As a rule, once you get to be over 50, birthdays are not reasons for wild celebration.
That said, three years ago this week, I sat down to write the first editorial in this newspaper because it happened to be the first issue of this newspaper.
The little line under our masthead on pages one and three says that this week marks Volume 4, Issue 1 of the Penny Press.
We (the editorial we) started this newspaper in 2003 for a number of reasons. We were fighting in bankruptcy court to regain control of a radio station we had sold but not been completely paid for, we also felt that a certain amount of conservative perspective was lacking in the local media and we missed having that editorial voice we had every morning on KRLV. We also had a non-compete agreement we still needed to honor and a weekly newspaper (which we had done before, in other towns) seemed like the ideal way to solve a number of issues at once.
Turned out that it was.
As we head into our fourth year of publication, we’re back in the radio business having acquired KELY in Ely and agreed to acquire KWNA AM and FM in Winnemucca. We also resolved that dispute over KRLV to our satisfaction.
We’ve published 157 issues, gained a loyal following of readers, advertisers and venders.
So it’s safe to say that we’re probably here to stay.
To everyone who has had a part in our first three years, Thank You!
Prospectively, to everyone who will have a part in the future of the Penny Press, Thank You, too!
Now, let’s get down to business.
Virtually every government agency big enough to have a budget, has at least one public relations person on the payroll which you and I fund.
These folks do not come cheap and some of them actually do their jobs well.
In that category we rate Erik Pappa at the County and Sergeant Chris Jones at Metro very highly.
We have a real problem, however, when a PR flack is too busy to do her job as happened Monday at the airport.
Here is a story which you may not have heard and we only know about because we were personally involved.
As some of our readers know, I do some technical work for ABC news.
Monday morning, we got a call from Good Morning America’s desk saying that 400 orphaned pets from Beirut were going to arrive at McCarran Field’s cargo building on their way to Kanab to be adopted out and could we shoot their arrival for a human interest story to air on Tuesday’s show?
A fairly simple request.
Our producer called the airport’s flack and she said, "NO!"
Since the plane was coming in at midnight she, "didn’t have the staff" to accommodate the request of a national television network.
That was bureaucratese for, "I don’t want to stay up that late and do my damned job."
So I got personally involved.
I called up her boss’s secretary. And instead of telling Randy Walker, the secretary called the PR flack and she called me to lecture me on how out of line I was.
Well, lady, here’s my answer to you.
By the time you got around to doing your job—which is to figure out how to accommodate reasonable media requests and not finding ways to roadblock them—Good Morning America stopped wasting its time with you and went on to something else.
So you blew the opportunity to get a favorable story in front of millions of people.
We’re not using your name because everybody who needs to already knows who the guilty party is. And presumably your boss’s assistant will not be able to stop this from getting through.