A note from the publisher
A lot has occurred at The Newnan Times-Herald over the last few months, and I believe it’s an appropriate time to let you know what we’ve been up to and where we are going.
The most important thing is that Bradley Hartsell, our features writer, is back at work. He and his girlfriend were involved in a horrific car accident a couple of months ago. It was touch-and-go for a while, but he’s back, although not bounding down the stairs just yet.
The biggest change for us as a newspaper is that we no longer print the Times-Herald. The Opelika-Auburn News, which has one of the top printing facilities in the Southeast, is now printing our paper and handling our inserts.
A few days ago, I received a phone call about 2:30 in the morning. It was from the press room saying they were having press problems and the paper was going to be really late. I sent out some messages to alert everyone and was planning on driving down to our press plant when …
I realized we don’t have a press plant any more. It was now someone else’s problem. At least the fixing the press part was Opelika’s problem. Our circulation department and carriers did an incredible job getting the paper out as quickly as they could, despite being hours behind schedule. Which just goes to show even the best facilities can have problems.
It’s frustrating when something beyond your control breaks, and especially at the worst time. This past weekend our entire phone system decided to basically blow up. We had no phones between Sunday and Monday. So if you tried to call us, we apologize, but we are now back in business.
Many think businesses, even ours, are infallible. That’s simply not the case. Yet that does not keep us from constantly trying to improve, not only our product, but how it is delivered.
We believe it is vital that any community know as much as possible about what all is going on in their hometown. That is our newsroom’s primary mission. And with the increasing use of social media, it is imperative we offer the news through as many platforms as possible.
Over the last six months, our website at times-herald.com has averaged more than 1.94 million visitors each month. In turn, those visitors have looked at nearly 745,000 pages during a 30-day period. It is interesting to note the majority of our visitors are using mobile devices – smart phones and tablets – to view our website. In response, our team has developed a responsive website, meaning our pages adapt in size to any device for easier viewing.
We also use Twitter and Facebook to highlight stories. Already, our Facebook page has more than 10,600 likes. Some of our bigger stories average shares of more than 30,000 times through Facebook.
We also strongly believe in our print edition, which contains additional stories not found on our website. Wednesday through Sunday, we deliver 9,300 copies each day through home delivery, in stores and racks, and through sampling various neighborhoods. Our weekly product, My Connection, is distributed to 21,500 homes each week.
In an effort to provide as many payment options as possible for those wanting the Times-Herald delivered to their home, we are now offering a monthly billing program known as Easy Pay. The cost is only $9 a month and can be handled by debit or credit card. Just sign up, and that’s all there is to it. You will be automatically billed each month.
In addition to the newspaper, home delivery subscribers are offered reduced web subscription rates, and they receive the annual Coweta Living Magazine, our restaurant guides, all six issues of Newnan Coweta Magazine, our digital edition, and other speciality publications.
For more information, please see our ad in today’s newspaper on page 7A.
We also have added some new features. Well-known film critic Jonathan Hickman is back reviewing movies for us. We’ve also started a new column – Shared Wisdom –featuring local experts in life and business coaching and career development that will appear on a rotating basis in Sunday’s Business section.
There are more improvements coming soon and we will be announcing those in the near future. Thank you for your continued support of your community newspaper.
John A. Winters