By Jay Kerner
Yep. This is it. The Regular Joe Paper is done.
After 180 issues, over 12+ years, we’re pulling the plug on printing our monthly paper.
We’ve been scheming for a couple years now, working on an exit strategy.
We considered selling the paper. (We can’t be the only ones out there with sketchy judgement.)
Or have a contest and award it to the winner. (Second prize, two papers!)
We thought about giving it to the University. Let students put it out. Seemed to us like a good opportunity for the “applied learning” they talk about, but we couldn’t get any traction there.
Of course the paper has never made much money. A handful of loyal prominent businesses have kept us in the skinniest of black, since year 2. We never drove it to do more. We were afraid chasing money too hard would kill it.
And really, we could just maintain at this level for the foreseeable future.
But the Queen just retired and I’m taking her to the beach. I promised.
She’s a beach girl. The fact that she’s lived her entire life as far as geographically possible from the ocean, has been a constant source of annoyance.
Together over 4 decades, I’ve taken her to nice ones, all over the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean. But usually, only a week or two a year. Just enough to whet her beach appetite.
Now we’re going. We don’t even know where. We’re exploring Florida this winter, a few weeks at a time. (Can’t be away from the grandkids longer than that!)
We’ll be looking for a place to put down winter roots, but we won’t be in any hurry.
We’ll be back and forth every few weeks till it warms up here in the Spring.
But in another respect, we’re not going anywhere, and you won’t be missing a thing!
Introducing the completely revamped www.regularjoepaper.com!
My son-in-law Shannon Bond has agreed to take over our digital content. He’s worked as a high-level pro in the industry, pretty much since it became one.
He’s built us a new, state of the art website and has started populating it with our content!
It’s everything, everybody always told us we should make it.
It’s everything we’ve always been, but so much more!
You can still read individual pieces by your favorite Joe contributors. (Me, too!) And we’ll finally have room for more!
Our advertising partners will get even more exposure! We’ll have the opportunity for “click-through” ads, directing our readers to their sites, for more information.
Because we’ll be happily dumping our deadline schedule, we can take things as they come and promote things in a much more, timely manner. You wouldn’t believe how many things we couldn’t run, over the years, because the event was already over by the time our next issue came out.
No more space issues. No more choosing between this or that. Now you’ll get both!
No more black and white pictures, (unless that’s what you send us).
I have every confidence that our Regular Joe website will start with our existing readership and build from there. We’ll have poll questions and contests to win dinners from local restaurants. We hope you add it to your favorites list and visit often.
But remember when I said no more paper copies? That’s not exactly true.
Sometime after the first of the year, you’ll notice a new publication that looks a lot like us. That’s because it is. Sort of.
Introducing The Regular Joe Visitor!
We’re printing an annual tourism issue for newcomers and vacation visitors. It’ll be totally slanted toward Locally Owned and Operated places. (Shocking, I know!)
But there won’t be much timely in there. We’re planning on printing it once a year.
It’ll have our TENDERLOIN MAP in the middle. We’ll be pimping that, hard!
But really, we’ll be pimping the whole town, highlighting things we want to make sure visitors see.
Our tagline has always been, “Celebrating the Coolest Local Stuff”. It still will be, but now there will be even more of it, as we strive to make local cash registers ring.
As for me, well, I’m a writer now. In addition to over 250 pieces for this paper, I’ve also written a semi-autobiography with the late, great, St. Joe music legend, Bugsy Maugh, a compilation book of past columns, and a novel, recently finished, that I’m sending to agents now. Oh yeah, and children’s book and a couple of screenplays. There are several more writing projects, bouncing around in my noggin, waiting to come out. I expect they will.
But mostly, I’ll be “in the service of The Queen” to borrow from the band, Counting Crows. Driving her around. Carrying the bags. Applying the sunscreen. (With a drink in my hand and my toes in the sand.)
So, for all the fine folks who have helped and supported us to this point and beyond, you have our sincere, and undying gratitude. And for the “regular” audience we’ve been lucky enough to attract, Thank you as always for reading The Regular Joe!