My old friend Marc Goldberg, whom I've known since the fifth grade, called last night after reading my facebook post that I was leaving the Kuna Melba News. He called to congratulate me and to catch up. He had missed my post in December when I announced that Nicola and I had sold the newspaper. He asked me whether we would buy another newspaper again. I gave him an honest answer.
First, I love newspapers and couldn't imagine doing any other job, other than writing books. If I do re-enter the "real" work force, I probably would go back into newspapers. Second, I have loved owning a newspaper. I have loved making all the decisions, changing course quickly when needed, taking calculated risks, testing things out. So, yes, I could see buying another newspaper — with one caveat.
I don't think we would have Nicola work at the paper, as well. Not that it was a bad experience. But moving forward, I think it would be best if it were just me working at the paper while Nicola had another job elsewhere.
I still deeply and firmly believe in newspapers, how important they are, the mission they serve, but I am less confident in readers' desire to read newspapers. I don't think newspapers will go away for a long time. There will always be a segment of the population that recognizes the importance of newspapers and appreciates how a physical printed newspaper functions. (I still believe a printed newspaper is an extremely effective and convenient way to deliver the day's most important news and information, whether it's national news, local news, sports scores, things to do, whatever.)
However, the American public's appetite for printed newspapers is diminishing, for a variety of reasons that I could go into in nauseating detail (but I won't).
That said, having both me and Nicola working at a newspaper together essentially puts all of our eggs in one basket, relying on the newspaper to pay for our health insurance, our taxes, our salaries, our mortgage, our groceries, everything. That's a lot of pressure to grow the business in an industry that's not necessarily poised for growth.
If Nicola were to work at another job, that would take off some of the pressure to keep growing the business.