I can’t believe it was a year!
When Alec and Ann Peters passed the Kenwood Press torch to me and Paul in January 2021, we didn’t really know what to expect. It was an honor to publish our local newspaper a great experience with a few “Ohs %#@” moments.
With this issue, we honor Jay Gammel’s much-earned retirement as an employee of Kenwood Press. We were thrilled when Jay agreed to stay on the staff with us for 2021 after Alec and Ann retire. Kenwood Press readers are familiar with Jay’s extensive news coverage, but few realize the extent of what Jay has done behind the scenes. By managing classified ads, layout, website, photography, technology, and mitigating general newspaper disasters, Jay brings wisdom and joy to everything he does.
Jay, Alec, Ann, our contributors and the community have taught us so well, and are ready to begin our next year as publishers for Kenwood Press. Jay will still appear on profile pages
KP from time to time, but today it will be up to us.
I come from an organizational background, primarily in human resources, where we have tracked business performance through “key performance indicators” and “metrics”. Here are some of us for 2021:
1. We now generally send the paper to the printer around 3 or 4 pm on the afternoon of the day of printing. For our first few issues, we sent it out as soon as midnight. The result: an improvement.
2. We have far fewer typos and misspellings in our paper than our first numbers. What are some of the best mistakes of 2021? We contacted Jane Witkowski Kathy in a comment; You misspelled the Sonoma Developmental Center in the sky box on page 1; We spelled Paul’s name incorrectly in a comment. Another good feature: the names of our awesome contributors Robert Couric and Jim Sherry misspelled in their minor lines in the early 2021 issue (oh!). We, of course, owe our spelling improvement to our wonderful copy editors, Tracy Salcedo and Jasmine Kanningiser, and to our careful proofreaders, Lindsay Blanchard and Debbie Lammers. Also, I now refrain from changing the text after the reviewers give the paper their seal of approval, which helps tremendously. The result: an improvement.
3. We had difficulty scheduling an appointment with the Sonoma County Sheriff to collect information for Crime Watch due to COVID-19. We hope to restart Crime Watch in 2022. Result: Needs improvement.
4. We don’t worry too much about how to get paper out of the door with every problem. With our first releases, I was aghast and panicked that we didn’t have enough content, or we had too much content. I realized we could always fill in the blank space with our reporter’s canine photos (Buckley, who turns one this month), or publish a story in the next issue. Somehow, we do it every time. The result: an improvement.
5. Our paid subscribers have increased by 40%! This increase is mostly due to the fact that I make all my friends and family members who live across the country pay for the subscription. Result: neutral.
The most amazing thing about Kenwood Press publishing is when readers email us, call us, or stop by the newsroom to tell us they enjoy the paper. It means the world is ours. This is what makes it worth it.
This Publisher’s Corner is dedicated to Kenwood Press Team Designer, Patti Buttitta, who runs all of our ads. She reminds me gently, and quite regularly, that I have to write the newspaper’s publishers’ corner more often. We couldn’t make a paper without it. Thank you Patty!
—Melissa (and Paul)