The new publisher talked to the staff in Bristol today, thanking us for our loyalty and promising we would be "a happy family" as The Bristol Press moves into the second half of its long life.
There is "a big history to live up to" in Bristol, Michael Schroeder said.
He urged the staff in Bristol -- and, no doubt, in New Britain -- to listen to colleagues, customers and readers. And he told us to share the ideas we hear, or have, with him.
That's a particularly welcome change from the Journal Register Co. years, when nobody ever wanted to listen to anything, ever.
Most people at The Bristol Press still have their jobs, though not all. We may have lost some fine people in the shuffle. I'm still not sure about that yet.
What I do know is that our reporting staff -- down to just Jackie Majerus and I now since we've had two people leave in recent weeks -- is still here. And so is the editor of the Press, Bill Sarno.
That's the core that we have to build from, but all of us have a long history in Bristol. We know the town. We know what we need to do. I'm pretty confident that Schroeder's going to let us get out there and do it.
I'm anxious to do this job without wondering how the corporate types at the JRC are going to mess things up.
At the same time, the connections between the Press and The Herald in New Britain are becoming deeper.
There will be one circulation director for both papers, Brenda Kelly. There will be one production manager for both papers, Wayne DePaulo. There will be one overall editor, Marc Levy, who is also the editor of The Herald.
Schroeder said he is also "anxiously looking for an ad director."
I would feel better, truthfully, if the Press were standing more on its own. I've never liked having our fate tied to New Britain's.
But if that's how it is, well, let's hope my worries are groundles. It doesn't really change what we need to do in Bristol.
Schroeder said he intends to "respect the past and look toward the future" at the Press, to bring back some old features of the paper while taking care to be contemporary, too.
He said we'll be doing experiments not done anywhere else in the months ahead, which is the sort of thing I like to hear. We're better off on the cutting edge. Boldness is crucial.
So, Bristol, tell Schroeder what you want in your paper. He's listening carefully.
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Contact Steve Collins at firstname.lastname@example.org