Publishers’ Corner – Kenwood Press News

I can’t believe it’s been a year already!

When Alec and Ann Peters passed the Kenwood Press torch to me and Paul in January 2021, we really didn’t know what to expect. The honor of editing our local newspaper was a wonderful experience with only a few “Oh s%#@” moments.

With this issue, we honor Jay Gamel’s well-deserved retirement as an employee of Kenwood Press. We were thrilled when Jay agreed to stay with us in 2021 after Alec and Ann retired. Kenwood Press readers are familiar with Jay’s thorough reporting, but few realize just how much Jay has been up to behind the scenes. Jay manages classifieds, layout, website, photography and technology, and mitigates general newspaper disasters. Jay brings wisdom and good humor to everything he does.

Jay, Alec, Ann, our contributors and the community have taught us a lot and we are ready to begin our next year as editors of the Kenwood Press. Jay will still appear on the pages of the

KP now and then, but everyday life is up to us.

I come from a corporate background, primarily in Human Resources where we tracked business performance using ‘KPIs’ and ‘Metrics’. Here are some of us for 2021:

1. We now usually send the paper to the print shop by around 3 or 4 p.m. on the afternoon of the printing day. For our first few issues, we sent it in around midnight. Result: Improved.

2. We have far fewer typos and misspellings in the newspaper than in our first issues. What Were Some of the Best Mistakes of 2021? We called Jane Witkowski Kathy in a caption; I misspelled Sonoma Developmental Center in Himmelsfeld on page 1; and we misspelled Paul’s name in a caption. Another good point: Misspelled the names of our wonderful contributors Robert Kourik and Jim Shere in an early 2021 issue (ouch!). Of course, we have our wonderful editors Tracy Salcedo and Jazmine Kanengiser to thank for our improved spelling, as well as our meticulous proofreaders Lindsey Blanchard and Debbie Lammers. Also, I now refrain from changing texts after the proofreaders have given the work their seal of approval, which helps tremendously. Result: Improved.

3. We had difficulty scheduling an appointment with the Sonoma County Sheriff to collect information for the CID due to COVID-19. We hope to get the criminal investigation department up and running again in 2022. Score: Needs improvement.

4. We worry less about getting the paper out the door with each issue. For our first issues, I felt anxiety and panic that we didn’t have enough content or too much content. I realized that we can always fill in the blanks with photos of our canine correspondent (Buckley, who turns one this month) or move a story to the next issue. Somehow we make it every time. Result: Improved.

5. Our paid subscribers increased by 40%! This increase is mainly because I have all my friends and family who live across the country pay for a subscription. Result: Neutral.

The best part of publishing the Kenwood Press is when readers email us, call us, or stop by the office to tell us they like the paper. It means the world to us. That makes it all worthwhile.

This Publishers’ Corner is dedicated to our contributor at Kenwood Press, Patti Buttitta, who manages all of our advertising. She gently and regularly reminds me to write a Publishers’ Corner for the newspaper more often. Without them we couldn’t make a newspaper. Thank you Patty!

—Melissa (and Paul)

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