Less than three weeks ago, on May 1, the Jackson County Sentinel announced it had a new owner. I had to make the announcement to our staff several weeks prior. It was a difficult message to receive and a difficult meeting to conduct.

As with any similar situation, the news of new ownership is unchartered territory. The questions are endless and the concerns are bearing down on your mind. I tried to offer assurances to the staff the best I could, but even I didn’t know the ultimate fate of the Jackson County Sentinel.

Three weeks later, I will say that it is business as usual at the Jackson County Sentinel. There have been several changes in terms of the conducting of daily business and there have been minimal changes in the paper.

Will changes be in store for the future? I’m certain there will be, but that is no different than when I accepted the publisher’s position in December. Yesterday marked my fifth month in this position. It has been an exciting, demanding and rewarding experience.

Had I known the changes we would face in May, I would have gladly accepted the challenge. I had big plans and high hopes. I still have those same plans; however, I will admit that I was a little unrealistic in my timeframe.

There are still changes planned for the Jackson County Sentinel. They will be good changes that benefit our local community, benefit our advertisers and benefit our readers. We are continuing to accept these new changes within the Jackson County Sentinel and I’m confident you will be provided with an overall improved paper as we continue to grow.

It is a regular occurrence for me to get asked questions about our new owner, about the new company and if we will continue to publish a paper. Our owner, Patrick Graham, has been great to work with and we will continue our strong relationship with our sister papers in Fort Payne and Albertville. We also gained two sister papers in Georgia that I’m excited to begin working with in the near future.

As far as the question if we will continue publishing a paper – absolutely! The Jackson County Sentinel isn’t going anywhere. We have great things we are working on and new and innovative ideas for promoting the Scottsboro and Jackson County.

We are also working to improve our online experience for those users who enjoy the eEdition or catching up on the latest news and events day and night. As we continue to learn and implement these new online features, we will be sure to keep you posted in the print edition.

There are many things online subscriptions can’t replace. Perhaps it is my age or how I was raised, but I prefer tangible papers. I like to hold the newspaper, despite the ink-stained fingers.

Each year I host international exchange students, I love to send them home with newspaper clippings that featured them in a sports story or feature story about their exchange year. Those are things they can keep for the rest of their lives and look back when they miss Scottsboro.

I hope you continue to notice improvements in the Jackson County Sentinel and, you too, can clip out photos and stories for lifelong keepsakes.

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