In May of 2013, when Becky and I bought the Town Crier, our single goal was to keep it serving our community. At that time, there were nine local public agencies serving our Hill, and no media monitored and reported on them except the Town Crier. We felt our Hill community very much needed a real newspaper.
But we needed to find a way for the Town Crier to survive the severe economic downturn that had been slamming newspapers, especially local community newspapers. More than 2,000 newspapers have now folded throughout the United States.
The Town Crier could not afford a paid editor. It needed to be able to pay an editor a reasonable salary so the paper could carry on with new owners after we retired. We did not want the Town Crier to retire with us.
So, we tried 25% advertising discounts, additional bundling discounts and free color. We tried keeping the Town Crier open on weekends and serving as a Visitor’s Center, informing tourists as to inns, shops and restaurants.
In an effort to attract advertising, we tried making the Town Crier “free to the Hill,” with free copies in every local mailbox and at more than 40 locations around town, and for seven months our circulation jumped 130% — not 30% — 130%.
But nothing worked until we adopted our Membership model in August of 2017. The response from you all was wonderful, and it told us you felt our community needed a real newspaper as much as we felt it did.
Today, we continue to rely on you Members and readers who will join you. Town Crier Members truly are keeping our paper serving our Hill, so please join us, if you haven’t already, and plan to renew your Memberships. You’ll be keeping a real newspaper serving our community.
Our most sincere congratulations and thanks to you all.