Special edition to focus on first year

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 2, 2004

Staff Reports

REGION – Regionalism will be one year old at The Demopolis Times Saturday.

Nov. 6 marks the one-year anniversary of The Times converting from a twice-weekly newspaper into a five-day a week publication, expanding its role from covering only Demopolis and Marengo County to an area-wide newspaper.

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Currently, the newspaper covers news in Marengo, Sumter, Perry, Hale and Greene counties with a circulation 3,000 daily with 74 newspaper racks, 27 dealers and more than 1,700 paid subscriptions.

“We’ve had an outstanding year covering the events that shape our communities in West Alabama,” said Publisher Jonathan McElvy. “Transforming The Times into a regional newspaper has been an exciting time for us by not only allowing us expanded news coverage but also creating a new advertising platform for advertisers and consumers in West Alabama.”

The heart of the newspaper’s expansion has been not only in the format change of the newspaper, but also in its physical building on Jefferson Street and in its staff.

“We’ve made a lot of changes over the past year by more than doubling our staff size and purchasing three new products,” McElvy said.

The Time’s building has undergone an extensive remodeling, modernizing equipment, expanding floor space and sprucing up the interior’s building.

“The aim of the renovation work we’ve completed is a reflection of our staff change to be sure, but it’s reflective of our commitment to our community and to our readers,” McElvy said.

That readership base has seen solid growth over the year, said Circulation Director Darrel McIlwain.

“We’ve seen about a 42 percent increase in circulation over the twice-weekly newspaper,” he said.

To commemorate the anniversary, The Times will produce a special first anniversary edition Saturday, dubbed Changing Times.

“The special edition will focus on the highlights of our area over the past year and give our readers an overview of West Alabama living,” said Editor Clif Lusk.

“We’re excited to provide our readers this special edition because what it’s really about is improving communications within our region, and when people talk more, more seems to happen toward making West Alabama a truly dynamic place to live, work and play.”

In fact, Lusk said readers were invited to take part in the special edition by submitting their thoughts on the importance of having a five-day daily newspaper focused on West Alabama.

Readers who wish to submit comments for inclusion in the section may do so via e-mail at clif.lusk@demopolistimes.com, or by calling the newspaper office at (334) 289-4017.

The deadline for submission is Wednesday at 5 p.m., Lusk said.

“This is a dynamic time for all our communities, fresh with new beginnings and ripe with opportunity. We’re glad The Times is a part of that process,” he said.