Winston Churchill once said, "There is nothing wrong with change, if it is in the right direction."
Beginning next week, Denton Publications is moving in the right direction as it merges the Clinton County Free Trader Today with the North Countryman.
Why, you may ask? It's simple - less is more.
In today's economy, businesses are looking at how they can operate more efficiently and still bring people the goods and services they desire. When examining how Denton Publications could streamline its day-to-day operations, owner and publisher Dan Alexander found the company could better serve its readers and advertisers and have a considerable cost savings by merging the two weekly newspapers. The merger also reduces the amount of paper we use by 30 percent - which will have a positive impact on the environment.
The merger also gives our advertisers the ability to reach more than 16,000 homes with one direct-mailed publication instead of having to purchase advertising in two, as has been done in the past, when target zoning was in vogue
Combining the two papers is also beneficial from the perspective of you, our readers. The North Country is so interconnected, stories of interest in Peru, for example, are often of interest to people in Champlain. And, on the same token, stories of interest to people in other Northern Tier locations like Mooers and Chazy, can be easily identified in Saranac and Dannemora. The communities may be miles apart, but we're all a part of Clinton County, and, on a much larger scale, what we know as the North Country.
When deciding to merge the papers, we also examined a name change. Would the new paper be the Free Trader? North Country Free Trader? North Country Today? The possibilities were endless.
However, rather than get people in both readership areas used to a completely new name, we decided to stick with the North Countryman. While many have become used to the name Clinton County Free Trader Today - which has been around since the early 1980s, we felt it was important to preserve the name of the paper with a much longer-standing history. Just to give you an idea of that history, the date March 1, 1928 marked the first edition of the North Countryman, then operated in the village of Rouses Point. Since then, it's been a source of all things Northern Tier for the people it reaches.
The new North Countryman will take that reach and simply expand it. The content enjoyed by readers of this paper and the current North Countryman will not change. You'll still see features on local people, stories about important fundraisers and many other topics of - again - local interest. My colleague, Sarah Cronk, whose articles you see in this publication on a regular basis, will continue to work to bring readers of the new North Countryman news of interest.
What will change is the look of the publication. The new North Countryman will be in a more readable format, measuring roughly 10 inches tall by 11 inches wide and will not be quarter-folded in half like its predecessor. We're also working hard to come up with new ways to make the publication stand out when you receive it in the mail or pick it up in one of your favorite hometown businesses.
The changes in store for your hometown newspaper are something we at Denton Publications are very excited to bring to you. With the new North Countryman and the 'burgh - our new weekly publication also with a circulation of more than 16,000 direct-mailed and dropped in the 12901 and 12903 zip codes - we feel we are finally able to bring the news of our region to you in the most convenient, efficient and comprehensive formats possible.
So, to steal a line from Garry Douglas, president of the Plattsburgh-North Country Chamber of Commerce - "Onward and upward!"
Jeremiah Papineau serves as regional editor for the northern office of Denton Publications. As always, he welcomes your suggestions for stories and columns and enjoys hearing from readers. He may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 561-9680, ext. 102.