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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

On the prospect of selling the newspaper


Toward the end of 2010, we had received an inquiry from a regional newspaper publishing company that was interested in purchasing the Kuna Melba News.
It may be hard to understand, given our frustrations with gaining circulation and the seemingly endless attacks on our business model from just about every front, but the prospect of no longer owning our own business was daunting. The business was paying us a decent salary, more than enough to pay our bills and go out to dinner every once in a while. It was paying for our minivan. It paid for our gas, our health insurance, our newspaper subscriptions.
We were still enjoying our status in the community, as well. Despite the occasional late-night run to the grocery store in sweatpants in which you invariably ran into someone who knew you from the paper, we enjoyed being recognized by people in the community. We liked having farmers stop by the office to drop off cantaloupe and zucchini and tomatoes for us. We liked being asked to judge singing contests and Dutch oven cooking contests.
Perhaps most importantly, we liked the flexibility we had in owning our own business. By now, we had settled into a good routine, with Nicola going into the office early after seeing the boys off to school. Robert by now was in kindergarten, attending full-day kindergarten every other day of the week, while I took him to day care on the other days. In the afternnoons, Nicola would usually go get the boys from school, take them home and help them with their homework. If she was busy, I could easily go get them myself and do the routine or even bring them to the office, where they would work on their homework in the conference room while we would do our work in the main office.
If one of the boys was sick, it was easy enough for one of us to work from home without having to get anyone’s permission. If the boys had a music program during the day, Nicola and I would simply put a sign on the door that said we’ll back in one hour.
I often recalled working at the Democrat & Chronicle, going in at 9:30 and staying until at least 7 p.m. I thought about what the prospects would have been there of saying I needed to work from home one day or take off for an hour for a school program or take off early for a soccer practice.
No, the idea of going back to work for someone else was not appealing.

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