A note of thanks; changes on the horizon

Filed under: Opinion |

Politics is in general a thankless job. No matter what an elected official does, chances are that about half of his or her constituents are not going to be happy.

In that vein, I’d like to thank the El Paso County Board of Commissioners for doing what I think was the right thing and unanimously rejecting Wal-Mart’s zoning change request. I’m sure it wasn’t an easy decision to make, but tough choices are part of the job.

Now it’s time to move forward. I hope that Wal-Mart reconsiders the available tract of land at Monument Marketplace. I can’t speak for all the others opposed to the retailer’s request, but I do think that a new supercenter would be a benefit, as long as the location is proper.

And just a note for those who tried to turn the issue into a class-warfare battle – I’ll still be able to see the structure and parking lot from the deck of my “MacMansion,” but I’ll learn to live with that in the interests of progress.

I got the call about the commissioners’ vote while I was in Chicago at a conference of the Alliance of Area Business Publications. The Alliance has some of the best and brightest business journal publishers and editors from around the world as members.

Being a retired rugby player, I made sure that I spent some time in the Windy City with the folks from the western Australia business paper (funny talkers as we call them in American rugby circles).

I moderated a publishers session about best ideas and brought a few back to the Springs. All were great ideas in my opinion. Of course the staff here at CSBJ and I don’t always see exactly eye to eye when I gleefully return with “loads of extra work.” In fact, I’ve been told that I’m no longer allowed to travel without a chaperone. But, at least none of them has run out of the building screaming that unemployment and homelessness would be a better option.

So, be on the lookout for some great new things coming from CSBJ in the not too distant future.

And while we’re on the subject of time, one year ago I moved my family from Milwaukee and took over as publisher of Colorado Publishing Co. It’s been a fun and exhilarating 12 months.

As you might have noticed, some changes have been made. As with any business a business journal has to look critically at how we conduct our operations, what organizations we align ourselves with and where can we find the next innovation.

One of the changes that has occurred during the past year is that we actually expect people to pay for their subscriptions. Freebies are becoming a thing of the past. As our editor often says, it’s only a buck a week (actually a subscription is $54.50, but I’m sure that Mike would be happy to cover the difference. In fact, for the first 100 people in the next two weeks who either start a new subscription or renew a current subscription and ask for the “editor’s special” I’ll make sure he covers the difference. And I’ll also make sure that he doesn’t edit this out of my column.).

We also will be slowly moving to a totally subscription-based paper with single copies available in certain locations.

Editorial is not for sale

Selling papers is what we do; selling stories isn’t.

A businessperson recently called our office and wanted to buy an ad and have it placed next to a story that he wanted written about a deal that he had done. The caller said, “Well, you used to put ads next to articles.” Just so there isn’t any confusion:

OUR EDITORIAL SPACE IS NOT FOR SALE.

Editorial integrity is paramount to any newspaper. And integrity is something that I, and we, take very seriously.

Add to that the fact that our readers are smarter than the average bear and would quickly determine that CSBJ wasn’t worth their time if stories were “sold.” Legitimate news items will be covered, which is the key to the value of our product. Increasing that value is the best way to serve our advertisers, selling stories is not. I’m sure you get it.

If you don’t, you might want to look for another source of business news.

Publisher Lon Matejczyk can be reached at 634-3223, ext. 202 or Lon.Matejczyk@csbj.com.