The Pine Cone's editorial of the week
Previous Home Next

Editorial: Growing and getting better

Published: April 20, 2012

NEWSPAPERS MAY be shrinking and even disappearing all around the country, but this one sure isn’t. Thanks to you, dear readers and advertisers, The Carmel Pine Cone’s circulation is growing, and so (we hope you’ve noticed) is its content. While gloom is the prevailing mood in many newsrooms, these are actually happy days in ours.

First of all, it’s important to mention that in next few weeks, the Pine Cone will reach a very significant threshold when the number of subscribers to our email edition hits 10,000. Five years ago, that number was zero. Meanwhile, our print circulation has remained steady at 19,000, and we’re planning to increase that, too.

The newspapers we produce each week are bigger, as well. The number of pages we’ve printed so far this year is up 4 percent over the same period in 2011, and (after recession-driven declines in the years 2008 through 2010) our advertising revenue was up 5 percent last year and has grown 7 percent so far this year. How many newspapers can say that?

While layoffs and cutbacks are the rule at formerly invincible newspaper companies from coast to coast, our staff increased last fall from 12 to 13. Everybody who works here has seen their pay go up, too. In normal times, that’s no more than what you’d expect on a regular basis. For a newspaper these days, it’s a wonderful achievement.

Meanwhile, you’ve surely noticed that we’ve invested in some new features. “Police Log,” by Owen Cook, which takes some of the craziest items from our weekly sheriff’s log and turns them into noir cartoons, debuted in January. A few weeks ago, veteran Monterey County journalist Joe Livernois brought his unique perspectives to our opinion pages in a column we call, “Beyond the Realm,” for lots of different reasons. This week, we print the first in a series of profiles of people whose lifetimes of accomplishment will surprise you, especially when you find out they’re your next-door neighbors and the folks you see at the grocery store. “Great Lives” is being written by Tony Seton, another veteran journalist we’re lucky to have in this community and in The Pine Cone. Outstanding local freelancers Mike Hale and Elaine Giuliano are new contributors. And we hope to have Carmel’s popular new mayor, Jason Burnett, write a column from time to time about critical issues and controversies he’ll be tackling.

Of course, all this comes on top of our other “strictly local” features and, most especially, the reporting every week by our longtime staff journalists Mary Schley, Chris Counts and Kelly Nix — bylines that have earned your trust. Another thing that won’t be changing: We don’t print anything that comes from a syndication service or news wire.

It’s probably also worth mentioning that publisher Paul Miller celebrated his 15th anniversary at The Pine Cone Tuesday. He’s not going anywhere, either.

We thank you very deeply for your loyalty, and we hope you’ll continue to look to The Pine Cone every week for local news and perspectives you can’t get anywhere else. We’re counting on you, and we want you to know that, now more than ever, you can count on us.