From where did that notion come?

Our readers read our article “Does the Town Crier have a future? Our Readers must decide” (reprinted today on page A4) about forming a Membership model for the Town Crier, and they immediately and enthusiastically charged into action with their support. It’s humbling, inspiring, exciting ... it’s wonderful.

But three different town business owners, who read the very same article, have expressed to us that they were sorry we were “going out of business.” Huh? Odd, the difference in reaction. (Please see the “Town Crier Readers to the rescue” on page A4-A5 of today’s paper.)

The Town Crier is certainly NOT going out of business. There is nothing in the article — either before or after updating — that says such a thing.

The article is about our preparation for our retirement. We don’t want the paper to retire with us. We want to see it acquired by other, younger “mom-and-pop” types who will bring community newspaper experience to Idyllwild and continue to run it as a real community newspaper. But we’re not likely to find such pair if they’re going to have to work for free, like we’ve been doing the past four years.

So Town Crier readers are building the paper up around the new Membership model; they clearly want to keep a real community newspaper serving our Hill. That is the objective.

As far as us retiring, we’ve set no hard-and-fast deadline. As long as our readers can create and support a viable newspaper, we want to stay on until we can find the right people to continue forward with the Town Crier. They may come sooner; they may come later. But we’re already looking.

We have many contacts in this state through the California News Publishers Association and the California Press Foundation. And we have numerous national and international contacts through the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors. We will do our very best to find the right people for the Town Crier and our Hill.

-— Jack and Becky Clark