I don’t have the smell of honeybuns wafting through the air now as I pull into work. For the last six years, that’s what I smelled quite often. That happens when your office is across the street from a bakery that’s been in business for more than 100 years — and makes and ships products all across the nation.
That aroma, though, didn’t drive me away. What got me back here is an opportunity that was far too good to pass up.
For that, I am grateful Charles Morris and Joe McGlamery have put their trust and confidence in me. They have more trust and confidence in me than I have in myself. I’ve been gone a long time. Sixteen years, and change, to be exact. There have been a lot of changes.
There have been a lot of changes to newspapers. The Courier is no exception. It’s a tough time for any business. It’s especially tough for newspapers. Right now, on average, two weekly newspapers across the county are shutting doors for good. And that’s not good. Not for the people who read the paper. And not for the communities they served.
We had that happen in the last company I worked for. Great little community. A newspaper that had been named small newspaper of the year for the company, which stretched as far west as Oklahoma and Iowa and as far north as Minnesota and New York.
And then they closed. That left a community without a news source. They were too far east for Tallahassee and too far west for Jacksonville. Where could they turn to find out about elections, rec teams, parades, festivals, crimes and anything else?
Strong communities need a local newspaper, and a good one, to tell them not only what has happened but what is going to happen and to tell the stories of the different segments hat make up those communities.
Strong local newspapers need the support of their community. That goes beyond buying a copy of the paper and buying an ad, though that helps. Be it a picture or a story or an item of interest, we’ll gladly continue to take a look at that, too. We may not always be able to do anything with it, but we can always take a look.
I have an old and new role here now. There are times I will have the editor hat to wear. There are times I will have the general manager hat to wear. The first one means I will be out on a story. The latter more than likely means I have my hat in hand to talk about advertising or sponsorship opportunities.
And maybe I’ll come visit to just say hey and catch up.
Though I can’t get you any good deals on honeybuns.
Pat Donahue is the new editor and general manager of the Coastal Courier.