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Thank you, readers and advertisers

 It’s been a helluva ride in 2015

Ever since we got into the weekly newspaper business, our lives have been measured by what number week it is. Our son and daughter graduated in weeks 19 and 21, and our foreign exchange student joined us in week 35. And now we are putting to bed our week 52 issue. A whole lot has changed from when we printed our week one, Volume 131 issue. This was the year we took a deep breath and took the jump to encompass our sister counties, Las Animas and Colfax. The leap out of our cradle in Huerfano County and into the bigger world necessitated a name change for the paper; we went from the Huerfano World Journal to simply the World Journal. (For those of you keeping count, it’s our third name change in eight years; we started out as the Huerfano Journal, then became the Huerfano World Journal when we absorbed the Huerfano County World after we bought them out in 2010 [who had changed their name from the Huerfano World in 2008.] All straight now? Basically, we’ll answer to anything, just don’t call us late for supper.) The move makes natural sense; the population, history, and economies in the three neighboring counties are the same, just artificial boundaries drawn on a map separate us. The tipping point for the jump was when awesome ad sales pro Alan Kenny joined us, bringing decades worth of sales and newspaper experience to our team. The response from Las Animas and Colfax has been incredible. Trinidad and Raton have been hungering for hard, unbiased news for a while, and soaked up everything we published. Smaller towns in those counties were

thrilled to have some coverage finally, and subscriptions and advertising jumped up. The other key to our success was hiring veteran reporter Bill Knowles to cover the Las Animas county beat. Bill worked for us several years ago, but family obligations pulled him out to Missouri. We finally managed to pry him loose in June and brought him back. Our Huerfano hard-news guy, Eric Mullens, brings over 30 years of coverage, while additionally keeping our legals organized, our classifieds classy and heck, even getting our billing out. Awesome, invaluable guy. Mary Jo Tesitor has truly stepped up to the challenge of being our ‘public face’ in Trinidad; meeting with all our writers there, schmoozing with the right people, delivering newspapers, and keeping up with all our subscriptions. This year has been our best year ever, ad-wise, and we want to thank our Sales Manager, Debi Sporleder for her hard work, innovative ideas, outside the box thinking, and attention to detail. The response out of Huerfano County though, has been mixed. Advertisers are happy and quickly began seeing the benefits of reaching an expanded market, but a few folks have been reluctant to change, have forgotten our area’s shared history, and cannot yet see the promise of our shared future. Our answer to people who say they don’t want to read stories about Trinidad or Raton is, why not? These people are your neighbors. They shop here, their kids play yours in sports, they come to our parades. Why not see what cool things they’re doing right next door? Plus, we haven’t taken any Huerfano news out, we’ve just added Las Animas and Colfax news in. To accomplish this, we are consistently running an additional four pages per issue over the previous year’s papers. If, however, you just don’t want to read about them, then cover up that story with your hand when you read that page. We here at the WJ have been so excited to learn more about these communities, we are just certain that expanding our coverage to them was the right and natural evolutionary course for the paper to take. Tripling our territory has meant tripling our workload here in the office. Our long-suffering staff have had to work longer and harder this year, but they all have their eyes on the prize, and know the paper’s growth (eight years of solid, often double-digit growth) will pay off- a rising tide lifts all ships. Thank you, Alan and Debi for outstanding sales efforts. Thank you Debi, Mary Jo and Eric for working so hard here in the office. Thank you Ruth, Edie and Susan for all your editing and organizing skills. Thank you Bill, Bob, Brian, Colette and Will. Thank you Nancy, Carolyn and Pat for bringing history to life for us. Thank you Carol and Caitlyn (the dynamo mother-daughter team) Sherry, Paula, and Joy. Thank you David Tesitor and David Santisteven for your awesome sports coverage, and thank you Regina, Frankie, Marty, Anne and Chay for wonderful, moving photographs. Thank you Jaye, Clint, Elisa, Sally Jane, Kara, Sara, Tina, Joel, Larry, Lois and Karyn, Paulette, William, Joe, Mary-Ann and long-time lurker JF Mercury.   Thank you all for creating such amazing content that people want to read. The World Journal is truly greater than the sum of its parts. We look forward to seeing what amazing stories you all cover in 2016!