Publisher's Note: 10th year
By Jody Reese
With this newspaper Hippo begins its 10th year of publishing.
I know, I don’t look that old.
It’s been a wonderful 10 years and though we’ve had our challenges, it’s been fun to come in to work every day.
When we started the paper back in January 2001 we had no idea what to expect. Sure, we had a business plan on the back of a napkin, but beyond that we didn’t know what we were in for.
What we got and continue to receive is support from the community. In the early days of no paychecks and a 1994 Honda Accord with 200,000 miles on it (eventually the wheel fell off on Elm Street in Manchester), people came into our office to offer their help. One who stands out is Lisa Parsons, who is still with us (and making sure this column has fewer misspellings in it than when I wrote it). She wrote a column and delivered papers with her infant strapped in the back seat. Her husband Doug helped out too. John Fladd, now a teacher in Deerfield, was invaluable. He helped deliver papers, wrote stories and columns, helped us move and even painted a large pink Hippo on the wall in the office (sorry, Ken). I think the goal was more a purple Hippo, but it came out looking like Pepto-Bismol. There was Amy Diaz too. She wrote movie reviews for free for several years and we’re now lucky to have her as our editor.
It would be impossible to thank the dozens of other people who gave of their time and imagination — but here goes: Thank you. We could not have made it this far without all your help.
Then there are our advertisers. These are the folks who pay the bills. All of them are special and wonderful for supporting this enterprise, but there are a few who stand out in their longevity. Our 11 longest-running advertisers in order of seniority are: the Currier Museum of Art, Alley Cat Pizza, Minuteman Insurance, The Black Brimmer, Cotton Restaurant, KC’s Rib Shack, Opera League of New Hampshire, The Red Arrow, The Bedford Village Inn, Alapage and the Palace Theatre. We’re going to be doing a few special things for these advertisers this year to thank them for their long-term commitment.
While these businesses have been advertising with us, we’ve grown from a tiny unpaid staff to a staff of more than 50 working on the paper in one fashion or another. We’ve grown from a 16-page paper with a circulation of 5,000 to become the largest weekly in the state. You can pick up the Hippo anywhere from the Lakes Region down to Nashua and over to Exeter. We span the most populated part of the state, offering information on the state’s quality of life.
Then there are the current staff members, who give it their all every week. These include our dedicated delivery folks, who make sure the paper gets to more than 1,000 locations, and production staffers, who put all the ads, pictures and text on the page.
And to you, the readers, thanks for continuing to read year after year. Our most recent reader survey tells us that about 200,000 people regularly read this paper. Wow. That’s just great. Thank you all!