Why we Still Need the News Herald

by September 10, 2009 • 3 comments

The News Herald is and has been for a long time the locals medium for obtaining the “news”.  Chances are, if you read pcbdaily.com, you are familiar with the “local rag,” and many of you probably read it on a daily basis.  I know I do.

It’s funny, if you ask most of our readers what our main competition is, you don’t hear the likes of TripSmarter.com, pcbeach.com, or any of the other numerous blogs and web sites about our area; people will tell you that the News Herald is our biggest competition.  I don’t see it that way, and I never have.

You see, I read the News Herald each day because they do a job that I (I as in pcbdaily) can’t do, nor do I want to do.  Furthermore, I don’t think you would want me to do that job here either.  You never see crime stats, crime reports, car crashes, who died or pictures of Obama photoshopped up like The Joker with “why so serious” marked across his forehead on pcbdaily.  We focus on a specific niche that is targeted, and frankly commands a smaller audience.  But, we have a sophisticated reader.  You read that right, if you read pcbdaily.com with regularity, you are probably educated, somewhat financially stable (if not well-off), and there is a good chance you own a small or medium business.

While we talk about what is happening specific to real estate, growth and tourism in Panama City Beach, the News Herald covers the more generic side of the news world.  They cater to a much larger audience that craves that information.  Only some care about what we talk about here at pcbdaily.  We talk about real estate, growth and tourism because that is what drives the Panama City Beach area and that is what people that are vested in this area care about.

“You guys do a great job, and you’ve become a great value to the community,” said a gentleman I had lunch with today.  I hear that all the time, and it is kind words like that that keep me going.  I often say that makes it all worth while.  I love that people use this as a resource.  I hear from people frequently that they spend numerous hours each week reading through content and I’ve found a fairly healthy shelf life on old content as well. Keep scouring those archives.

Recently the News Herald’s parent company, Freedom Communications filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in a Delaware court so that they could keep operating regardless of their immense debt load (a whopping $770 million).  Running 33 dailies, 70 weeklies, various other publications and 8 television stations, has a huge overhead cost and with media ad sales down across the country, they aren’t generating revenue like they used to.

That’s the thing I always said was great about pcbdaily, being all online.  We have virtually no overhead.  Hosting costs, employee costs and equipment costs are about it, and it’s great.  When times are tough, I can just find some freelance work to make ends meet, but everything else keeps moving.  Of course, many of you know that I started pcbdaily and ran it for a long time while working a full time job somewhere else.

So many people complain about the News Herald.  But, them, along with many media companies, battle political inclinations that motivate them to lean one way or another.  I suppose I’ve been influenced in the like from time to time.  But, the News Herald is mostly a good read.  I read it daily, and personally, enjoy the ink on my fingers.

I’m thankful for our loyal readers who read us daily, and I always hope that we are meeting up to your expectations.  Please use the comments section below to tell us your suggestions for what you want to hear about.

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1 Sherry L September 10, 2009 at 8:42 pm

I’m glad you wrote all that NewsHerald info Jason, I was unaware of their hard times. I read the online NewsHerald daily from here near Atlanta; along with PCBDaily I am able to keep up with Panama City quite well. To tell you the truth, I read the NewsHerald first (alphabetical list in my favorites – no offense). I take the AJC Atlanta Journal Constitution everyday here at home and when in Panama City I pick up a NewsHerald everyday while I’m there. Here’s a secret, I get more info from the NewsHearld than the AJC, sad but true. I sure hope things work out for the NewsHerald – we need it!

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2 Gerald R September 11, 2009 at 9:12 am

Jason, it appears that we are dinosaurs. There is nothing like holding the newspaper in your hand and digesting the news. I hope the News-Herald makes it. Here in Georgia, I was a daily subscriber to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution until they were forced to reduce their distribution area. I appreciate what you provide at PCBDaily.com. Keep up the good work.

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3 matt0407 September 16, 2009 at 9:37 am

I like your perspective on the differences between your website and the News Herald. As a News Herald employee (full disclsure), I feel obligated to assure the other people who read your stories that the News Herald will continue to do business as usual despite the bankruptcy. On the local level, we operate at a profit and despite shrinking revenue, we have tightened up (like most local folks have had to do) and broadened our offerings to fit a changing world.

Keep up the good work. I have popped in on your website for several years and I certainly like the evolution of your site. It’s good for the community.

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