by Neena Strichart
Today is quite the milestone for us here at the Signal Tribune. Exactly 12 years ago, we published our first issue of The Signal under the ownership of the Stricharts. Two years earlier, the former publisher/owner, Tom Allen, closed the doors on the publication with little fanfare. He ran the paper for eight years with me by his side selling advertising for the last four years of the paper’s existence. My career then took me to the Press-Telegram, where I sold ads for a little more than a year before leaving to start my own marketing company– Posh Enterprises.
Months later, the newspaper bug hit me again, and I began investigating what it would take to resurrect The Signal. With a lot of work and a little luck, Steve and I began our venture in January of 2000. Starting the process in our dining room with the help of an enthusiastic staff, a few weeks later we went to print and enjoyed the fruits of our labor. To announce the resurgence of the paper we relied on the kindness of Shell & Sheldon Grossman, owners of Bixby Knolls Car Wash, who announced to the world on their readerboard “Welcome Back, Signal Newspaper.” That first issue featured a photo of the readerboard under the bold headline declaring, “We’re Back!”
Approximately a year later, we acquired the Signal Hill Star Tribune and legally became the Signal Tribune. Fast-forward 12 years, and we are still at it. Steve and I are still at the helm, and one of our original employees/friends, Jane Fallon, is still on board selling advertising– now that’s longevity and loyalty! We have a great crew of regular staff members who copy-edit, sell advertising, lay out the paper and design ads, as well as some pretty darned talented reporters/writers who contribute to the paper on a regular if not weekly basis. I give a big “thank you” to those valuable employees: Cory Bilicko, Leighanna Nierle, Barbie Ellisen, Stephanie Raygoza, Tanya Paz, Nick Diamantides, CJ Dablo, Vicki Paris Goodman (entertainment writer), Carol Sloan (nutrition columnist), Rachael Rifkin (contributing writer) and Jenny Beaver (garden columnist). We couldn’t create this weekly miracle without you!
I hear a lot these days about the future of newsprint. Some folks are convinced the medium is all but dead and are just sure we will all be perfectly satisfied with online media resources. The notion scares the heck out of me, and not just for personal business reasons. I worry about the written word and hard-copy photos going by way of the dodo bird. If it does happen, what will be the repercussions?
Being a longtime member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, I am especially concerned about ways of tracking genealogy in the future. With no hard-copy photos or handwritten letters to pass down from generation to generation, how in the world will we trace our ancestry? Must everything be computer-generated? The thought of a world with no photo albums or framed pictures breaks my heart. Remember those love letters tied with ribbons? Will they too disappear? Will romance be reduced to texting and Facebooking?
Business has been tough for the newspaper industry for several years, but I firmly believe that as long as the smaller newspapers stay hyper-focused and keep reporting on local news, they will survive and even thrive.
Finally, I want to thank our gracious readers and loyal advertisers. We love you all! Here’s to another 12 years– or more!