking me for doing what I’m doing. These supporters keep me going with their encouraging words. That’s important!

But we need to get our product into more subscribers’ hands. I say this because it ensures our readers look at the newspaper more frequently, rather than “if they have the chance to pick it up.” That’s why we go to considerable lengths to deliver it to doorsteps for convenience and reliable distribution.

IMPORTANT — I ask, if you’re reading this right now, to go to one of our newsstands, grab five extra copies of our newspaper, and give them to your friends or family. Tell them to support North Forty News through a subscription or donation.

Right now, I’m setting a goal to bring North Forty News 1,000 more subscribers by January. I will publish a graph each week showing our progress.

If we can take the bar on the graph to all blue (the goal), North Forty News will be a thriving Northern Colorado platform for all the communities we have served for many years. So, are you interested? If so, you have my sincere thanks from the bottom of my heart, and believe me, this small commitment on your part goes a long way for the Northern Colorado communities we serve.

 

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