President's Message

President's Column June 2015

Newspapers and their changing times

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.”    -- Winston Churchill

The newspaper industry has changed a lot in the past two decades and the pace of change seems to be increasing.

President's Column April 2015

Newspapers facing headwinds from Austin to D.C.

While some lawmakers in Austin are trying to remove public notices from newspapers, our industry is also facing strong headwinds in Washington, D.C., where Congress is taking up the idea of tax reform. One proposal that seems to be gaining traction would involve limiting tax deductions for advertising expense. 

President's Column March 2013

As I write this, freezing rain is falling across much of West Texas and the roadways are coated with ice. It’s the fourth winter storm of the season and, quite frankly, I’m sick of it.

I might feel differently if the cold weather was accompanied by snow, but it rarely is. Eldorado is far enough south that the fluffy white stuff almost never makes it here. What we get is instead is ice, and for the past two years we’ve seen plenty of it.

Galveston meeting and First Amendment musings

I was delighted to see how many TPA members defied the inclement weather and traveled to Galveston for the TPA’s 2015 Midwinter Conference and Trade Show. At last count there were approximately 290 in attendance which was an increase over last year’s conference in Frisco.

It is always good to meet and see old friends, but this year I particularly enjoyed the opportunity to meet and visit with Joe Galloway. He spoke after our Friday night dinner and immediately before the Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

Pictures of critters are only part of the job for a newspaperman

It is truly an honor to serve as TPA president, but I must admit that it is difficult at times to write the president’s monthly column. It’s not that I mind the writing process. It’s only that as publisher of two small weekly newspapers, I struggle with finding ideas that are relevant to publishers at larger newspapers, especially the dailies.

You see, life is different at a small-town weekly. One of the biggest differences is the photos we are expected to take.

Continued publication of public notices a must

The General Election is behind us and the deck has been shuffled in the halls of power in Austin. Even though Republicans continue to hold every major office in the state, the faces in those offices are changing.

To begin with, Greg Abbott will become the 48th Governor of Texas and the first new occupant of the Governor’s Mansion since 2000.Inside the Capitol building, State Senator Dan Patrick is taking over as Lieutenant Governor. That is especially important since it is he who will preside over the State Senate during the upcoming legislative session.

NNA conference well represented by Texas newspapers

Congratulations to Roy Eaton and Jerry Tidwell on the outstanding National Newspaper Convention and Trade Show that was held Oct. 2-5 at the Grand Hyatt hotel on the Riverwalk in San Antonio. Roy is the publisher of the Wise County Messenger, and Jerry is the publisher of the Hood County News. They served as co-chairmen of the NNA convention committee that planned and organized the event. Both men are past NNA presidents and past presidents of the Texas Press Association. In fact, Roy Eaton was NNA president the last time the group came to Texas. That was in Fort Worth in 1997.

Cousin’s Vietnam photo puts face with name on Wall

Kathy and I had the opportunity to visit the Vietnam War Memorial a few years ago when we spent a week of vacation time in the Washington, D.C. area. I had seen the memorial, or The Wall, as it has come to be known, many times in photos and on television. Still, nothing prepared me for actually standing there and touching the names. Each and every one of the war's 58,282 American casualties is listed, including my second cousin, Grady Ray Nelson of Coos Bay, Oregon.