The end of our race
It’s been a while coming, but my wife Jackie and I have decided to call time on our working careers. I’m almost 71, she’s about to hit 70 and to be honest, we’re ready to spend more time together doing anything but running a business.
To do this, we’re starting the process of selling the business by calling for Expressions of Interest from people who may be interested in owning and running a business like this one. The first ad about this will appear in next week’s issue.
It’s going to be interesting to see if anyone comes forward because the media industry, and particularly the newspaper game, has taken a massive hit over recent years and the big players still seem to have little idea how to deal with it. Personally, I think they could have done a lot better if they took the time to understand their readers, and what they’re now looking for, a bit better. My belief is that readers of a newspaper or magazine like OC Life, just like consumers of anything these days, are looking for a good experience first and foremost. Most traditional newspapers are still not doing that, whereas I believe OC Life is. If we weren’t, just like what has been happening with most newspapers and magazines, people would slowly stop picking a copy of OC Life up each week. This just hasn’t happened, and we still print and distribute basically the same number each issue as we have for years, all during a period when many newspaper and magazine circulations have dropped by as much as 60 -70% over the last 7 or 8 years.
On face value, my judgement is that community magazines like OC Life will be around for a long time yet, they’ll remain free and they’ll fill a role more like a community newsletter, rather than a newspaper, especially in regional areas. I have felt for a long time and still do, that Councils may one day fund such publications as part of their community service. An earlier dream of mine was to see others in other cities like Orange, have a publication like OC Life, all based on the enjoyment our readers here keep telling us they get each week. It seems strange to me that the OC Life model hasn’t popped up in more places by now.
Anyway, there’s a great newspaper/magazine business in Orange waiting for someone to come along and take it to the next level, if they choose to do that, or just to enjoy the ride as it is now.
Jackie and my hope is that OC Life will continue on for a long time, and that the people of Orange and surrounds will continue to have something really unique and special to enjoy, and to boast about. If we can leave a legacy like that, it will make us both feel extra good.