The sun’s not setting yet
Oh, please. The end of the Trail? Hardly.
Bless Kaye Ferry, for she fetches on worst fears and dark conspiracies at every turn, and her column in the next space over does not disappoint.
The whole valley is surely going to hell in a handbasket now, yessir. The parent company of the little daily, those evil corporoids with 90 percent of the readership, bought out the failing weekly, which had sunk last we surveyed to 27 percent of the readership each week, even trailing the out-of-town Denver Post by a few points.
What spell we cast on the readers is anyone’s guess. It couldn’t possibly be hard work in the news and opinion columns, actually participating in community life, running a sound business. No, it must be something nefarious.
And so a family operation that made enough right decisions to grow into a company with a couple of dozen daily papers in the West is puffed up into an Enron by its critics.
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The editor of the “feisty independent” doesn’t come over to the “corporate giant” because he dared to be critical. Huh? The criticism we embraced. That niggling part about a 72-page-plus weekly and five-day-a-week daily sliding to a 20-page weekly, well, that might have had a little something to do with the notion that some changes were in order for the Trail to survive.
Being critical of the big bad Vail Daily was the least of the Trail’s worries. They had a “sound of one hand clapping” problem that eclipsed everything else. Mission 1 is getting folks to pick up the paper again.
Surely, we’ve printed enough “fire Don Rogers immediately” Tipslines on page one to put the lie to this tripe. Letters critical of the Daily go to the top of the pile. And read Kaye Ferry’s column today. If we “fired” folks for having the “wrong” views, her column would have been cut a long time ago.
An editor has a similar place in the universe as a baseball manager. If the team rolls up wins, great, you’ve got a chance of sticking around for awhile. Hit a long tailspin and, well, changes are made. Histrionics has precious little to do with it.
The intent for the Trail is to succeed, and the only true judges are the readers who invest their time in the product and then the advertisers who see that there are readers to in fact reach.
In this corner, we expect our colleagues down the hall to go get those readers, armed with deeper pockets and all the enthusiasm for the work that can be mustered.
If they give the Daily hell while they are at it, that’s great, too. Chances are, we’ll fully deserve it.
But this ain’t the end of the Trail. Far from it.