Starting our third decade

By John Toth / Editor and Publisher

Well, dear, reader, we have begun our third decade of publishing.

We have enjoyed bringing you The Bulletin each week for two decades. We intend to do this for many more years, as long as I hold up.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m in good health. But I’m not the spring chicken I used to be when we started the paper on July 4, 1994.

I have been doing this for a while and probably will wind up my publishing career by printing The Bulletin each week until I completely fall apart.

Or, maybe longer.

My wife, Sharon, can’t see me retiring at any time soon. She said I won’t know what to do with myself. I think she may be right. If you could see my backyard, you’d know that I am no gardener.

The Bulletin started in 1994 as an experiment to see if this area would like our type of weekly publication, and here we are. We’re not an ad sheet, and we’re not a newspaper by the strict sense of the word.

We’re sort of a weekly that will surprise you each time you open it. There is no formula, and the only repetition are a few very popular features that we have developed over the years.

We live off advertising. The paper has always been free to our readers, and that’s the way it is going to remain, although always improving.

We dumped paste-up layout in favor of computerized layout, or pagination, as soon as the programs became available. That’s one of the benefits of being a tech geek.

Yes, your friendly publisher has been a gadget geek for life.

Each issue is still a pleasure to produce. It will be until the very last issue, whenever that may be.
“I loved that story you wrote about your mother,” a reader told me recently. That was over a year ago, I said. I can’t believe you still remember it.

This is one of the rewards of being able to publish this column weekly.

I am very grateful to you, dear reader, for supporting us by picking up the paper weekly. It is humbling to start our 21st year of publishing, and I promise you that each issue will continue to be quality.

And, thank you, dear advertisers, for believing in us all of these years. We hope that our partnership has made you a nice profit.

Completing 20 years of publishing is a pretty big deal, especially since the printed word has taken a beating by that fancy Internet machine. But we’re still here, and our nose is still to the grinder each week. It’s still a lot of fun.

Before starting The Bulletin, I worked 12 years for the Houston Chronicle as a reporter. I’ll leave you with this anecdote.

I had the top story on the Chronicle’s Page 1 and felt pretty good about myself. I was going to enjoy the limelight for a while.

“What do you have going on today?” asked my editor. That stuff on Page 1? That’s yesterday’s news.”
That is called being brought back down to Earth.

It remains in the back of my mind each week as I hustle another deadline. I hope to visit with you next week in the second issue of our third decade of publishing.