A New Perspective – 9-9-2004: News Business

September 9, 2004

For over 10 years we’ve had a Tuesday date on this newspaper. Let me get back to that thought in a moment. Wouldn’t you know it, twice within a three-week period I am writing a column just as a hurricane is about to hit.
Sorry I dragged you through it last time, but since I’m not a deep thinker, you have to deal with my scattered random thoughts on this top spot for billing in this newspaper. We’d get someone else, but there is no one else willing to do this column for nothing.
And now… back to the story. We added a sports section in preparation for two new high schools within our coverage area of The Gazette. We’ve never really been able devote much time and space to sports, since most of this area’s students were split up between various high schools.
Since football games are played on Fridays, we quickly realized that if we kept the Tuesday print day, the football stories would be a week and a half old before they hit the newsstands.
So we made the big move and changed all our print deadlines in time to cover the big local Bowl Game, “Battle for the Gate,” set for Friday, Sept. 3.
The task of changing the print day required our staff to have the paper done by Friday, except for two sports pages. Over the weekend we would complete and send those final pages to the printer and The Gazette would hit the press first thing Monday with up-to-date football coverage.
Because of Labor Day, our regular printer couldn’t complete the job on that schedule so we searched the ink circuit and came up with another printer who could. Of course there was an increased cost, but we would meet our goal, make our readers roar with enthusiasm, and – voila – football sports would be born in this area with coverage by the community’s own newspaper.
The change would also affect the Everglades Echo in Everglades City as the new printer would also be taking on that publication.
Just as we were ready to take on the world, sell gobs of new subscriptions, and become hometown heroes, Hurricane Frances came along and fouled up all our plans. The big Bowl Game was canceled and rescheduled.
We followed the new print schedule anyway and because the game was rescheduled for Tuesday, you will now read about it over a week late. Makes for some good “hurricane language,” don’t you think?
However, even in this paper, we have some exciting sports news. You will find coverage of the Titans first-ever preseason football game on their home turf. We thank Riverside Bank and Sabrina Dulaney of Nationwide Insurance for sponsoring our “Athletes of the Week” for each of the new high schools.
The president of Riverside Bank stopped by last week and told how me the roof came off his home in Cape Coral. That bank is giving low and no interest loans to repair hurricane damage from Charley. They may have to do it again for Frances.
Make sure to make these businesses a part of your service. They have a hometown interest in this community and are showing it by providing space to give special attention to local students.