Folks, in 2010 you proved that a tired, old, broken down and bankrupt newspaper company like the Journal Register Company could be turned around.
You proved that a company’s strength resided in its employees and not its infrastructure of buildings, trucks and I.T. The wonderful Ben Franklin Project proved that determined employees could find the strength and energy to innovate — and you published daily newspapers and websites using only free web-based tools.
You proved that while many in the newspaper industry might be devoid of ideas you were not and the ideaLab was born. And now, across all disciplines, this company has smart people using smart tools to pursue smart ideas.
You proved your commitment to journalism is at the core of what we do and if the communities we serve desired journalism on the platforms of their choice, you could deliver. And now we produce so much more than print. In 10 months this company has gone from nearly zero video to producing about 1,000 videos a week and 2 million video streams monthly. From almost no digital ad orders to more than 1,000 orders per month.
You proved you could ask for help and turn your audience, armed with smartphones and computers, from competitors to colleagues as they stepped up to blog, fact check and suggest stories the communities wanted covered. And you proved you were willing to throw open your doors to invite them into your newsrooms with Community Media Labs and Torrington’s groundbreaking newsroom and community cafe project.
You proved, in less than a year, while there is a lot left to fix – so much still to fix – this company is no longer broken.
You proved all that and more.
The next 12 months will be just as challenging but you have already proved challenges are not something you shirk from. And I look forward to working alongside you as we continue to build the new JRC.
The video below is my attempt to capture a whole year of change in less than four minutes.
Enjoy, and Happy Holidays.
Until next time. John.