State of the Now: Thank you all for a strong year

Will you be around that long?

We heard that question regularly over our first year of existence as people would sign up for a one-year or two-year subscription. But lately people have been asking us that less and less as we add more time to our paper’s existence in Newton.

Much has been said about how 2016 was a bad year, but for us at Newton Now, it was a good one business wise. We upped our staff numbers and added Newton native Elizabeth Hingst as a part-time graphic designer. As of 2017, she will turn to full time after she returns from maternity leave.

Co-owner Lindsey Young left teaching to run our sister paper, The Clarion, so she’s in the office a bit more helping to edit the paper.

More and more subscriptions and renewals are coming in for one year and two years instead of six months, which we saw a lot of in the beginning. And the vast majority of those who have signed up for a subscription have renewed—more than nine out of 10 people, on average. A good chunk of you took advantage of our holiday special. Let no one say Newton and North Newton residents don’t love a bargain.

Starting in 2017, we will also offer an auto-draft payment option, so keep an eye out for that, especially if you want to skip the annual renewing process.

We also began doing some event planning in the community, notably a large legislative forum with the help of the Meridian Center and the Newton Chamber. Look for more of that next year, including Blues, Brews and Barbecue, a musical event with local food and craft beer on Oct. 8, which we will release more information about later.

We again bid for county legal notices this year and cut down the price the county pays per column inch by a dollar. That’s more savings for the taxpayer. The county went with the other paper, as they still have a larger circulation with a 140-year head start. Still, it’s nice to be moving in a positive direction in that regard.

This year we also won legal contracts for the Cities of Walton and North Newton. We thank those governing bodies for the opportunity to run their legal publications and for taking enough of an interest to save their residents a small bit of money.

Finally, the City of Newton has allowed us to bid for their legal publications, and we submitted our bid recently. We don’t know who they’ll go with or the prices bid yet, but we’re going to guess the city will be save a significant amount of money next year on legal publications, too. Perhaps the money they save can go to help their budget or fund the senior center or downtown flowers.

All-in-all, 2016 was a good year for us and one that’s set us on some solid ground to be around for many more years. We hope to turn a corner again in 2017 and really “fire it up,” as our ad director Bruce likes to yell out at all hours of the day.

Sorry if all this sounds like we’re beating our chest a bit. We feel we owe updates to the so many of you that have supported us. And we’re proud of what you all have helped us accomplish so far. So most importantly here’s a big shout out and thank you to all our subscribers, advertisers and readers for their continued support. We realize a lot of people go out of their way to help us out and to promote us. We really appreciate that. We hope we serve you well. Here’s to a happy New Year, Newton.