“My well has run dry,” Doug Conarroe, former owner of the North Forty News wrote on the front page of the June 2016 issue of the paper. After six years of commitment and hard work, Conarroe was ready to move on. So ready that he didn’t officially put the paper on the market. Instead he offered to give it to anyone willing to take on the challenge of a small monthly paper with a loyal but diminished following and a negative cash flow.
“Okay,” I said to myself. “I love this job, (as a staff reporter) but I’ve had a good run. I’ll pick up my marbles and go home.”
Then the grapevine leaked that some guy named Blaine Howerton had taken up the gauntlet. He already had several businesses going, he was more of a TV/online guy than a print journalist, but he couldn’t resist the challenge.
He was full of ideas and enthusiasm. He envisioned a paper that would continue to serve Wellington, LaPorte and the mountain communities but also include all of Northern Colorado including Fort Collins and environs. He was willing to retain the small existing staff and to invite several others to enhance this vision.
I wasn’t about to retire and miss out on this opportunity. The othermembers of the staff felt the same way.
Over the last months the paper has grown, both in number of pages and areas of distribution. There is a significant online presence and a daily digest of news. Those of us involved are invited to express our opinions and suggest stories we feel to be timely and of interest. Howerton is open to suggestions and willing to try new approaches.
It’s an exciting workplace. I hope to be around as long as I still have my marbles—at least most of them.